Rising economic power brings stress, hope to South African, Nigerian women

New Nielsen study examines what women around the world watch and buy, outlook for the future.
Women around the world are expanding beyond traditional roles to influence decisions in the home, in business and in politics, creating a massive opportunity for marketers to better connect them with the products they buy, the media they engage with and the technologies they use to do so. For a new report, Women of Tomorrow, Nielsen surveyed women across generations and from 21 developed8* and emerging** economies - including South Africa and Nigeria - and while women across the world don't necessarily agree on how to, for example, utilize increasing incomes, one sentiment prevails: women everywhere believe their roles are changing for the better, and in emerging economies, women are confident that this trend will continue and create opportunities for future generations.

Key global findings from the report include:
  • 90% of women believe their role is changing for the better
  • They believe there is a vast horizon of opportunities, but a plateau of hope has formed in developed economies
  • Women are increasingly empowered, but also increasingly stressed
  • Women want to share responsibility for life decisions
  • Across generations, women are alike in many ways, but also unique
  • Social media has become an indispensible tool
  • Just 10% of women are highly influenced by web ads with social context
  • She trusts those she knows
  • TV is the preferred source to get information about new products and services
  • Across 95% of countries, quality is the top driver of brand loyalty
Of the more than 3,000 women Nielsen surveyed in emerging markets, 600 were in South Africa and Nigeria. In face-to-face interviews with women in those countries, Nielsen found:
  • Women everywhere are pressured for time, have little time to relax and feel stress/overworked, but women in emerging countries feel the strain even more than those in developed economies. Almost two-thirds (62%) said they often feel pressured for time, 55 percent said they rarely have time to relax and 49 percent said they feel stressed/overworked most of the time. Sixty four percent (64%) of South African women and 58 percent of Nigerian women polled also feel stressed and pressured .
  • Optimism for future generations. More than 77 percent of women in emerging countries believe the future will be brighter for their daughters, with Nigerians among the most optimistic at 89 percent (tied for second with Malaysians and coming after Turkey at 92%).
  • Saving for education is a top priority. More than half (56%) of women in emerging countries said they plan to allocate funds for their children's education, compared to just 16 percent of women in developed countries. Nigerian women topped the list with 85 percent saying it was a priority compared to 54 percent of South Africans.
  • When it comes to online advertising, women in South Africa were among the least persuaded by any of the three major forms (standard, standard in social context, ad as part of newsfeed update.
  • Television ranked as the most important form of media women rely on to get information about new products in all of the emerging countries. In Nigeria, radio ranked second followed by word of mouth; in South Africa, newspapers took second and magazines ranked third.
  • Internet access and use of smartphones varied widely. While overall mobile phone penetration in emerging countries is high (90%), smartphone penetration remains low. In Nigeria, 42 percent of women own a smartphone compared to just 13 percent in South Africa. Internet penetration among Nigerian women is 22 percent compared to 19 percent for South African women. More Nigerian women own smartphones than computers, and they are interested in using them for a variety of applications (with younger, better educated women in megacities indicating a particular interest in financial research). South African women under age 44 were more willing to consider using different smartphone features.
  • Quality is the number one driver of brand loyalty in 20 of the 21 countries studied. South Africans ranked price second followed by familiarity. Nigerians said that familiarity ranked second and efficacy ranked third.
  • South African women rank price as the most important driver of purchasing decisions, with convenience also being important. Quality ranked twelfth.
"Women across the globe have become a more powerful force to be reckoned with. They have better access to education and are joining the workforce in greater numbers, resulting in them having more spending power and contributing more to household incomes," said Diane Johnstone, Managing Director, Nielsen Southern Africa. "Knowing precisely what drives women's purchase decisions, what messages resonate with them and what forms of media they trust is valuable information for the marketers of today and tomorrow. They have a massive opportunity to better connect women with the products they buy and the media technology they use to make a positive impact both in their lives and on the bottom line."

The full global Women of Tomorrow Study may be downloaded here.

* Developed markets: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Japan, Australia, South Korea
** Emerging markets: South Africa, Nigeria, China, India, Thailand, Malaysia, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, Russia
*** The study was fielded before the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami.

About The Nielsen Women of Tomorrow Study
The Nielsen Women of Tomorrow study was conducted between February and April 2011, polling nearly 6,500 women in 21 developed and emerging countries throughout Asia Pacific*** , Europe, Latin America, Africa and North America. The sample was fielded using an online methodology in developed countries and a mixed field approach of online, central location or door-to-door interviewing in emerging countries. The margin of error is ± two points. The countries in the study represent 60 percent of the world's population and 78 percent of the GDP.

About Nielsen
Nielsen Holdings N.V. (NYSE: NLSN) is a global information and measurement company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and related properties. Nielsen has a presence in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA and Diemen, the Netherlands. For more information, please visit www.nielsen.com.

1 Jul 2011 10:53


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