Microsoft, Mindshare and Ogilvy Chicago Uncover “Digital Divas” in Study of Women’s Online Behavior

CHICAGO — Nov. 3, 2008 — For the first time since women surpassed men as the majority population on the Internet (emarketer), a new study reveals just how women live and breathe in the digital world.

The study from Microsoft Advertising, Ogilvy Chicago and Mindshare surveys more than 800 women on their digital domains — revealing insight on topics from everyday technology gadgets to overarching online philosophies and how and when they shop and “unplug.”

“We sought to answer the burning questions keeping brand managers and advertisers up at night: How are women in the digital age different from women of past generations? How can brands leverage digital media to deepen relationships with them? Are we moving fast enough?” said Beth Uyenco, global research director of Microsoft’s Advertiser and Publisher Solutions. “What we uncovered was unexpected and unconventional insight: Even the most low-interest categories such as toilet paper can apply their digital advertising agenda to reach and impact women.”

Women across various ages and life stages were engaged, including gen Yers, gen Xers, early boomers and moms (stay-at-home and working out-of-home) in the spring, summer and fall of 2008. The study examined quantitative data and established proprietary data from Media Diaries,” Insight Group Discussions, In-Home Ethnographies and “Idea Stations” (online bulletin boards).

“Digital Divas” Emerge

Coined “Digital Divas,” 16 percent of the women surveyed were found to have a higher propensity to shop, communicate and employ digital devices.

“While Digital Divas are the trendsetters for marketers to understand now, the reality is the mainstream is soon to follow the patterns and paths they are forging now,” said Graceann Bennett, managing partner, director of Strategic Planning of Ogilvy & Mather Chicago. “This group was probably the most compelling of our study as the implications for how they behave are so important for brands.”

The study revealed the following about the “Digital Diva” group:

  • 22 percent shop once per day.

  • The majority views devices such as cell phones and computers as “extensions of themselves.”

  • 86 percent pass along interesting “finds” to others.

  • On average, they have 171 contacts in e-mail, social networking and cell phone address books.

Women Are Fully Engaged as a Whole

“What we found is that men and women fundamentally embrace technology differently; women think less about the technology itself and more about how it fits within their life — seeing their computers and cell phones as extensions of their personalities,” Uyenco said. “It is imperative for brands to adjust the way they deliver their messages in a way that works to meet a woman’s needs.”

As a whole, the study revealed:

  • More than half “never” unplug from their digital devices, even when sleeping.

  • They view tools such as rewards, loyalty cards, cell phones, coupons via the computer, TIVO and DVR, video on demand, opt-in daily e-mails, and handheld wireless devices to be “blessings” in their lives.

  • Technology “curses” were few and centered on activities and types of communication that were “out of their control.”

  • If forced to, they would “throw out” their television or cell phone first; only 11 percent would throw out their personal laptop.

  • E-mail is overwhelmingly, 85 percent, the most important tool.

  • On average, they have 5.8 “screens” and 12 digital devices.

Moms Enjoy Creating Content

“For moms, the Internet serves as a link to the ‘outside world’ — especially moms with a new baby,” said Debbie Solomon, managing director, Business Planning of Mindshare. “And moms are really the future of content creation. They have an insatiable appetite to create and share content — posting more than twice the average U.S. adult, whether publishing, maintaining or updating a blog or Web page.”

About Ogilvy Chicago

Founded in 1976, Ogilvy Chicago, which includes Ogilvy & Mather, OgilvyAction and OgilvyOne, is a one-of-a kind shop that utilizes a 360 Degree Brand Stewardship approach to clients, including Allstate, BP, Kraft and Unilever. The agency was recently named “digital agency of record” for Chicago 2016; and recently brought home a Grand EFFIE and a Global EFFIE for its revolutionary Dove “Campaign for Real Beauty.” Forrester recently ranked Ogilvy interactive the #1 digital agency.

Ogilvy Chicago is a unit of The Ogilvy Group, which is part of WPP Group plc (NASDAQ: WPPGY,) one of the world’s largest communications services groups.

About Mindshare

Mindshare is a global marketing and media services network with billings in excess of $23 billion (source: RECMA). The network consists of 97 offices in 67 countries throughout the USA, Latin America, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific; each dedicated to forging competitive marketing advantage for businesses and their brands. Mindshare is a member of WPP, the world’s leading communications service group with $63.5bn in billings (source: RECMA), and is part of its GroupM media services operation. For more information, please visit:

About Microsoft Advertising

Microsoft Advertising provides world-class advertising tools and solutions for digital advertisers and publishers to drive brand and consumer engagement. The portfolio includes all of Microsoft’s digital advertising businesses: its global media network that includes MSN, Windows Live, Office Live, Xbox LIVE, Live Search, Facebook and more, and its global technology platforms and tools that include Atlas, AdECN, adCenter, DRIVEpm, Massive and ScreenTonic, which together create engaging digital advertising experiences for their consumers. Microsoft Advertising helps make buying and selling media simple, smart and cost-effective across media and devices in the Microsoft network of properties and beyond, which spans 42 markets globally and 21 languages. Visit for more information.

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Note to editors: If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at

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