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Men Put on the Dad Lens When Buying for the Family

Everyone knows how important it is to market to moms, but what about dads? A survey by the newly formed Dad Central Consulting (an off-shoot of Mom Central Consulting) says that  92% of dads put on their special “Dad Lens” when shopping for the family.

What this means is that they use a different set of criteria when choosing items such as groceries, cars and home entertainment, than they used before they had kids. For marketers, this is a significant piece of information. Now, instead of marketing a car to men for its good looks and speed, this survey would suggest you go with safety and room to grow.

The survey also found that 77% of dad said being a parent significantly influenced their decisions and 82% said being a dad influenced who they trusted when seeking advice.

When it comes to asking for advice, the majority of the men said they trust the opinion of a spouse, slightly more than half said they trust parents with friends and the kids themselves ending up pretty low on the scale.

There are three areas where friends and other dads rated higher on the trust scale; technology, sports and cars.  To get this number, the survey asked dads what they bought recently after getting the advice of another dad and the list is kind of frightening.  Lawn mower, BB gun and fertilizer made it to the list along with baby food, car seat and organic veggies. If there’s a marketing lesson in that, I can’t find it.

There is a lesson in the way dads say they communicate with each other. 80% chose one-on-one conversations, 86% chose work, followed closely by email and activities with children. I assume that last one means chatting with dads at soccer practice, that kind of thing. Online community sites only polled at 17% but Facebook came in at 58%.

Stacy DeBroff, founder of Mom Central had this to say:

“We recognize that Dads play an increasingly important role in family purchase decisions. Whether the prevalence of dual-income families where both parents take an equal role in raising their children, the growth of single fathers raising children, or the active involvement in roles traditionally held by Moms, the influence of Dads has never been greater.”

Have you ever tried marketing traditional “mom” products to dads? We’d like to hear about it.

  • Ann Williams

    Nifty article! Leave no Dad behind! Very useful info.