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Never Underestimate the Power of the PANKs


panksMove over Moms! There’s a new group of powerful purchasers in town. Professional-Aunts with-No-Kids (PANKs) are an emerging demographic that have been overlooked and underleveraged by marketers, often in favour of the more traditional and highly sought after super-spenders - MOMs. But PANKs are a new group of smart, affluent and influential women that are well worth a marketer's attention. 

The recent Digital Women Influencers Study: The Power of the PANK study conducted by Weber Shandwick and Savvy Auntie confirms that these women have incredible purchasing power with digitally savvy lifestyles and as trusted influencers for their friends and family. Stephanie Agresta, executive vice president, managing director of social media for Weber Shandwick summarized PANKs as "the perfect marketing trifecta."  They have the time, income and a passion for purchasing the best for the kids in their lives". 

PANKs are women who don’t have children of their own, but have close ties with the children in their lives. Although the PANKs acronym includes the word 'aunt', the ladies in this demographic aren't exclusively aunts by the formal definition. They can be godmothers, cousins, neighbours or family friends. Roughly one in five women (19%) fit into this segment and they spend an average of $387-500/year on each child in their life. Overall, that brings their annual buying power to roughly $9 billion. While PANKs - single or married - have always been generous towards their favourite tots and teens, today their lifespans as single and/or childless women is longer and their incomes larger. She is able to spend more time and more of her income on the children she loves. 

Here are 4 ways marketers can appeal to PANKs:

Acknowledge PANKs for what they are
Think of PANKs as secondary caregivers. Often times, that’s a secondary caregiver with a full-time job and a higher annual household income. This audience can have a lot of positive influence on mothers and their children. They offer the children in their lives another means of support – emotionally and financially.

Avoid stereotyping
Women without kids are often negatively stereotyped as career driven businesswomen or carefree socialites who like to spend their free time drinking cocktails on the patio. If marketers want to engage with this audience, they need to understand that PANKs don’t always fit into these two categories. These women may be career oriented and highly social but they are also devoted nesters. Like moms, PANKs have their own household responsibilities and family commitments.

power of the pank

PANKs love to share
PANKs are like the jack-of-all-trades when it comes to sharing information on products and services. They love to share/recommend information about clothes (91%), health & beauty (85%) and vacation/travel (77%) but also love to share information on traditional ‘mommy’ categories such as home appliances, décor and toys.

Develop online campaigns for PANKs
PANKs are tech-savvy women. They are active on social media platforms and research online reviews and blogs. Whether you are marketing to women or PANKs specifically, online marketing is the most efficient way to engage your female audience. Women make up 85% of all consumer purchases and they regularly go to online sources (blogs, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest) to find new products, recommendations or reviews. There are endless marketing crossover opportunities between MOMs and PANKs when marketing to women.

To effectively market to PANKs, you need to understand the different lifestyles and stages a woman goes through in life. Just because a woman with no children falls into a certain age category doesn’t mean they should be bombarded with mother-child related marketing.

How do you effectively market to PANKs? 



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