We live in a world where women make up about 70 – 80% of consumer purchases. Nielson’s “Women of Tomorrow” study conducted in 2011 polled 6500 women in 21 countries throughout the world to find out what factors affected women’s buying decisions. Here are some takeaways to help marketers effectively reach out to the world’s most important consumer.

Women’s roles are changing in the consumer world. Women, especially those in the developed countries, are responsible for buying decisions that affect their whole family and increasingly they are buying products and services that go beyond traditional purchases like food, clothes and beauty products. In fact, more women are responsible for home, auto and financial purchases too.

Marketers need to find ways to reach women more effectively, and that begins with understanding the behaviours that motivate women to act. The Women of Tomorrow study conducted by Nielson, an organization that studies consumer behaviour worldwide, found that 90% of women believe their role is changing for the better and as a result women have more buying power than ever; not just for themselves but for their families too.

Here are three important takeaways from Nielson’s study that will help marketers determine strategies that capture the interest of the world’s most important consumer: women.

Women want products and services that make their lives easier.

Today’s women juggles several roles as a caregiver, wife and professional. As a result, women are feeling more stressed and pressed for time. Nielson’s study found that women in their 30s are the most stressed when compared to their mothers and grandmothers because their household income has not yet reached it’s full potential. Businesses can be more effective by tailoring their message to identify with different generations of women.

Most women rely on word of mouth, tv and print marketing.

Referrals from friends and family remain the biggest driver of consumer decisions, but television, internet, newspaper and direct mail are also huge influencers of women’s buying decisions (developed countries). Less than 20% of these women rely on ads found in social media, video, web and mobile.

Brand loyalty depends on quality not cost.

In both developed and emerging markets, women value quality of products and services over other factors including price, efficacy, innovation and familiarity. Price is certainly an important factor in women’s consumer habits, but it failed to make the top three criteria for brand loyalty.

Engaging with Female Consumers

A Nielson.com newswire article offered these 5 strategies to businesses seeking to better engage with female consumers:

  1. Invest in her tomorrow.

  2. Ease her worry.

  3. Giver her back time.

  4. Earn her trust.

  5. Connect to the bigger picture.

How is your business engaging women? Tell us what you think in the comments below.