Women were notably absent from the list of technology experts asked to review Apple’s new iPad. At first glance this might seem like a slight to women’s tech expertise. In fact, all the single ladies are the largest marketing demographic for growth in the United States, and the most actively-ignored demographic across the board.
As recently as 2009, marketing execs overlooked unmarried women entirely, favoring immigrants or the recently come-of-age Generation Y. But this Sex and the City-sized blind spot hurt demographers where it hurts: In the big ticket purchases.
Real estate trends do not directly inform technology purchase predictions. Still, nest egg investments indicate that single women are a demographic to be reckoned with.
Married couples still purchase 60% of homes, according to the National Association of Realtors, but that number has dropped in the past decade from 68%. Single women comprise the fastest growing market, now purchasing 21% of homes, up from 15% during the same period. Single men purchase 10%, up from 7%.
This marketing gap seems to represent an opportunity for differentiation in a competitive marketplace. Rather than capitalize on this eager crowd, marketing demographers express surprise when single women seek a cozy home that would have been out of their price range before last year’s market dip.
Political operatives similarly underestimate single women. In 2007 the women’s website Jezebel deemed “slutty” that broad demographic of single women whose political persuasions are wont to change with the tide. Yet single women single-handedly pushed Obama ahead of Hilary before the democrats’ presidential primary.
Why, then, would Mac not lean hard on unmarried ladies to test the iPad?
Perhaps for a company that wants its products to succeed, it’s time to admit they can hear these single women roar.