Men Playing More Active Role in Making Purchase Decisions

Moms are more often the marketing target, with their traditional status as household decision-makers, but modern men are playing a greater role in family life these days and should not be ignored.

According to the Jacobs Media “Marketing to Men” survey of over 13,000 adult radio listeners, men are no pushovers when it comes to making purchase decisions. In terms of big-ticket items, 59.1% of men considered themselves either the sole or key decision-maker in the household, compared with 55.7% of women.

Even for smaller items (under $500), such as clothes, electronics and entertainment, 69.2% of men were the sole or key decision-makers. This was less than the 72.4% of women who said the same, but still a large response.

About 3 out of 10 men are single, making them the sole decision-makers for every purchase. But the remaining 70% who are relationships also have a big influence. Women reported being heavily dependent on their spouse/partner for recommendations: 90% of females surveyed cited their significant other as important when purchasing big-ticket items.

While men may share as much of the responsibility for making purchase decisions as women, they shop differently. In the Jacobs study, research was more likely to play a part in the purchases of men, while impulse buying played a bigger role in the purchases of women.

This research often translates to coupon usage, which is not stereotypically a male activity. While not necessarily as heavy users of them as women, nearly a quarter of men used coupons frequently and another 45% occasionally.

”The last thing agencies should do is limit their sales opportunity due to stereotypes that aren't relevant today,” says Paul Jacobs, vice president and general manager at Jacobs Media. “In the 21st century, men are emerging as an incredibly valuable component in the marketing mix. They make purchases on their own, and have significant input in the decision-making process in the majority of households. And single men are a bonus. Advertisers ignore men at their own peril, opening up opportunities for competitive products and brands.” Marketers will have to pay attention to more than just moms to influence family shopping choices.

[Source:  "Marketing to Men."  Jacobs Media.  25 May 2011.  Web.  9 June 2011.]