The website She-Conomy (a site that focuses on the business of marketing to women) recently published the article “Men, Women Lead 4 Out of 5 Stages of the Buying Process.” This interesting article discusses Marti Barletta’s research in the book Marketing to Women and how when “men and women buy as partners, women control at least four out of five stages of the purchasing process.”
The five stages of the buying process are Kick-off, Research, Purchase, Ownership, and Word-of-Mouth. Barletta’s research found that the only stage of the purchasing process men dominate is the actual laying down of the cash, and that women are in control of the other four. Then, she implies that men don’t actually control the buying, even though they think they do.
The explanation about the Research stage of the buying process is eerily similar to how we plan purchases in our home, except it isn’t always me taking on this role:
Once the decision has been made to make a purchase, it is the woman who does research to develop the short list. She may begin with numerous options, but she is very detail oriented as she narrows the field … They consult with close friends and family, as well as experts, Web social networking, local news and magazines. Once she feels she has investigated all of her options thoroughly, she compiles the short list or makes a final decision.
It is this list or choice that she shares with the man. So if your product or service doesn’t make it on this list, it is very unlikely it will be considered when it comes time to make the purchase. After all of the research and time she has put into it, she typically knows exactly what she wants.
In my relationship with my husband, we usually alternate who is the researcher and who is the buyer based upon who is interested in the purchase. Having the researcher not being the person who is putting down the money for the product usually means that we’re spending more wisely than we do independently. We’re smarter consumers because there are two of us involved in the process.
Even if the research is true and the majority of women in relationships do control the five stages of the buying process, it doesn’t always have to be this way in your home. You can mix things up as a way to keep your spending in check and be smarter consumers. If you’re not in a relationship, you can use these five stages as a checklist to ensure that you’re being a smart consumer and not simply purchasing things on impulse.
Overall, I found this article to be a fascinating analysis on the buying process and how products find their way into our homes. The more we know about the science of buying, the better, more informed consumers we can be.
Thanks to reader Deb for introducing us to this research.