Charting the Industry: Craft Messages of Ease in Times of Stress

A Nielsen report released in Nov. 2011, “Women of Tomorrow: U.S. Multicultural Insights,” looks at the world’s most powerful demographic—women—who control the majority of household spending decisions. Their influence is growing, and they are increasingly exercising this newfound power in a variety of ways. It is only natural that communicators worldwide would take notice and seek ways to better reach women in terms of the media they watch and the products they buy.

Nielsen surveyed women across generations not just in the U.S. but from all corners of developed and emerging economies, gaining insight into how current and future generations of female consumers shop and use media.

While there are differences—especially between women from developed countries and those from emerging countries—there is one very positive commonality: Women believe their roles are changing for the better.

However, as women around the world have taken on more roles outside of the home, they have become increasingly stressed, juggling various responsibilities.

In the U.S., Asian-American women felt the highest levels of stress, with more than half (58%) saying they often felt pressured for time, 46% saying they have no time to relax and 48% saying they felt stressed or overworked “most of the time.” These rates were far higher than those for women of other cultural backgrounds (see chart for details). Communicators looking to reach the women of tomorrow should take heed: Conveying messages of ease, convenience and making lives simpler is going to be essential to success.

Those types are messages are central to PR at Intel, says Alison Wesley, the tech giant’s PR manager.

“Given there are more screens than ever, women are still seeking the right balance of when to use digital technology and when to find the space in which to ‘unwire,’” Wesley says.

The key to reaching women whose work/life balance is off-kilter is to talk about what matters to them, says Veronica Marshall, managing supervisor/multicultural specialist at O’Malley Hansen Communications. For example, continues Marshall, on behalf of Hanesbrands’ Bali Intimate Apparel, O’Malley visited Circle of Sisters, the largest event catering to women of color in the U.S. Bali hosted two well-attended workshops that featured celebrity stylist Jennifer Rade and well-known lifestyle blogger Afrobella ( that focused on how shapewear can be comfortable and make you confident, says Marshall. Now that’s a stress reliever.

The study also found that today’s American women love media and technology as much as men do, if not more—most likely good news for Intel.

Women may not be early adopters of new technology, but they are heavy users of established technologies. Women of all cultural backgrounds use media in similar ways, with one key exception: smartphones. Just 33% of Caucasian women have a smartphone in their household, compared to penetration rates in the 60s for women of other backgrounds.

“Multicultural audiences are not as reliant on traditional channels as before,” says Marshall. “Word-of-mouth communications is still important and social media, and mobile technology is becoming a critical part of the mix.”

Perhaps the overarching lesson of these study findings? “Women cannot be categorized into one broad lump,” says Intel’s Wesley.


Alison Wesley,; Veronica Marshall,

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