Women pick the family's mobile tech - and pay for it too
Sit down chaps, it's nothing for you to worry your little heads about
American women are increasingly selecting their families' mobile tech, and paying the bills too, according to the latest figures from US wireless trade body CTIA.
The company asked just over 1,000 women within families who was calling the wireless shots. Around 94 per cent told the CTIA they were "primarily responsible or involved" in picking tariffs, and almost three-quarters of them are paying the bills too. But it's OK 'cos almost half of them think better wireless technology helps families spend more time together.
All of which is music to the ears of the CTIA, which can use the statistics to reassure parents that outfitting the ankle-biters with mobile technology can only lead to a family which feels closer together when apart (as 85 per cent of the women attested).
Of more interest to the industry will be the fact that it's internet access these women are looking for in a mobile service, followed by email and text messaging. Making phone calls doesn't even appear on the list, though as half of the respondents claim their mobiles are replacing land lines it seems that functionality is assumed.
Before the days of Wi-Fi and Facebooking, in a nuclear family it was the wife who took responsibility for paying the regular bills, between feeding children and keeping house while her besuited (and, quite possibly, pipe-smoking) husband was out earning the daily bread. Given the ubiquity of wireless it shouldn't really be surprising that women are paying for it.
The CTIA's concern is that its members are still advertising to the "man of the house", while it seems that it's often the woman who is making the purchasing decisions. ®
The phrase "primarily responsible or involved" - as opposed to just "primarily responsible" - hides a lot. It's being spun as "women are making more purchasing decisions than men", but I don't think that's what it says. If a couple discuss what to buy, then both are involved; yes, it means there are merits to advertising to both men and women, but that's not the same as saying that you *only* need to advertise to the women.
Would it be this big news if they just said "In 95% of families, women are involved in deciding how money is spent..."?
The other thing is that these are individual items - one per person, not one per family. It's not that surprising that each person would make the decision on their own phone etc. - nor that they'd pay their own bill.
It'd be interesting to see a more detailed break down of the statistics - of course, these will rarely make the press release, especially if they don't say what the person writing the press release wants them too.
It's why Apple sales are up. Girls are tempted by them.
At least that's what it says in the Bible
Question the statistics, question the method
I know a lot of people will have already asked the first question, of what it really means, but I want to add another dimension to this, specifically: how were these questions asked?
I ask this because my Wife does a lot of online surveys, though valued opinions or whatever, and they pay you to take surveys. Not much, admittedly, usually not more than a pound per survey, but even so. After the usual demographics of sex, age and so on, many will ask "Are you the primary decision-maker about X?" with options of you, jointly and no. Now, you can pretty well guarantee that those who answer "No" will be booted out of the process and not be paid, so pretty well everyone will either say yes or jointly.
Which would skew this statistic, wouldn't it?
Ask and you shall receive
> asked just over 1,000 women within families ... Around 94 per cent ... were "primarily responsible or involved"
As a control, it would be interesting to know what the reply would have been if they'd asked 1000 men *within families* the same question. I suspect the answer would have been roughly the same.
 a further "reveal" would have been to discover if, given a very high divorce rate, those women had anyone else who *could* contribute to the decision making process. Since these days a "family" does not necessarily mean there's a man about the house.
Interesting difference in the sexes
from personal observation ...
men love gadgets, and drive the "shiny new" market,
Women are much less swayed by "shiny new", and respond more to the *relevant* and *demonstrated* potential.
Case in hand - my wife. We're not flush, so every penny spent needs to be justified. Hence, no matter how "shiny new" things are, I can't justify them, so they go unbought.
Come last year, when we are attending a medical appointment for her, and are given a choice of dates ... I whip out my work phone, and check upcoming diary, create an appointment.
"Don't forget to put it in your work calendar when we get home" says Mrs.
"No need it syncs automatically" say I.
"Really ?" says Mrs JP. "How ?"
So I explain about online calendars, WIndows live, smartphones ... result. She wanted one THERE and THEN. And now has one.
The thing is, I suggested this 18 months ago, to a general "uh huh". When I reminded here of this (and at least she was gracious enough to admit it) she said she "couldn't understand how it would benefit her" ... it needed a practical example to underscore what I was saying.
Same with online shopping !