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Forget the talk about the information superhighway. The best medium for influencing women's buying behavior may be the oldest: word of mouth.
According to a survey conducted for Frankly Female, a unit of Chicago agency Frankel & Co. that focuses on marketing to women, referrals from family, friends and neighbors provide women with more important product information than advertising does.
Men, on the other hand, are more likely to base purchase decisions on professional advice or personal research.
Which doesn't mean, however, that women don't use the Internet: In fact, 56 percent of the women surveyed logged on at least twice a week.
According to Marti Barletta, the Frankel vice president and account director who heads the Frankly Female program, the survey's lesson is that "advertising alone can't do it.
"Our belief is that you have to build a brand bond with consumers, especially women, and that means at every point of contact with the brand." -- Scott Hume