The internet is the most important medium for women, according to a study by ad network Glam Media and Survey Interactive.

It found a third of women aged 16 to 60 said the internet was their most important medium, followed by mobile (22%), TV (18%), radio (4%), newspapers (3%), magazines (1%) and cinema (1%).

The research revealed the extent to which the internet had been integrated into women’s lives. Some 81% of women said the internet made their life easier, 78% used it for entertainment and 66% said it helped them connect with people. Women are also open to interacting with brands and advertising as 47% like to read articles dedicated to specific products and brands and 44% consider ads to be a good way of learning about products.

Despite the majority being open to brands on women’s sites, 53% said they’re more likely to respond to advertising if it’s relevant.

Shakheel Moghul, commercial and operations director at Glam Media, said, “It’s well known that ads work better when they’re beside relevant content because there’s context. Sites that have editorial channels, such as style, beauty and fashion, can then target against the related content while providing reach.”

Lulu Phongmany, iVillage business development and marketing manager, said integration and branded content are a focus for the women’s portal. “As long as you can produce something that’s interesting enough to get people to click and which is also of good quality, then the results will be good,” she said.

Women also turn to the web as an important source of information when shopping or researching products. Some 76% use it to get shopping ideas, compared to 37% using magazines, 26% watching TV and 15% reading newspapers.

The community elements online are also important for women, as 72% use the web to keep in touch with friends and family and 53% use websites to be part of a community.

Blaise Grimes-Viort, head of communities at the National Magazine Company, said women turn to other women for advice. “We manage to provide the support network and experience women often look for online, particularly when going through life-defining episodes such as weddings, relationship issues and pregnancy,” he said. “This results in a high retention rate and is an important aspect of site building for any magazine site to improve traffic.”

According to the research, 73% of women visit shopping sites, 65% visit social networks, 55% visit major portals, 48% visit video sites and 28% visit magazine sites.

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Published 21 January, 2010 by NMA Staff

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