Women: The CFO of the Chinese Household.
By Nielsen - Consumer360
Tuesday, 4th June 2013
Dramatic growth in women's earning and spending power is changing the face of the Chinese market.

Nielsen research shows that women have made huge gains in income and their influence over purchasing decisions is expanding.

"China has seen a huge elevation of women's roles in society. If you are not currently reexamining your approach to the Chinese market, these changes could leave you behind," said Oliver Rust, senior vice president, Nielsen.

Since 1980, women's average contribution to household income has jumped from 20 percent to 50 percent. And seven of the top 13 richest self-made women in the world are from China.

And women see more progress ahead: 86 percent of Chinese mothers believe the future holds new opportunities and financial stability for their daughters, according to Nielsen research.

With this booming confidence, women now have a louder voice in financial decisions even in areas that men have traditionally handled.

"The reality is, they are becoming the CFOs of the household. Chinese women are seeking a bigger role, or at least in equal footing with men to handle the purchasing decisions for big items such as family finances, insurance, electronics and even automobiles," Rust said.

Men spend more time researching product categories like cars and banking and they're willing to spend more on those purchases than women are, according to Nielsen research. Women's expanding influence in these areas creates a new class of consumer needs that must be addressed.

What's the best way to connect with Chinese women? TV is still important, but an integrated marketing approach that includes online is critical. And the power of social media has yet to be exploited to reach women. Only 10 percent of social ads in China are designed to appeal to women. But Nielsen's research shows that 27 percent of women follow their favorite celebrities every day on social media, and 54 percent of women trust social media postings.

"There are 300 million people in China who engage with social media. We want to leverage micro-blogging for product awareness and then transfer that connectivity to social networking sites to build connectivity," Rust said. "The trust of the brand will be built through key opinion leaders, rather than celebrities, since their reputational status will need to be upheld."

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