Man and His Mobile: New Consumer Segments of Today's Male Shopper
No one could have predicted the popularity of mobile devices and just how much they influence the daily lives of consumers. Many view them as an essential tool in purchase decision-making, perhaps in part due to the ability to read reviews and compare prices prior to purchase—and even in some cases during a purchase.
A recent study by Toluna aimed to gain insight into the purchasing behaviors of the modern man by utilizing the very same mobile devices that consumers are using to review and make purchases. By segmenting males into categories, brands can better understand consumer types and predict spend, so Toluna explored a popular male segmentation last used and popularized in Leo Burnett's 2005 'Man' study. The research revealed that, despite having an overall buying power of $170 billion, 74% of male mobile device users born between 1985 and 2004 believe that images of modern men in advertising are unrealistic.
The study, which concentrated on 21-28 year old male shoppers who purchased toothpaste and tooth whitening products, used three different mobile research techniques to delve deeper into the so-called 'Millennial Man': in-store surveying, passive monitoring, and psychographic profiling. In contrast to Burnett's research, which found two distinct segments—"metrosexual" man and "retrosexual" man—the new results revealed a third group: "patriarchal" man. The results also showed a controversial contradiction within Burnett's two identified segments.
The metrosexual male is still seen as a modern man willing to adopt non-traditional roles. He is still more likely to be single, live in urban areas, enjoy work and video games, and have an interest in beauty products. But what the in-store mobile survey revealed is that, rather than being motivated by brand perception and product delivery, the metrosexual male is actually more likely to choose a product based on price. In reverse, the retrosexual man—who was considered to be motivated by price—is actually more likely to buy toothpaste based on brand perception.