Numbers don’t lie

According to a 2012 study by Parenting Group, publisher of Parenting and Babytalk magazines and Parenting.com, and Edelman, a leading global communications marketing firm, statistics show that men are now the primary shoppers in 32 percent of households – more than double the 14 percent rating of two decades ago. That same study, in a Yahoo survey of 2,400 U.S. men ages 18 to 64, found more than half now identify themselves as the primary grocery shoppers in their households, but only 22 to 24 percent feel advertising in packaged-goods categories speaks to them.

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Defy Media investigated tasks of men aged 18 to 49 in 2014. They discovered that 65 percent of men hold the primary responsibility of shopping for several household product categories and 54 percent of married men say they shop for groceries and household supplies more than their spouses.

Phil Lempert has served as a food trends editor for NBC’s “Today Show” since 1991 and is now known as the Supermarket Guru. In a 2015 piece, he noted that according to a new Young & Rubicam study, men now comprise 41 percent of all primary grocery shoppers, but that figure is even higher among dads: 80 percent of millennials and 45 percent among all dads are either the primary or shared grocery shoppers in their families. The study also found that dads are more brand-loyal and less frugal than moms.
These facts alone suggest an invitation to corporate and marketing executives to seriously consider developing a marketing campaign to both parents, without the exclusion of one or the other. The facts are often ignored due to the myths of fatherhood, but the reality speaks of new dynamics.

There is no question parenting has evolved. Dads, as well as moms, have contributed to the new progressive development of today’s modern parents in which roles, like shopping, are shared between parents. This new parenting culture brings up many questions like:

  • Is the relationship between marketing and modern parents changing? How is it possible to not explore or consider dads as valuable customers?
  • How can a marketing department would neglect the obvious?
  • How can a CEO and its board allow all this to be missed, year after year?

Let’s hope that the corporate world soon catches up to modern families who so greatly matter to their bottom line.

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Give it a rest

I feel pretty confident in knowing that if I open a copy of Newsweek, that I’ll be able read about the news. If I pick up TV Guide, it will cover the topic of television. Sports Illustrated, naturally, deals with sports.

What about American Baby magazine? Well, as you might imagine, it discusses babies and parenting. Since most babies aren’t prone to pick up magazines and read them, you would think its primary audience would be parents.

And you would be wrong.

It’s moms.

American Baby magazine, and others like it – Parents, FamilyFun, Parenting, Babytalk – all seem to think that dads don’t count, and don’t exist.

In the November 2014 issue of American Baby magazine, for example, I counted images of 29 moms. And how many dads?

Zero.

Fifty-three pages and not one single dad (note: there were a few male doctors, but no dads).

But the ban on dads doesn’t stop there. It was the tiny little headline (pictured) that makes dads feel useless: “Better rest for you, mom.”americanbabymag2

That also evidences a slight tinge of narcissism. C’mon, don’t dads need rest, too? Don’t dads have a hand in taking care of kids? Just because the baby actually comes forth from a female, doesn’t mean that moms are instantly able to nurture better than dads, or that they must care for them more. Since these magazines believe the falsity that dads are less competent, shouldn’t that be all the more incentive for editors to have some articles scripted specifically toward fathers?

We all know that media has a heavy hand in shaping public perception. If it really wants to be a trustworthy source for news and information, and genuinely speak to all of its readers, then it should live by the adage that parenting involves fathers.

American Baby magazine wants to give mom better rest.

All dad wants is some respect.