Women, who have long been considered the CEOs of the American household, are exerting more influence than ever before on the purchases they make for themselves, and they’re exerting greater influence over their friends’ purchases as well, according to a new research study from Fleishman-Hillard International and Hearst Magazines.
According to the fourth “Women, Power & Money” study, 54% of American women believe it’s their responsibility to help their friends and family make smart purchase decisions, and a similar number said they regularly influence friends and family to buy or not buy a product or service. When the first study was conducted in 2008, only 31% felt they regularly influenced those decisions.
“A lot of outside forces have magnified their role and how they’ve stepped up and taken the reins of that role,” Nancy Bauer, senior vice president and senior partner at Fleishman-Hillard, tells Marketing Daily. “The recession has really moved women into the role of helping each other.”
And help each other they have. According to the survey, a third of women (33%) have recommended a product or service in the past six months. Only 19% said they recommended that someone should not buy a specific product or service.
“They’re going to talk about good experiences with products and services,” Bauer says. “[She’s] looking for practical solutions. [She] wants to know a product is reliable and that it’s good.”
And most of their influence is coming through social networks. In the past year, the number of brands a woman follows on Facebook has increased 12%. (And 65% of women are a friend or fan of a company, compared with 52% of men.) At the same time, 73% of women use Facebook, compared with 65% in 2010.