‘What do women want?’  The changing attitudes of women and motoring


Pulse of the Nation: Motors Edition  –  7th June 2017 – Hoxton, London

Last Thursday saw the second of the ‘Pulse of the Nation’ series. The focus of this edition was Motors – and more specifically, the changing attitudes of women and motoring.

Held at the amazing Classic Car Club, London and surrounded by a multitude of magnificent motors, the lively panel discussion threw up some fascinating insights. Hosted by TV personality, racing car driver and motoring journalist Vicki Butler-Henderson.

The panel featured;

  • Colette Casey, Manager of Brand Communications, Renault UK
  • Phil Churchward, Series Director Top Gear & The Grand Tour
  • Rob Hull, Motors Deputy Editor, MailOnline
  • Daniela Menzky, CEO, Auto Clubs International
  • Stacey Perry, Global Media Lead, Toyota
  • Anne Shooter, Commercial Editor, MailOnline

Bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience to the debate, the panel discussed a variety of topics uncovered in our bespoke research project. The crowd in attendance got to hear their thoughts on how motor advertising could be more appealing to women, the experience of visiting a dealership and the role women play in the purchasing process.

Below, is a booklet with research figures obtained by the Daily Mail in which the indifferences between the genders is quite clearly highlighted.

Below is a short highlight video from the event which you can view, along with the introduction video that was screened just before the panel took to the stage:

So what exactly is the problem? and what is being done about it?

Currently, the majority of motor manufacturers are aiming their TV, Newspaper and Magazine advertising predominantly at a male audience, with ‘macho’ and ‘discerning gentlemen’ innuendos. Which is fine, but in reality, it is the females that tend to be responsible for the decision making and this is usually based on practical considerations. Males, on the other hand, tend to base their purchasing decision on aesthetics such as style and performance.

This is something that motor manufacturers clearly need to address to level out the imbalance and also to tap into a much larger market with influences over future vehicle developments such as practicality and usability, rather than just concentrating on styling.

Additionally, the Dealership experience leaves scope for improvement with some attitudes being likened to the seventies in their approach to dealing with the female buyer. Statistically, only 1 in 10 women agree that car sales people treat them fairly and they generally find the whole experience quite daunting.

Coincidentally, it is not just women that find the whole process quite daunting, men also experience the same apprehension but they just tend to deal with it in different ways. One factor that affects both male and female buyers is a lack of technical knowledge and the general concensus is that the technology is not explained in simple terms.

However, some manufacturers are addressing the issues with new style ‘shopping outlet’ showrooms being introduced, where the buying experience is more akin to that of any other product purchase. This is quite possibly the way forward and one which allows the buyer, male or female, to make their decision based on an equal playing field.