A significant result has emerged from the Gallup Pakistan National Survey, released by the Gilani Research Foundation in August 2016. This was that the number of men who make the buying decisions with respect to household goods, such as groceries, appliances and electronics, has increased by nine percent over the last 15 years – up from 40% (2001) to 49% (2016).
The question posed by the Survey was: “Generally, whose opinion is mostly involved in purchasing brands of different household items in your house?” The Survey is part of Gallup’s History Project.
Bilal I. Gilani, Executive Director, Gallup Pakistan and Gilani Research Foundation, says that the Project “aims to provide an empirical lens to understand Pakistan and its issues, as well as survey related data on the perceptions, attitudes and behaviour of Pakistanis.”
According to Gallup, the sample size of 1,832 was representative of Pakistan’s population across four provinces (constituting 45,000 villages, 500 cities and towns) and mirrored Pakistan’s demographics, as per the 1998 Pakistan National Census, in terms of income bracket (SECs A and B constituted 33% and SECs C, D and E 67%) and the male to female and urban to rural ratios, which stood at 50:50 and 67:33 respectively.
Gilani puts forward several possible reasons for the increase in the percentage of men making purchasing decisions for household goods. The first is that more and more men are “taking an interest in what was traditionally a ‘woman’s domain’; the survey indicates that household decision making is witnessing a balancing act that was much needed.” Another factor is that more women are working and therefore have less time to make such decisions.
Gilani also opines that this emerging trend is possibly linked to advertising and brand clutter. He points out that 15 years ago, there were fewer brands, fewer TV channels and even less advertising, making such decisions a much simpler exercise. He also cites the “relative decline of the kiryana shops in urban centres. These shops which numbered about three million – roughly one shop for every 10 households or one for every 66 people, are now being replaced by cash and carry stores, supermarkets and malls.” This means that women have to go further afield for their shopping and given the general lack of security prevalent in some cities, this may not be an ideal proposition.
Added to these possibilities is the effect of social media (word-of-mouth) and the ability to go online to research a particular product in terms of feature and price comparisons, a behaviour pattern more prevalent among men than women.
Whatever the reasons, this trend has significant implications for both brand managers and media planners, in terms of their creative and media strategies. Given that print media readers – especially among daily newspapers – are predominately male, logic would dictate that brands (in this case household and electronic appliances) where the decision making in terms of purchase is tilting towards men – would look at print as a prime delivery channel.
Mamun M. Adil is Manager, Business Development and Research, DAWN. firstname.lastname@example.org