Women are having a significant impact on the types of computer-related products bought for the American household, according to a new survey released by Conde Nast, the leading publisher of magazines for women, and Intelliquest, the leading provider of research studies on technology. Entitled the "Women and Technology" survey, the report reveals women's perceptions on current computer products and peripherals, as well as their thoughts on computer manufacturers, new technologies and computer-related advertising campaigns.
The survey portrays a population segment that is heavily involved in every step of the computer-buying process -- from choosing which features are most important to gauging recommendations from friends. Additionally, over two- thirds (69%) of women surveyed said they have significant input in determining the need for a personal computer in their household. Surprisingly, however, much of this purchasing activity is initiated by women without the influence of advertising; less than half of the women surveyed stated that they feel computer advertising is either "too masculine," "too boring" or simply doesn't meet their needs.
"There's still a myth that women are not involved with technology and technology products," said Michael Clinton, senior vice president for group sales and marketing at the Conde Nast unit of Advance Publications. "But technology is not a gender issue. We want to send a wake-up call that women are using and purchasing these products."
While the majority of survey-takers feel that computer companies fail when it comes to generating effective advertising that caters to female tastes, most women have a clear-cut choice when it comes to recognizing a leader among computer manufacturers. IBM was chosen by 43% of women as the company that makes products they would like to own. Rating second was Apple with 24%, while Gateway 2000 and current market-share leader Compaq tied for the third-place with 8%. When it came to defining a company that is best at meeting women's needs, the majority of women polled, 30%, said "None."
Other significant "Women and Technology" survey findings include:
-- 65% of women surveyed made a personal computer purchase in the last two years. 73% said they purchased their computer with their own funds or joint household funds.
-- When asked what factor was most important when selecting a computer, 39% of women said features, 38% said performance/speed and 16% stated price. Only 7% felt that brand was important.
-- 39% of women surveyed said they plan to purchase a color printer in the next 18 months. 34% said a CD-ROM drive and 23% had plans to buy a modem.
The Conde Nast/Intelliquest "Women and Technology" survey is the first comprehensive look at women's thoughts and perceptions on technology products and the companies that manufacture them. The national sample was represented by 1,500 interviews with women who were randomly drawn using random digit dialing (RDD).
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