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.

Let’s stop telling dads they’re not parents

A clear shortcoming of excluding dads from marketing is how it diminishes his ability as a capable consumer.dadshops6

Of course, moms possess no more instinctual ability to purchase items than dads, who are fully fit shoppers. The current message and stigma about dads, however, has trained us to think otherwise. It’s that same messaging that influences moms while they shop on their own. It’s curious to contemplate that while some people believe everything outside the home is a man’s world, the marketing community firmly believes otherwise when constructing messages in relation to everything inside the home.

With all of the emotion, empowerment, and authenticity of advertising directed toward mothers, how constructive are advertisements which speak only to them?

armandhammer1.jpgIn other words, is society really taking mothers seriously when all the focus is placed on them to the exclusion of fathers? Do mothers really want this heap of responsibility when scores of moms incessantly plead for help in the home and caring for children? Do mothers really want it all, as ads so often suggest: motherhood, career, and control of the household and family? Is it fair to portray women solely as happy homemakers in half of the ads and as sex objects in the other half?

Viewed collectively, these ads seem to be at odds with how women are regarded in society and inadvertently places unwanted labels on them.

The subjective conception of such marketing means that women pay a price beyond labels and undesirable pressure.

Humanity will never achieve overall equality for women, particularly at work, until the same equality for men is achieved as parents. The two are intertwined.

When gender stereotypes unfairly discount men as true parents and view women as instinctual caretakers of children, it conveys a message that it’s a man’s world everywhere but home.

Oh, no you didn’t!

The employees of dadmarketing love moms.  We think the world of moms.  We love our own moms.  We think being a mom is a noble calling.

So, it is no wonder, after reading one of the more influential and innovative mommy blogger sites around, we ask why the adoration can’t work both ways?

You’ve no doubt heard of renowned Norwegian mommy blogger Lirpa Sloof. In her latest entry at http://www.dadscantdoanythingright.com, she offers this stunning quote:

“Dads really have no purchasing power whatsoever.  Sure, I see them in stores, but it’s only because they’re handing the credit card to the mom, and then nodding approvingly at everything she buys,”  said Sloof.  “I would argue that dads don’creditcardt even know what that credit card does, nor do they know how to use it.”

Her eye-opening blog continues:  “It would make things much easier if dads couldn’t carry credit cards, and were banned from even entering stores.  It’s not like they do anything useful for their families, unless you count sitting on a couch and watching sports as useful.”

We know there aren’t many mommy bloggers out there, and it’s hard to take issue with what Sloof has to say — she is in a league of her own:  she runs one of the top websites in the history of the Internet, serves as President & CEO of a major worldwide automotive manufacturer, exercises for six hours a day, bakes homemade cookies for her kids, coaches their soccer teams, handles several community fundraisers and serves in the Peace Corps.  During her down time she likes to hand-sew American flags, volunteer at the humane society, write romance novels and pick up refuse in her adopt-a-turnpike program.

I’d go on-and-on, but I have a credit card application to finish.

So what do you think, should men be banned from shopping?  We’d love to hear from you.