Weber Shandwick recently introduced the first report in a series tied to research on Digital Women Influencers. We partnered with KRC Research, surveying 2,000 female consumers in North America, to identify segments who not only have gone unnoticed by marketing and communications professionals, but who are influential in their own right.

Our first segment is PANKS — or Professional Aunts No Kids — women who have a special bond with a child who is not their own. These women could be aunts, godmothers, cousins, neighbors, or moms’ friends. Weber Shandwick partnered with Melanie Notkin, founder of Savvy Auntie, to better understand this highly influential, digitally-connected and dynamic demographic.

Here are a few tantalizing facts that marketers should consider about this overlooked segment that has the power to move markets:

  • PANKs are a sizable segment of the population. One in five women is a PANK, representing approximately 23 million Americans, a population size comparable to Black/African American adults (28 million) and a segment larger than other highly sought-after niche markets, such as the LGBT market, estimated to be 16 million.
  • PANKs spend money on kids and assist kids’ parents financially. PANKs buying power is estimated at roughly $9 billion per year. PANKs estimate that they spent an average of $387 on each child in their lives during the past year, with 76% having spent more than $500 per child.
  • PANKs are avid info-sharers. PANKs are sharing information on a wide range of products and services. PANKs are exceptionally good sharers of information about clothing, vacation/travel, websites/social networks sites, and products for digital devices but also index higher on traditionally “mom” categories, such as groceries/food and beverages, household appliances and home decorating goods.
  • PANKs are well-connected and ahead of the online media consumption curve. PANKs consistently consume more online media than the average woman does.

Check out our infographic on the PANK research below and be sure to return to the Weber Shandwick blog as we release additional research on Digital Women Influencers.

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