Advertisers and marketers may not know how to communicate with moms online, but they’re going to be sending a lot more advertising their way in the coming months.

Women’s sites are performing very well in the online ad category, and as the recession deepens, that trend is likely to increase.

Advertising is down across most sectors and many forecasts expect flat growth in online advertising this year, but female focused sites are an exception.

PaidContent points out that women’s sites have increased their advertising revenue in the past six months, even as other online destinations have lost ad dollars:

“The volume of display ad views (an indication
of how many campaigns were running in a specific vertical) on sites
like Glam Media and iVillage outpaced views on sites in the health,
automotive and travel categories.”

In April there were 4.7 billion display ad views on
women’s sites. That’s compared to roughly 2.2 billion views on automotive
sites, and 1.2 billion on travel sites.

Most marketing executives plan to grow their display ad spend in the
next six months, and as a result of their high returns, women’s sites stand to win an increased chunk of those budgets. PaidContent notes that large brands like Procter & Gamble and Kraft are “investing big time” in women focused advertising.

In a downturn, purchase decisions become more household related, which makes women even more influential. According to Nielsen, makes make 85% of household purchase decisions.

And new unemployment numbers indicate that women are increasingly holding the purse strings.

In May the difference between men’s and women’s unemployment rates grew to 2.5%. Now 10.5% of men are unemployed and 8% of women. That’s the highest gap on record since unemployment tallies started in 1948.

Two male-dominated industries – construction and manufacturing – account for half of the 6 million jobs lost in the past year, meaning that while American households are bringing in less money, a larger percentage of that income is earned by females.

And the way that women shop differs from males. According to a recent Rapleaf study, female purchasing decisions are “less transactional and more relationship-driven” than men’s. Meanwhile, BlogHer found that 64 percent of its users have made a purchasing
decision as a result of a recommendation or customer experience posted
on a blog.

Purchasing ads on sites that are trusted sources of information for women — like BlogHer, iVillage, and Glam properties — looks like an increasingly effective strategy.

A problem remains with messaging, however. Yesterday, Sally Falkow noted on our site that 60% of mommy bloggers feel like they are being ignored by marketers. According to Brandweek, “In trying to perfect the message, many have forgotten to listen to the very consumer they are trying to woo.”

And that is especially important because influential women complain loudly. According to The New York
Times, affluent women online — or “marketing multipliers” — are five times as likely to communicate satisfaction or dissatisfaction about products and 76% are asked about their product choices by others.