Study: Men Defy Marketing Stereotypes

MediaPostNews, Marketing Daily
Tanya Irwin, April 25, 2011

Men play a crucial role in purchasing decisions—both big and small—that defies stereotypes, according to a new survey about male shopping habits. The web-based survey of 13,000 American adults who listen to rock, alternative, classic rock and sports radio stations, reveals that companies marketing and advertising products to a broad market might need to re-think their long-held assumptions about the value of men.

The “Marketing to Men” survey was conceived by Southfield, Mich.-based research and consulting firm Jacobs Media in response to the trend of media buying demographics shifting away from men and toward women. Many advertisers share the misplaced belief that women are responsible for the lion’s share of household purchasing decisions, according to the research firm.

“We work with our radio clients every day to help them position their male audiences to advertisers and over the past few years, we’ve become frustrated,” says Jacobs Media Vice President/General Manager Paul Jacobs. “There has been a shortage of solid data to help educate marketers about the changing role of men in the purchasing process.”

Marketing products and services in this competitive environment is more challenging than every, Jacobs says. “The last thing agencies should do is limit their sales opportunity due to stereotypes that aren’t relevant today,” he adds. “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.”

The study shows that three of 10 men are single, and more than 80% of them make the sole or key big-ticket decisions in their households. This segment of the male population is a hidden opportunity for marketers—they profile equal to or better than women in their decision-making power and are a significant opportunity for growth.

The also indicates that women agree that men should have major input in decisions about buying big-ticket items. In fact, six in 10 women say a recommendation from a spouse or partner is a deciding factor when making major purchases.

Six in 10 men play a key role in the big-ticket item buying process. They either are the sole decision makers or play a key role in the purchase of items like homes, cars and major appliances.

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