July 12th, 2011
02:44 AM GMT
(CNN) - A recent study released by the Nielsen Company that examines the consumer and media habits of women in emerging and developed countries has found that women in India are the most stressed – and they spend differently.
The Women of Tomorrow Study, which examined 6,500 women across 21 different nations from February through April 2011, found that an overwhelming 87% of Indian women said they felt stressed most of the time, with 82% claiming they had no time to relax.
Indian women are not alone. The vast majority of Mexican (74%) and Russian (69%) women surveyed also reported feeling stressed.
List of 21 countries surveyed in order of most stressed women:
Reuters noted from the survey that despite being the most stressed, Indian women were also the most likely to spend disposable income on themselves. Over three quarters said they would splurge on health and beauty products, while 96% responded that they would buy clothes.
Across the board, women in developing economies spent more of their additional cash on clothes, health and beauty items, groceries and education for their children. Women in the developed economies surveyed dedicate more of their cash to vacations, savings and paying off debt.
“Women across the globe are achieving higher levels of education, joining the workforce in greater numbers and contributing more to the household income,” said Susan Whiting, vice chair of Nielsen, in a release that accompanied the survey. “Women are increasing their spending power, and with that they gain more control and influence over key household decisions. As a result the women of today and tomorrow are powerful consumers and understanding their habits and attitudes is critically important for marketers and advertisers.”
Nielsen’s survey found that worldwide, women play multiple roles that contribute to their stress levels, but that the social infrastructure allowing them to navigate these roles differed between emerging and developed markets. As a result, women in emerging markets tended to be more stressed than women in the developed world, with women in India, Mexico and Nigeria feeling the most time-pressured.
So why exactly are women in emerging markets more stressed than women in developed countries? The Economic Times suggests that, in the case of India, companies and workplaces have developed whilst society has remained static, meaning that women must juggle a modern career and busy home life as well as conforming to traditional standards.
Although times appear to be changing – women surveyed in emerging economies saw the financial stability, education and access to technology for their daughters improving faster than their counterparts in the developed world.
With time-pressured but empowered women controlling household budgets, how should marketers go about getting them to loosen their purse strings? The key, it seems, is social media.
Irrespective of their global location, women are more prolific users of social networking than men. Women talk 28% more and send 14% more texts than men every month, and also visit more Internet community sites than their male counterparts. More than half of women in both developed and emerging countries say that computers, mobile phones and smart phones have changed their lives for the better.
“To connect with women, strategies should be social and relevant,” said Whiting, noting that women’s increased use of social networking meant that they followed brands more than men.
Nielsen’s results show that older forms of advertising still hold sway. In 17 of the 21 countries surveyed, television was rated the number one source for finding out about new products and stores. Yet around the world, over 70% of women in developed and over 80% of women in emerging markets completely or somewhat trust word-of-mouth recommendations over all other advertising mediums.
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