Every holiday season, advertisers spend billions of marketing dollars to get us to buy their products and services. At this time of year, advertisers lose revenue because they don’t market to a specific demographic: the 47 percent of American women of childbearing age who are not mothers.
According to Zenruption, in “an informal poll on Facebook in three private childfree groups,” women spend “the majority of their disposable income on travel, clothes, entertainment, cars, home goods, personal care, and saving for retirement.” But what about the holiday season – what do they and other women without children spend their money on then?
Melanie Notkin, author of Otherhood, was involved in two interesting surveys that can help us answer this question. In 2014, Devries Global Public Relations published the report, “Shades of Otherhood: Marketing to Women without Children” based on a survey of 1,000 moms and 1,000 non-moms (the latter defined as “single and never married, living with a partner or a same-sex partner, married, separated, divorced, or widowed with no children).
Notkin, the public relations company Weber Shandwick and KRC Research published the report, “The Power of the PANK™” (Professional Aunt No Kids), which surveyed 2,000 North American women to “identify new segments of women, regardless of their mom status, to help determine how marketers and communicators can reach them, and to build an engagement profile to maximize their potential.”
Check out just a slice of what both research projects found through the lens of the holiday season.
Where do they shop?
Whether they’re shopping for themselves or the kids in their lives, the PANK survey tells us that women with no children (those who are aunts and those who are not) shop in stores and online. In stores, moms report shopping 3.8 hours per week, non-moms 4.2 hours per week. And online, moms report they shop 3.5 hours per week, non-moms 3.9 hours per week. While they already spend more time shopping than moms in stores and online, wouldn’t many non-moms be shopping more during the holiday season? You bet.
Non-Moms and the kids in their lives
The entertainment world often characterizes single women without kids as “solely focused on their careers and clumsy with children.” Yet this is far from the truth for PANKs and other non-moms who are not aunts. The PANK survey indicates that one in five women is a PANK, and that “kids play an active role in 80% of non-moms’ lives.” Estimates say they had spent an average of $387 on each child in their lives during the past year, with 76% reporting having spent more than $500 per child.” Do you think PANKS and other non-moms are buying Christmas presents for children in their lives? Yes indeed.
Holiday season travel spending
Many non-moms take time off during the holidays, which very often means they will travel. Survey results show that non-moms “spend 60% more days abroad” than moms, and if they are in a relationship or married, they “spend more than twice as much time away with their partner than moms.” While couples with kids spend on average three nights away on vacations together, non-moms rack up “on average eight days away when she retreats with her partner.”
Which means when they travel lots of non-moms will stay in hotels. And they will eat out. Non-mom survey responses tell us that they have the time to check out new restaurants during the regular year. Wouldn’t they be looking for great places to eat out during the holidays then? Yes!
A Powerful Market Ready to be Recognized
During the holiday season, advertisers need not continue to lose revenues because they don’t market to a demographic that’s out there spending. It’s more than time to develop marketing campaigns for PANKs and all other non-moms during the holidays with messaging that relates to their unique relationship with the kids in their lives, and how they can make the most out of the holiday season.
Check out both of the reports on these surveys for all of the results. Each inform us that many more marketing opportunities exist for the non-mom demographic the rest of the year. If advertisers strategically expand their marketing campaigns beyond women who are mothers, they will tap into a powerful market that feels beyond ready to be recognized.
Updated from original post, December 2017