Mag Bag: Gender Is Key Factor In Purchasing


Gender Is Key Factor In Purchasing

Gender is a central factor in purchasing decisions, among many other areas of life, but the attitudes of men and women toward brands, products and consumption can change over time.

In order to keep marketers up to date, two big magazine publishers have released data from new studies focused on male and female consumers.

The first survey was performed September 8-15, 2011, by Ipsos Mendelsohn for Fleishman-Hillard and Hearst Magazines. The survey subjects included 1,270 women in the U.S., ages 25-69, with an annual household income of $25,000 or more.

Among other things, the study found that women, in addition to viewing themselves as the primary decision-makers for household purchases, have now assumed a second role as social “broadcasters” who communicate information about brands and products to friends.



Indeed, 54% of women surveyed agree that “I feel it is my responsibility to help friends and family make smart purchase decisions.” That’s up from 31% in 2008, perhaps reflecting the rise of online social media. Thirty-three percent had recommended a product or service in the past six months, and 19% had recommended against a product or service. Sixty-five percent of women are a friend or fan of a company, brand or product on Facebook, compared to 52% of men.

Marlene Greenfield, vice president and executive director of research for Hearst Magazines, noted the implications for marketers: “It is important to incorporate more substance and less sizzle ... crafting the right message and identifying the right media mix requires an in-depth understanding of the target segment and category involved.”

Rodale’s Men’s Health magazine also released the results of “The ManScan,” conducted in conjunction with GfK Roper, which found some important changes in male attitudes, partly in response to continuing changes in male and female gender roles. 

Among other interesting findings, 80% of men said they are okay with their spouses earning more. Likewise, 47% of men said they do an equal amount of food shopping as their spouses, while 44% said they share equally in house cleaning with their spouses. A more modest 32% said they equally share in child care with their spouses.

Parenting and Energizer Host Virtual Science Fair

Energizer is highlighting is new “now that’s positivenergy” ad campaign through a partnership with to support scientific innovation and education. The partnership centers on an “Innovators of Tomorrow” virtual science fair, hosted on Grade-school science experiments will be submitted and displayed online for the chance to win a $5,000 prize.

The campaign includes an Energizer-sponsored booklet of do-it-yourself science experiments in the February issue of Parenting School Years, as well as promotional pages celebrating the “Innovators of Tomorrow” science fair contestants and winner that will run in Parenting throughout the year. The campaign kickoff coincides with Parenting’s first “Genius” issue, a guide to raising smart kids that marks the first of 11 themed issues that Parenting plans to roll out throughout 2012.

WaPo Creates New FP Group

The Washington Post Company is creating a new operating unit based around Foreign Policy. The FP Group will extend the magazine brand into new areas, such as live events, education, books and research services. WaPo also announced that Foreign Policy contributor David Rothkopf will join the company as CEO of the new FP business unit; he will also remain CEO of advisory firm Garten Rothkopf.

De Medeiros to EIC, Men’s Fitness

Michael De Medeiros has been named editor in chief of Men's Fitness, according to American Media Inc. De Medeiros previously served as editor of Maximum Fitness, where he led a redesign including revamped editorial content and layout. Before that, De Medeiros served as managing editor of M magazine.

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