Having worked with brands to create content for the best part of the last decade and having responded to hundreds of briefs it became clear pretty early on that none of them were ever aimed at single women over 30.
As someone who would technically fall into the ‘single’ category (not married, not living with a partner and without children) for the last 15 years, creating marketing strategies aimed at single women is something I’ve personally championed.
Having previously worked at organisations specifically designed to cater to women, it’s still been a tough sell. Brands, as a general rule put women into one of three categories the young single, wife and mother or retiree anything that doesn’t fit into preconceived versions of how a woman’s life should pan out are considered not to be worth the effort.
In Australia there are currently 2.3 million single women, given those figures it’s quite surprising that according to a joint study by 9Honey and Amplifi, brands scored just 5.82 out of 10 when it came to visual representation of single women within marketing content and 5.84 out of 10 for brands’ understanding the needs of single women.
But perhaps most surprisingly, they’re not sad about. According to the same study by 9Honey 79% of women don’t feel being single defines them and genuinely enjoy the freedom it offers. They put mental wellbeing, financial wellbeing, time with family, health and diet, professional satisfaction, travel, fitness, being connected to the world, career achievement, further education and looking your best above finding a partner.
We can see this in their spending habits, women aren’t waiting around for partners to buy a significant piece of jewellery, big-ticket items like cars, luxury holidays or achieve major life milestones like buying their first home and this is slowing trickling into some marketing strategies.
For example advertising for beauty products rarely creates any implication of marital status as not to alienate single consumers, where once the core of their marketing campaigns was to ensure you looked good for your partner.
Travel operators like Norwegian Cruise Line are now offering single occupancy rooms for solo travellers alleviating the cost to pay for a double and in hospitality there has been a rise in communal tables in restaurants and cafes.
But overall according to Kat Gordon, the founder of the 3 Percent Conference and the founder and creative director of the Maternal Instinct ad agency “Women are either absent from advertising, the man is the protagonist and women are sidekicks – or women are portrayed in a mom role … with advertising, we’re still in the 1950s”.
It’s time brands start thinking about this time and disposable income rich market. Remember globally there are approximately 28 million of us single ladies out there, we’re spending over one trillion dollars a year and to badly quote Helen Reddy we really are too big to ignore.