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Clear Bauer Media

Survey shows advertisers how to influence conversation of British women

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By Ishbel Macleod, PR and social media consultant

October 14, 2011 | 3 min read

A survey commissioned by Bauer Media has looked at how women talk and the roles played in conversations between women, in order to gain greater understanding of how advertisers can join and influence the conversation.

Specialist research company Clear found that there are three main reasons for talking: affiliation, the need for bonding and belonging; mood uplift, for entertainment and escapism; and a need to be ‘in the know’, to help make decisions.

The Value of Talk research, carried out in August through interviews with 1,000 female UK consumers aged 18-44, found that there are five key roles played in conversation.

These are: Queen Bee, the direct and unquestioned leader in the conversation who makes group decisions; The Northern Star, the indirect but respected leader who friends turn to for guidance and advice; Socialite, the lively catalyst for conversation or new ideas; Little Sister, who prefers to make her decisions after discussing it with friends and is happy to talk about her feelings openly; and Social Listener, who is relied upon to listen to feelings of friends and support them when they have problems.

Jane Bruton, editor-in-chief of Grazia at Bauer Media, said: “Women love to talk, this is nothing new. But what is new is the changing nature of this talk, as women’s roles in society, and conversation, continue to evolve. We focus our investment on giving each of our brands a strong personality, which in turn allows us to influence our readers’ conversation through opinion.

“This year for example, this insight helped us introduce more recommendations within Grazia. The impact has been extraordinary – we recommended the Whistles pleated skirt and within days it was a fashion must-have and created debate, even controversy, in national consumer media.”

Value of Talk also looked at the role of media in a multi-platform world. It found that women interweave their media to help them navigate subjects, taking points of view and influence from different sources. Digital and social media provide immediate information and offer a sharing platform, whilst magazines offer interpretations and can help build, shape and test opinions.

Lucie Cave, editor of heat at Bauer Media said: “It’s incredibly important to keep the dialogue going between our readers and the heat brand.

“It works brilliantly on the heatworld Twitter when we tweet during various TV programmes, as we get instant feedback on what our readers are watching and liking. We re-tweet comments when they’ve said something funny, which is strong social currency as it shows they are accepted as part of the heat gang. Everything we do – on all levels of the brand – is so readers feel like they are part of the conversation.”

Bauer Media is already using this insight to further develop the market-leading influence of key brands like Grazia, more!, Closer and heat.

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