Today’s Woman Is Expanding Her Sphere of Influence Says New Research Study Conducted by Fleishman-Hillard and Hearst Magazines
Findings Shed Light on Ways Female Consumers are Redefining the American Marketplace
ST. LOUIS, Jan. 24, 2012 – Today's U.S. female consumer increases her impact as receiver, broadcaster and influencer of key information, according to a research study published today by Fleishman-Hillard International Communications, a leading global strategic communications firm, in conjunction with Hearst Magazines, the world's largest publisher of monthly magazines. From her ever-expanding social circle to the unique way she buys across categories, the chief executive officer of American households is wielding her consumer influence like never before. Her role as a broadcaster has greatly expanded, as 54 percent of all women agree, “I feel it is my responsibility to help friends and family make smart purchase decisions.”
These latest insights on female consumers were revealed in research conducted by Ipsos Mendelsohn as part of the fourth wave of Women, Power & Money – an industry-leading exploration into the lives and lifestyles of American women. Fleishman-Hillard partnered with Hearst Magazines because of the company's in-depth knowledge of the contemporary woman.
“During the past few years, we have watched the evolution of women and their sphere of influence,” said Nancy Bauer, senior vice president and senior partner, Fleishman-Hillard. “Simply put, when it comes to the dynamics of today's marketplace, women have changed the marketing communications game. The 2012 female consumer is a valuable broadcaster and an amplifier of ideas in the marketplace.”
Her role as the family leader has magnified and continues to evolve. It's less about taking it all upon her own shoulders and more about “leading the team.” Amid the economic adversity that is at the core of her concerns, she is taking even greater control, honing in on priorities and delegating with greater authority. From a political standpoint, women who identified as Republicans indicated those priorities to be their children's future, household budget and child care, while Democrats indicated their core concerns are unemployment and jobs, healthcare and the economy.
“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,” said Marlene Greenfield, vice president, executive director of research, Hearst Magazines. “Therefore, it is important to incorporate more substance and less sizzle when communicating with her. What's more, crafting the right message and identifying the right media mix requires an in-depth understanding of the target segment and category involved.”
Almost as important as how she makes purchase decisions is who she tells before and after the sale. In 2011, more than 50 percent of women surveyed claimed to regularly influence friends and family to buy or not buy a product or service. In 2008 that number was only 31 percent. Research also showed that women use their growing social interaction and influence in a positive manner. According to the study, women are using all of the communications tools in their arsenal, hoping that collaboration will result in a better decision, for herself and those she connects with.
- 33 percent had recommended a product or service in the past six months; while 19 percent recommended that someone not buy a specific product or service.
Social networking channels play large and growing roles in the expansion of a woman's networks and in her everyday life. In less than 12 months, the number of brands a woman follows on Facebook has increased by 12 percent. In addition, the study found:
- 73 percent of women now use Facebook, compared to 65 percent in January 2010
- The average respondent reported having 187 friends, compared to 130 friends in 2010
- 65 percent of women are a friend/fan of a company, brand or product on Facebook, compared to 52 percent of men
Study organizers believe the increased influence of female consumers – combined with an arsenal of new tools and their inherent desire to share what works with others – has evolved the modern marketplace to an extent that established brands need to take notice.
Game-Changers: Women Defining the New American Marketplace was conducted via a 20-minute online survey from Sept. 8-15, 2011, among 1,270 women in the U.S. aged 25-69 with an annual household income of $25,000 or more. For comparison purposes, 263 men were also surveyed.
To download the full report, please visit http://fh.pr/womenpowermoney
About Hearst Magazines
Hearst Magazines is a unit of Hearst Corporation (www.hearst.com), one of the nation’s largest diversified communications companies. With its acquisition of LagardÃ¨re SCA’s 100 titles in 14 countries outside of France, Hearst Magazines now publishes more than 300 editions around the world, including 20 U.S. titles. Hearst Magazines is the largest publisher of monthly magazines in the U.S. (ABC 2011) and reaches 87 million adults (Spring 2011 MRI). Hearst Magazines Digital Media, dedicated to creating and implementing Hearst Magazines' digital strategy, has more than 28 websites and 14 mobile sites for brands such as Cosmopolitan, Popular Mechanics, ELLE, ELLE DECOR, Esquire, Good Housekeeping, Marie Claire and Seventeen, as well as digital-only sites such as Delish.com, a food site in partnership with MSN; MisQuinceMag.com; and RealBeauty.com. Hearst Magazines has published more than 150 applications and digital editions for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, as well as the Droid platform. In addition, the company includes iCrossing, a global digital marketing agency.
Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world. Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe. Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos has a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2010, Ipsos generated global revenues of â‚¬1.140 billion ($1.6 billion U.S.). Visit www.ipsos.com to learn more about Ipsos' offerings and capabilities.