Knowing Me, knowing you

Gigi Wang
15 Jun 2007

Inreasingly, the behavior of women is driving how much money is being made by companies in the mobile industry. For many women, the mobile device has now become a "life-support device" supporting the many aspects of their lives. In order to offer the mobile products and services that will most appeal to women and get them to spend money, the industry needs to understand women and the major factors governing their behavior. There are five major categories to consider:

Communications & Socialization.

In a recent focus group July Systems held with teenage kids about their mobile data usage, girls indicated that they sent anywhere from 10 to 60 messages a day, while the boys sent only between one and five. The girls would hold conversations via SMS, while the boys used it primarily to ask a single question and communicate a single piece of information. Also, women often tend to be the socializers in a group and are the ones organizing activities and bringing people together like family birthday parties. Mobile social networking tools targeted to allow these women to organize get-togethers and bring their community together are therefore ideal.

Fashion & Personalization.

Everywhere you go in places like Japan and Hong Kong, girls clutch their stylish, multi-colored mobile phones with multiple accessories dangling from the phones. Device manufacturers who have targeted women have been wildly successful. One of the best examples is Motorola with its pink RAZR, which sold in the hundreds of thousands over the Christmas season alone. For women, personalization is often an important element of fashion. In addition to the physical appearance of the phone and its accessories, personalized ringtones and ringback tones are popular ways to express their individuality.

Family and safety.

Kids are getting phones at an increasingly younger age. Companies like Firefly Mobile have launched products where parents can configure their child's services including who can call them, what they can access, and how much they can spend. Location-based serviceswhich allow parents to track their children could be immensely appealing for some parents - especially in Asia, where the children are often not as concerned about their personal privacy as they are perhaps in the US.

Shopping & Retailing.

More than 20 percent of Japanese women in 2006 were reported to have bought something via their mobile phones.

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