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AdAsia: The woman consumer now wields the wallet

By Anindita Sarkar , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | November 03, 2011
The degree of consumption spends by women are consistently increasing. But, are marketers reacting to this significant change?

There is an evident evolution taking place within the consumer's consumption diaspora women have started to vote with their wallets. The degree of consumption spends by women are consistently increasing. But, are marketers reacting to this significant change? Also, does the Asian woman shopper has a different pattern when compared to her Western counterpart?

These were some of the basic questions to which the session titled 'Marketing to Women Consumers in Asia' attempted to seek an answer on the last day of AdAsia 2011.

The session included speakers Yeonhee Kim, senior partner, BCG (the consulting firm Boston Consulting Group), and Abheek Singhi, partner and director, BCG.

Singhi noted that more than 40 per cent of women were dissatisfied with the services provided by categories such as automobile, finance, and even manufacturing. According to him, while the basic mistake that all marketers commit when selling to women consumers is that they 'fail to listen', the other 10 big blunders that they commit are:

Ignoring the importance of emotional appeal
Cutting price to build sales
Changing or introducing offerings within very short time periods
Underestimating the importance of the colour pink
Failing to differentiate from the 'me too' goods
Communicating clumsily
Overlooking the need for time-saving solutions
Ignoring the importance of community
Forgetting design aesthetics
Underestimating the importance of love.

Singhi highlighted that while 98 per cent of men did not know the exact price of the products they carried while walking out of the departmental store, when it came to women, the numbers fell to a 50 per cent. "The point is, two-thirds of the global consumption is controlled by women. And yet, marketers are not catering to them enough," he said.

Talking about Asian women, Kim noted that within the woman consumer segment, the needs of Asian women versus her western counterparts also vary to a large extent.

"However, while Asian women are much more optimistic about their future and community, they still control a smaller portion of the overall spends when compared to her western counterparts," she said.

Kim noted that the progress of women consumers will only continue to grow, and their increased economic influence is going to be an inescapable phenomenon.

"And, there is a vast business opportunity that lies in filling the gap on the time constraints of a woman consumer. This can be done through customised products and service needs," concluded Kim.

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