Back in June, I posted an Engage:Moms article citing a survey we had done about dads’ role in household purchasing decisions. Based on our long-term experience with moms, we strongly felt that the sudden big buzz about dads’ involvement was significantly overstated – more aspirational than actual — and that part of the misperception resulted from the fact that the bulk of feedback for existing research was coming from dad alone – without mom’s input. We stated clearly at the time that our survey was very limited – reflecting responses from only 200 moms — and that a broader study was necessary to support those findings.
In September of this year we launched that study – this time, of nearly 1,250 couples or 2,500 moms and dads – in partnership with the independent research organization, the NPD Group. Its goal was to separate perception from reality. Once again, the findings supported our view that while dads are more involved than in the past, it’s still mom who rules the roost – and makes the shopping list. I am announcing the results of that survey today, Oct. 23, at M2Moms, the Marketing to Moms Conference in Chicago.
According to the survey, “Are Dads the New Black,” mom remains by far the No. 1 decision maker when buying for home and family. Dads are making inroads, but not to the degree many now assume. And mom’s evaluation of dad’s contribution often differs dramatically from his own.
We asked for moms’ and dads’ view of dad’s decision-making role in 20 different product categories. The survey looked at where dads were “entirely” responsible for a product category, then “primarily” responsible and lastly, where they “shared responsibility equally” with their spouses.
While dads are becoming the “new new thing” among marketers, this study clearly shows where dads are key decision makers today and where they still play minor roles, so that brands can make wise choices when allocating their marketing dollars.