Marketing to Your Old Man: Fathers Looking for Inclusion More than Praise

indexA quick survey of consumers might indicate that people think Moms are the biggest researchers and buyers of products for young people.

But a recent eMarketer interview with Toys “R” Us CMO Rich Lennox suggests otherwise. And interestingly, fathers aren’t looking for pats on the back as much as just a seat at the table.

According to eMarketer’s interview with Lennox, that has led to changes in Toys “R” Us marketing.

“We host hands-on, interactive in-store events that are designed for families,” explained Lennox. “In the past, we’ve hosted Father’s Day weekend make-and-take events, such as Lego-building events. We also feature dads in our advertisements. This past holiday season, we ran a TV spot about “Star Wars” merchandise that featured a dad passing his love of “Star Wars” onto his daughter, and it performed very well.”

In fact, men are becoming a bigger audience when it comes to buying for home and family.

“While data shows that women control the majority of household purchasing decisions, we recognize the importance of marketing to men, and dads in particular,” Lennox said. “There’s a stronger emphasis on co-parenting and sharing daily parenting duties, which range from changing diapers and baby-wearing to packing lunches and playtime.”

What do Dads like to see? Pretty much the same things Moms do.

“Data shows that our male consumers are focused on value, similar to their female counterparts,” according to Lennox. “We also know that they like to do a fair amount of research in advance of big purchases. We see that dads rely heavily on web research, as well as hands-on interaction with the products and consultation with in-store experts about the best products for their families and their kids.”

Dads aren’t looking for a medal. They just want to be included, contends Lennox.

“There’s no question that dads today seek validation that they’re doing a good job in the parenting department,” he explained. “That said, dads aren’t looking to be celebrated for doing their job as a parent. They just want to feel included in the process.”