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Survey Results Reveal Women Are Early Adopters
Posted: 05-May-2005 [Source: WITI]

[WITI/IDC survey finds women look for products that direcly benefit their lifestyle by offering improved functionality and style.]

Los Angeles -- WITI (Women in Technology International), the nation's leading professional organization for tech-savvy women, IDC and Intel will announce the survey results of tech-savvy women at WITI's 11th Annual International Conference on May 5, at the Los Angeles Airport Hilton Hotel from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. The theme of this year's conference is "Taking the Lead in the Digital Age." The conference draws more than 1,000 professional women internationally.

This survey reflects the needs and attitudes of professional women with relatively high incomes and advanced college degrees. "Women wear multiple hats at home and work. As technology buyers, they conveyed a desire for practical tools with the right set of features that expressed their personal style as well," said Robin Raskin, WITI's director of media.

"This survey challenges some of the pervasive stereotypes about women and technology," said Dr. Genevieve Bell, a cultural anthropologist with Intel. "It seems that women are early adopters and all the emerging data reinforces that women are pushing the boundaries of what can be achieved through technology products in the United States and worldwide."

The Findings

Women are Mobile Warriors. With increasing demands on their time, women want products that improve productivity at home and at work. The survey shows that 67 percent say that mobile technology has given them the freedom to work when and where they want. To increase their efficiency for communication, 89 percent use emails and 36 percent use photo-sharing Web sites.

* 57 percent ranked laptops as the most important technology product they use

* 89 percent use their laptops regularly

* 67 percent use cellular phones with one-third using advanced features on their phones

Women are Early Adopters. While women will not buy something for the sake of being first, women are early adopters of technologies that will clearly improve their lives. New technologies such as home networking (57 percent) and WiFi (24 percent) are favorites among women, allowing them to do more in less time.

Women Want to Be Understood By the Tech Industry. The survey results reveal that women are dissatisfied with the retail experience on technology purchases. Only 15 percent felt that retailers understand their needs. Hence, when women walk into a retail store, they are well prepared and have conducted their own research in advance.

Typically, women leverage online research (32 percent) as well as get recommendations from friends or colleagues (22 percent). Of the women surveyed, 66 percent do not ask for men's opinion, which clearly indicates a major shift from the traditional 'male influencer' model.

Pastels and Rhinestones Only Go So Far. Designing and marketing technology products for women means more than adding pastel colors and rhinestones to existing products. The WITI/IDC survey demonstrates dissatisfaction with today's marketing messages. Of the survey respondents, 43 percent of the women find that today's technology product marketing campaigns do not "talk" to them nor appeal to their sensibility. Women say what they want emphasized are the lifestyle features that offer direct benefits, including improved style and functionality in laptops, wireless devices and smaller phones.

"This survey is a major step in providing information about this important market. We found out what tech-savvy women want, why they buy the products they do and what influences their decisions," said Dana Thorat, IDC's research manager. "Smart marketers are learning that there is a need to market to women based on features and thoughtful design products."

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