UAE. The region’s female population is making waves that are washing up new demands on products and services, according to Steve Hamilton-Clark, CEO of TNS MENA, the world’s largest custom market research organisation,
He said that in the midst of social change, young women are not shy of individualism and communicating self-identity.
“Global figures suggest that women account for consumer spending worth US$ 20 trillion and a recent study of the female consumer has revealed that women are indeed becoming a major retail influencer in the region.”
Hamilton-Clark was citing the Arab as a Consumer (ARAC) study carried out by TNS in Saudi Arabia, recently. The research among female consumers in the Kingdom unveiled the emergence of new trends and behaviours influenced by sweeping change in the region’s approach to education, an increasingly relaxed press censorship and the empowerment of women.
He said that the report throws the spotlight on interesting trends that will help regional marketers understand this growing market better and in turn change the way they do business.
“Women in the Arab world are building higher public profiles and look to be creating their own space and image. Lists such as the ‘100 Most Powerful Arab Women 2012’ reflect the essence of our findings; women are demanding respect in all aspects of their lives, especially in terms of expressing opinion, and being valued for what they do.”
Hamilton-Clark stressed that this change marks the redefinition of family values and personal relationships as a result of external pressures, and said that traditional husband and wife roles are evolving, and the woman’s role in areas such as child development are also changing.
“This change can be attributed to the awareness of women’s rights influenced by religion, technology, TV, education, and career development.”
Indeed, ARAC findings show that while women currently represent 40 per cent of the global workforce, this figure falls to just 20 per cent in the Middle East. Hamilton-Clark said that this is set to increase as active participation by women in learning, development and the workplace continues and thus positively spurs economic growth.
“In the UAE, women now make up as much as 65 per cent of college enrolments and graduation. Organisations, marketers and governments need to recognise this, and fast.
“As the spending power of women increases, marketers too must acknowledge women as an important growing customer segment that need specific understanding and marketing strategies,” he concluded.
Picture Caption: Steve Hamilton-Clark, CEO of TNS MENA
About TNS MENA
TNS operates across a vast network of over 80 countries and is one of the leading global custom marketing research organisations. TNS MENA was established in 1980 to cater to the growing markets of the Middle East.
Today TNS MENA is one of the largest full-service marketing research agency in the MENA region, with 140+ research consultants delivering accurate business insight and counsel to its 200 plus clients. In the MENA region TNS focuses on creating valuable market research in leading sectors including FMCG, Technology, Finance, Media, Healthcare, Automotive. Every year TNS MENA conducts over 900,000 quantitative interviews and 3,500 qualitative conversations.
TNS MENA has pioneered Consumer understanding studies in regional markets with studies such as Arab as a Consumer (ARAC), Brands, Islam and the New Muslim Consumer (led by Ogilvy), Digital Life and Mobile Life. The Arab as a Consumer study is a syndicated study organised by TNS MENA since 1987. Apart from ARAC, TNS has also conducted Shabab Tek, a youth study that offers unique insights into the GCC youth markets. TNS is now conducting Iraqi As A Consumer 2012 (IRAC), Corporate Reputation Program (UAE and KSA) and MarketSensus (large scale demographic study) in KSA and UAE.