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Women Are Tough To Reach

Furniture World Magazine


Women who buy the most furniture, are not sitting around watching afternoon TV. So when are they watching?

Let's concentrate for a moment on attempting to reach the specific buying market (those who would or could or should be buying home furnishings from you) through television. In this article we will examine each time period and give you a simple measuring device for evaluating the best times to advertise.

In measuring the television viewing habits of the specific buying audience, it is important to understand that the numbers used will reference the percent of TV homes and population tuned in per minute on weekdays.

Adults who are home most of the day tend to be older and retired or unemployed to a far greater extent than the rest of the population. Thus it is not surprising that Nielsen and Simmons report a preponderance of such audiences in weekday daytime and early evening time periods. This is a radical change since the time most furniture dealers entered the business ten to twenty years ago or before. The percentage of working women has escalated tremendously during the past decade. Thus, the old use of daytime television programming is becoming a trap for most home furnishings dealers. Yes, the cost seems to be more affordable. But is the audience you are attempting to reach strictly within your target audience?

Today, in order to reach the more affluent woman who is also working, you need to be aware of some of the 'hidden times' they are watching television. What will come as a great relief to most value conscience owners is that excellent time is available from 6AM-7AM.. A larger than average number of professional, managerial and older women watch television at this time. Another important, relatively inexpensive daypart to focus on is the 1AM-2AM time period.

And, if you want to reach more affluent women with household incomes of $75,000+, an excellent time is on Saturday evening, 11:30PM-1AM. It performs slightly better than the same time period on Sunday evenings. (Source: Mediamark Research, Inc., Television Audiences Report, Spring 1994).

But the most important time to reach women is when they are available along with the rest of the audience, specifically during prime time and the 11PM (10PM Central & Mountain) News. But, please consider this: the size of the audience drops off after weather as they get ready to go to bed.

Targeting some of the toughest viewers to reach (among them, working women who have very little time to do anything but to have a few moments to themselves) is to understand that everyone needs entertainment. Programs that attract these toughest of all viewers to reach are such weekly shows as Seinfeld, Saturday Night Live, The Simpsons, Beverly Hills 90210, Melrose Place, as well as The Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show starring Jay Leno and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Friends, Mad About You, and The X File also fit within this circle. Not surprisingly, these women are more highly educated than the norm (also have the higher household incomes) and are absolutely those who can afford new home furnishings.

But for years, the home furnishings dealer has not considered reaching these audiences because it "costs too much to be in prime time". Fine! Let the automotive and fashion industries take away their spendable income. But, don't be one of those who cries..."But we can't reach the younger buyer. What are we doing wrong?"

By using the statistical proof of where the audiences are and your budgetary ability to reach them, you have to consider at least some prime time in your advertising schedule, even if it costs SO much.

Want some more info? Tennis is one of the sleepers with this audience.

SHOWS HAVING THE LEAST APPEAL WERE THE BEST ONLY A FEW YEARS AGO: The least appeal? According to Mediamark Research, Television Audiences Report, Spring 1994, the Price Is Right is the least appealing, along with Bold & The Beautiful, Guiding Light, As the World Turns, Maury Povitch and Montel Williams.

And to think back only a few years ago, these were the programs everybody wanted to advertise on because this was how you used to reach the audience. It is not that these programs are unpopular. In fact, some have vast audiences. The point is that these programs no longer reach those audiences which are hard to reach and work for a living.

Lance G. Hanish is the President of Lance Benefield & Co., Inc. Worldwide, a leading marketing communications firm serving home furnishings retailers. Questions on any aspect of television media management or production can be direct to Mr. Hanish care of FURNITURE WORLD Magazine at lhanish@furninfo.com.