When it Comes to Spending Decisions, Women are In Control

June 21, 2011

Susan Whiting, Vice Chair, Nielsen and Kasha Cacy, Executive Vice President, Universal McCannSusan Whiting, Vice Chair, Nielsen and Kasha Cacy, Executive Vice President, Universal McCann

Women control the majority of purchasing decisions in a household and their influence is growing. Women across the world are expanding beyond traditional roles to influence decisions in the home, in business and in politics. Marketers have a massive opportunity to better connect women with the products they buy and the media technologies they use to make a positive impact both in their lives and in the bottom line.

Nielsen surveyed women across generations and from all corners of both developed and emerging economies. Reaching out to 21 countries representing 78 percent of GDP, this study provides insight into how current and future generations of female consumers shop and use media differently. The findings are both enlightening and surprising. One universal truth prevails: women everywhere believe their roles are changing and they are changing for the better.

Susan Whiting, Vice Chair, Nielsen revealed the findings from this comprehensive study at Nielsen’s Consumer 360 event in Orlando Florida and spoke with Kasha Cacy, EVP, Director of Communications Planning at Universal McCann to discuss the campaigns they successfully launched to reach and engage the female consumer.

“What was interesting in the findings from the Nielsen study is that while the insights did not completely shock me, bringing the insights together in one place validates the findings we’ve seen from other research studies.”

The common themes around the globe about family and stress levels experienced by women are areas that we’ve addressed with some recent campaigns. “One particular client has taken a hold of that messaging and has started to become an ally to women by using visualizations that paint a more real picture.”

“We arrived at this strategy from talking to women around the globe,” continued Cacy. “Do women not have enough support systems? Are they pulled in multiple directions?” This realization helped to launch the “The Joy Project”, a campaign which helped women remember the joys of parenthood and provided an opportunity to give back with donations to improve the lives of children. “Women want to participate in something bigger and proactive to make the world a better place. “And this is an area that is completely untapped.”

What’s Next
As family dynamics continue to evolve, not only understanding what is happening in the woman’s world, but an understanding of how this is impacting the man’s world is important too. We need to figure out a way to more meaningfully resonate with both groups. In the next five to ten years, more research will be needed to better understand the drivers behind women’s stress levels – will levels continue at the high rate we are seeing or will they level off?

5 Key Learnings to Better Engage with Women:

  1. Invest in her tomorrow.
  2. Ease her worry.
  3. Giver her back time.
  4. Earn her trust.
  5. Connect to the bigger picture.

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