Why should the gaming industry follow the film industry’s lead in terms of marketing to women? Because women control the purse strings of the US economy. Women now control over 80% of the total consumer spending of the US, which is equal to about FIVE TRILLION DOLLARS (Lee). Female users are the ones that are behind most of the success of some of the biggest, fastest growing, and most valuable companies in the US. Just in terms of e-commerce women are the driving force behind companies like Groupon, who had $760m in revenue last year, Zappos ($1 billion), Gilt Group ($500m), and Diapers.com (300m). Groupon and Gilt both have over 70% percent female customer bases and both companies revenues are most than 70% driven by women (Lee).
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, has talked about how women are not only the majority of its users, but drive 62% of activity in terms of messages, updates and comments, and 71% of the daily fan activity. Women have 8% more Facebook friends on average than men, and spend more time on the site. According to an early Facebook team member, women played a key role in the early days by adopting three core activities—posting to walls, adding photos and joining groups—at a much higher rate than males. If females had not adopted in the early days, I wonder if Facebook would be what it is today (Lee).
The social games market is supposed to get up to $1.5 billion by 2014 with women driving $1 billion of that number. Knowing that and also seeing the huge influence that women currently have on the entire economy not just that of social media, it’s a wonder why the lack of women game creators and console gamers is seen as a “marketing issue” and not a “gender issue” (West). As I said before if the gaming industry would just spend half of their energy on marketing to women and their enormous buying power, then the entire gaming industry would be dominated by women and we men would have something to really be worried about.
Lee, Aileen. “Why Women Rule The Internet” (2011)http://techcrunch.com/2011/03/20/why-women-rule-the-internet/
West, Matt. “Wooing women gamers–and game creators” (2008)http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/ptech/02/28/women.gamers/index.html