The number of single working women in Gauteng constitutes a viable market for financial companies in South Africa. However, the question arises whether companies in South Africa are adequately pursuing the single working women market. Various factors may influence a woman’s decision to purchase a financial product. Knowledge about these factors may help financial companies to more actively pursue the women market. Consequently, this study investigated the factors, which would influence women’s decisions to purchase financial products. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the factors influencing buyer behaviour of single working women, when purchasing financial products or services. Some of the secondary objectives included in this study pertained to the perception of single working women in Gauteng regarding their relationships with their financial advisers, as well as the evaluation of the values and needs of the existing women market pertaining to financial products and services directed towards them. This research study is exploratory in nature, to gain insight into the research problem. An extensive investigation into the relevant literature was done. An empirical study was also conducted and the measuring instrument consisted of a self-administered questionnaire. The population selected consisted of existing clients of four major financial companies in South Africa. The major findings included: women will continue to search for more information than the advice provided by the service provider, regardless of whether the respondents trust or do not trust future recommendations made by their service providers; the majority of the respondents will only sometimes or not at all relate to parental advice, when forming an opinion regarding financial service; and the attribute most important to the respondents was the financial adviser’s reliability when providing advice. Four main conclusions were drawn, namely: the roles portrayed by women in financial advertisements do affect their decision-making; financial companies should focus on improving their business relationships with the respondents to establish complete trust; financial companies have not created loyal customers with their relationship marketing strategies; and the respondents have an objective approach regarding financial purchasing and no longer live in their parents’ shadow. It was, inter alia, recommended that financial companies in South Africa should analyse the preferences of their target groups, before they advertise to them and that they should determine women’s perception of what constitutes complete trust. Financial companies should also be aware of what the customers need and want, in order to design effective relationship marketing strategies. The companies will have to make use of the respondents’ role models (which do not include parents) in their strategies, as the respondents will strongly relate to them and will accept the role models’ opinions as their own. Based on the recommendations, the research study concludes with various hypotheses, which provide direction for future research.
Dissertation (MCom)--University of Pretoria, 2005.