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Chinese women: household CFOs

Dramatic growth in women’s earning and spending power is changing the balance of decision making in China.

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 Nielsen senior VP Oliver Rust.

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

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

“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 per cent of social ads in China are designed to appeal to women.

But Nielsen’s research shows that 27 per cent of women follow their favorite celebrities every day on social media, and 54 per cent of women trust social media postings.

“The trust of the brand will be built through key opinion leaders, rather than celebrities, since their reputational status will need to be upheld,” said Rust.

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