Do women really control the purse strings?

by Carl Natale on August 26, 2010

Flickr photo by The Consumerist

Flickr photo by The Consumerist

It seems to a cliche to say that the woman does all the shopping in the relationship. There is some research that finds that when men and women in a relationship act as partners in a purchase, the woman is key:

And further,  Marti Barletta notes that even though men are present and appear in control during the purchasing stage when they pull out the credit card or sign the contract, they are not really in control of that stage either – they just think they are. A lot happens way before then that actually determines the decision of what is bought.

via Men, Women Lead 4 Out of 5 Stages of the Buying Process « She-conomy.

I’m not sure about the conclusions that women are in control. Seems to me that relationships are complicated arenas where you can’t predict the dominant personality based upon gender. Or maybe I’m just being a man.

It’s possible Barletta’s book, Marketing to Women and PrimeTime Women, has the research to back up that assertion. What’s worth remembering is that the purchase is broken into five stages:

  1. Kick-off
  2. Research
  3. Purchase
  4. Ownership
  5. Word-of-mouth

Marketing needs to address all five stages not just the point of purchase. Whether the dominant player is male or female, you need to connect at each stage.

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