by Amanda Mohar
December 5th, 2012

Marketers have long recognised the purchasing power of female consumers, but this focus has tended to have fallen on one particular segment: mothers.

However, the results of Digital Women Influencers, a new US-based study from Weber Shandwick in partnership with KRC Research, highlights an powerful female consumer segmen that has for the most part gone unnoticed in the marketing mix.

PANKs® or Professional Aunts No Kids, is  a segment discovered and coined by Melanie Notkin, founder of Savvy Auntie, the lifestyle brand designed for this powerful segment of women. PANKs are women who do not have children of their own but have special bonds with the children in their lives. PANKs may include aunts, godmothers, cousins, neighbours, and moms’ and dads’ friends.

Weber Shandwick teamed up with Savvy Auntie to survey North American PANKs and confirmed that they are a highly appealing demographic for marketers because of their dynamic influence and digitally-connected lifestyle.

“Move over soccer moms. There’s a new group of smart, powerful women spenders out there. PANKs have time, income and a passion for purchasing the best for the kids in their lives,” says Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief reputation strategist for Weber Shandwick. “It’s a perfect marketing trifecta.”

Gaines-Ross notes that the marketing world has long and rightfully focused its resources on moms.  “But our deep dive into social networks has revealed vibrant communities of women who aren’t moms. They are groups – like PANKs – that are well worth a marketer’s attention.”

Melanie Notkin, CEO of Savvy Auntie, says: “PANKs are an under-leveraged – and overlooked – segment. These modern and savvy aunts invest their discretionary time and income not only on themselves, but on the children in their lives. Brands have a new opportunity to capitalise on the valuable role PANKs play in the family – and gain their hearts, influence and spending power in the process.”

Visit The Power of PANK micro-site to learn more on why this demographic should be integral to any consumer segment-driven marketing plan.

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