Despite high rates of technology penetration among women in both developed and emerging global markets, recommendations from people they know are the most trusted source of information for women, according to a June 2011 study from The Nielsen Company. Data from “Women of Tomorrow” indicates 73% of women in developed countries and 82% of women in emerging countries trust this type of recommendation.
Women in Emerging Markets Trust Paid Ads More
Following personal recommendations, women in both developed and emerging countries rank various types of paid advertising in roughly the same order in terms of trust, but women in emerging countries trust them at much higher rates. For example, branded websites are the second-most-trusted source of information in emerging countries (60%) and third-most-trusted in developed countries (32%), but the rate of trust is almost twice as high in the emerging world.
Text Ads Least Trusted
Across the countries included in the study, the majority of women say they are most reticent to trust text ads on mobile phones (44% in developed countries 30% in emerging say they do not trust vs.), ads on social networks (38% developed and 23% emerging), and ads on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablet computers (37% developed and 22% emerging). As would expected, response rates for this question are the inverse of the previous question, with much higher rates found among women in developed countries.
TV, Word-of-Mouth Tops for New Products
When it comes to getting information about new products, television continues to be the most pervasive form of media and is the number one source that women rely on across continents. In 10 of 10 emerging markets and in seven of 11 developed markets analyzed, television outranked 14 other sources of information.
Word-of-mouth was listed as either the second or third choice in nine of 10 emerging markets and in eight of 11 developed markets. Printed newspapers and magazines was another popular source of information for women in emerging markets, while the use of the Internet was more pervasive in developed markets.
Social Ads Have Low Influence
Women in emerging countries are more highly influenced than women in developed countries. There is a fairly even distribution among the type of web ads that are most persuasive. Standard web ads that have a social context showing which friends liked or followed an advertised brand has the slight edge over web ads that appear as a newsfeed update or standard web ads.
Indian, South Korean Women Most Influenced by Social Ads
In emerging countries, women in India are most highly influenced by all three types of web ads and women in South Africa and Russia are least persuaded. In developed countries, South Korean women are most influenced by social media advertising and women in Australia and Sweden are most impartial.
TV, Cell Phone Penetration Near Universal
Among women in both developed and emerging countries, respective penetration of TV (95% and 98%) and cell phones (95% and 89%) is near universal. Women in developed countries have much higher rates of internet connection (90% compared to 46%) and smartphone ownership (37% compared to 18%).
Women More Engaged in Online Purchase Categories
Online shopping is popular among both sexes in the US, with almost three-fourths of women (72%) and more than two-thirds of men (68%) having shopped online in the past 30 days during Q4 2010, according to previously released Nielsen data. Consumers of both sexes age 35 to 54 had the highest levels of online shopping activity (74%). Women led most online purchase categories except music (the genders tied with 11% engagement), auctions (men have 30% higher engagement, 13% to 10%) and computer hardware (men have 150% higher engagement, 10% to 4%).
The online purchase category where women have the largest advantage in engagement is cosmetics (267% higher engagement, 11% to 3%).
About the Data: The Nielsen Women of Tomorrow Survey was conducted between February and April 2011 and polled nearly 6,500 women in 21 countries throughout Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, Africa and North America. The sample was fielded in developed countries using an online methodology. In emerging countries a mixed field methodology (MFM) approach of online, central location and/or door-to-door interviewing was used. The countries in the study represent 60% of the world’s population and 78% of GDP.
In addition, results from the Nielsen Q1 2011 Global Online Survey were referenced and they are noted in the respective charts. The Q1 Global Online Survey was fielded March 23 – April 12, 2011.