NEW YORK, N.Y. (July 28, 2008) – Meredith Corporation (NYSE: MDP), the leading media and marketing company serving American women, today released The Gamma Factor: Women and the New Social Currency. This new report uncovers the rise of Gamma women: a growing segment – significant both in number and influence – that is creating a groundswell in today’s new media and marketing landscape.
According to the report, written by marketing-to-women experts Lisa Finn and Lisa Johnson, the Gamma audience is estimated at more than 55 million American women. Meredith's own study* estimates that Gammas represent nearly 60% of Meredith's audience. The report forecasts that, as the social and technological environment in which they exist becomes more and more suited to their communication and interaction styles, Gammas’ influence in the marketplace will continue to increase.
Gamma women share and exchange information, ideas, opinions, contacts and recommendations with their wide-reaching network using multiple media and channels of communication. This is in sharp contrast to the ‘Alpha’ style of communication – a top down model of selectively passing along information. While a Gamma’s sense of self is guided by her internal beliefs, passions, and priorities, an Alpha is driven by external social hierarchies or other indicators of status or popularity.
“This report single-handedly crystallizes our understanding of the significance of the Meredith woman,” remarks Jack Griffin, president of Meredith Publishing. “Gammas are true brand advocates who are passionate and spread the word about what they like. It comes as no surprise that these Gamma women make up the very core of our customer base. It’s time for marketers to engage Gammas where they are already looking for social currency – talking with them versus talking at them. Meredith is proud to be part of that conversation.”
The Gamma Factor: Women and the New Social Currency, explains how the social behavior, media habits and sheer magnitude of Gamma women represent a tidal force that is redefining the marketing model. By providing strategies and anecdotes for capturing the attention and advocacy of Gamma women, the report reveals how information travels within the Gamma landscape, and how marketers can effectively communicate with Gamma women to leverage the power of this vast and influential segment.
*Meredith/NBC Universal “What do Women Want?” survey of 3,000 women 18-64.
“With Gammas, it’s all about content,” says Brenda White, Senior Vice President/Publishing Activation Director, Starcom USA. “And with this group of women most certainly on the rise, it’s becoming crucial for our clients to speak to Gammas in a way that not only resonates, but also engages. From an agency perspective, The Gamma Factor really hits the mark on what it takes to capitalize on this profound shift in the marketplace.”
The report identifies five key personality profiles within the Gamma mindset. Each Gamma profile embodies a specific set of beliefs and behaviors and responds to a specific combination of marketing techniques and messaging. They are:
- Connector – She believes people can accomplish more together than they can alone. She enjoys sharing her experiences, passions and recommendations with her network of friends and family. Fluent in social interactivity aspects of
Web 2.0, her interest stems from a desire to keep in touch rather than simply the love of technology.
- Catalyst – She wants to impact her community, and ultimately the world at large, in meaningful ways. She finds great pleasure in volunteering her time and inspiring others to do the same.
- Family-Focused – These Gammas put their family first; work exists to serve family needs, not the reverse. She looks to family and close friends to stay grounded and considers her loved ones her personal board of advisors. She uses technology to seek out information, but relies more heavily on personal connections for support.
- DIY Creator – She lives life by her own compass and expresses herself by creating. She enjoys sharing ideas and techniques with fellow enthusiasts, and finding a way to bring creativity into their daily lives.
- Challenge-Seeker – She is always ready for a great adventure and focuses on the possibilities, not limits. She seeks out the exotic and challenging in all aspects of her life.
“When a Gamma finds something she likes, she doesn’t keep it to herself; she happily spreads the word to her network of friends and family,” says Meredith’s Gayle Butler, editor in chief, Better Homes and Gardens. “Our readers possess powerful Gamma traits and continuously share their experiences, thoughts and ideas with us via email, events, letters, reader surveys, blogs and online communities. This dialogue allows us to stay connected and keep our finger on the pulse of what means the most to Gammas.”
According to co-authors Finn and Johnson, “By striving to take advantage of Gammas’ preferred communication styles, learning their language of influence and developing strategies that utilize Gammas’ webs of connection, marketers can harness the influence of Gamma women and gain an early-to-market advantage that taps into this emerging power in the marketplace.”
For more information on “The Gamma Factor” or to request a copy of the report, please visit www.GammaWomen.com, or contact Patrick Taylor at 212.551.6984/Patrick.Taylor@meredith.com or Amanda Cortese at 212.551.7087/Amanda.Cortese@meredith.com.
About Meredith Corporation
Meredith Corporation (www.meredith.com) is one of America's premier media and marketing companies. Meredith combines well-known national brands – including
Better Homes and Gardens, Parents, Ladies' Home Journal, Family Circle, American Baby, Fitness and More – with local television brands in fast growing markets. Meredith is the industry leader in creating content in key consumer interest areas such as home, family, health and wellness and self-development. Meredith then uses multiple distribution platforms – including print, television, online, mobile and video – to give consumers content they desire and to deliver the messages of its marketing partners. Additionally, Meredith uses its many assets to create powerful custom marketing solutions for many of the nation's top brands and companies. The goals of these programs are to increase consumer loyalty and produce repeated consumer interaction. In the last two years, Meredith has significantly added to its capabilities in this area through the acquisition of cutting-edge companies in areas such as online, word-of-mouth and database marketing. Meredith employs approximately 3,600 people throughout the United States and its 2007 annual revenues were $1.6 billion.