Women have always been a target-rich audience for marketers. But, given the dynamics of today’s marketplace, I think it’s fair to say that female consumers are having even more of an impact than ever before.
Today’s women are empowered with digital devices, and they’re connecting via social media. That means women are now not only key buyers; they’re also tremendously influential as broadcasters and amplifiers of brand messages, as well.
For example, more than half (54 percent) of the 1,200+ women recently surveyed by Fleishman-Hillard International Communications and Hearst Magazines said they agreed with this statement: “I feel it is my responsibility to help friends and family make smart purchase decision.” Back in 2008, less than one-third of the women polled felt that way.
In addition, one- third of the women in the study reported that they had recommended a product or service during the past six months, and one in five stated that they had advised someone not to purchase something.
Here are a few more key findings that caught my eye:
- The number of brands that women follow on Facebook increased 12 percent in 12 months.
- The percent of women who now use Facebook has grown from 65 to 73 percent in just over a year.
- The average number of friends that women have on Facebook has increased by over 50 since 2010 –increasing from 130 to 187.
- Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of women follow a brand, product or service on Facebook, compared with just over half (52 percent) of men.
The research also revealed that a growing number of women see themselves more as leading a team within their families than in a supporting role. As a result, women now tend to delegate more, rather than trying to carry everything on their own shoulders, and they often consider themselves to be Chief Executive Officer, Chief Financial Officer, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Purchasing Officer of their families. With the economy topping the list of women’s concerns, a full 75 percent of respondents indicated that they shop differently now than they did prior to the recession—something marketers should take into account when crafting product or service messaging.
According to Marlene Greenfield, vice president and executive director of research for Hearst Magazines, these results illustrate just how practical female consumers have become.
“We all must realize that today’s American woman has integrated a pragmatic and purposeful approach to the decision-making process for products and brands alike,” she said. “Therefore, it is important to incorporate more substance and less sizzle when communicating with her.”