Digital Dads: I’m Not a Subsegment

Digital Dads: I’m Not a Subsegment
Digital Dads: I’m Not a Subsegment

Moms have long been the focus of marketing messages for most consumer packaged goods brands, but now it's time for advertisers to start thinking about dads too. In a new study with DB5 and Hunter, Yahoo! examined the evolving role of men in household purchase decisions.

We found that in today's economy, men are playing a bigger role in the shopping process, and they expect their role to grow even more in the coming years. Yet, they don't feel that marketers in traditionally mom-related categories are speaking to them — these include categories such as CPG, pet, home goods, apparel, child and baby care.

To provide a deeper understanding into this emerging trend, we surveyed more than 1,000 dads and conducted in-depth interviews and shop-alongs with 26 dads. By understanding the role of men and dads in today's household and how their shopping experiences differ from moms, marketers can improve their communication with men and ultimately move more product.

Key Findings and Implications

  1. Dads are more involved in household tasks and purchase decisions.

    • 51% are responsible for grocery shopping

    • 41% are responsible for the laundry

    • 40% are responsible for the house cleaning

    • 39% are responsible for the cooking

    • 60% for CPG products

    • 55% for personal care products

    • 54% for home goods

    • 43% for child and baby products

  2. Dads and moms shop differently.

    • Dads find shopping more personally enjoyable than moms.

    • Dads are more likely to buy premium and branded products, as they are more brand conscious than moms.

    • They are more influenced by research online. 8 in 10 dads will leverage a plethora of online resources, such as review sites, retailer sites and even online ads, to learn about and decide on brands from "unconventional" categories.

  3. Currently, ads from traditional mom categories don't speak to dads and they are craving for them to improve.

    • Provide more category information. 68% of dads mentioned this.

    • Improve tone. 61% stated tone could be improved, for example making dads feel empowered.

    • Improve relevance to who they are as fathers. 53% wanted this.

    • Use ads to educate. 68% said that ads are a great way to learn about things.

  4. Other fun facts about dads:

    • The mobile phone is a shopping research extension for the future.

      • 46% of dads use their mobile phones to shop for one of the 14 categories studied — 12% used it to find packaged food and beverage product information, 11% for baby products, and 16% for personal care products

    • Compared to non-dads, advertising & advocacy is more prevalent.

      • 68% say ads are a great way to learn about things (vs. 61%)

      • 66% like to talk about great products (vs. 60%)

      • Twice as many dads say they have large social networks (49% vs. 26%)

      • More likely to advocate for a product (58% vs. 42%)

The Bottom Line

Advertisers for traditionally female household categories should consider adjusting the tone and messaging of their ads to include dads. By incorporating information dads can use to make an informed purchase and acknowledging that they have a stake in purchase decisions, savvy marketers can take advantage of this prime opportunity to build brand loyalty with an emerging audience.

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