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Grow Your Business Sales & Marketing

Modern Man 2012: A Marketer's Guide

Man holding child's hand   / Credit: Man holding child's hand image via Shutterstock

If men are your target market, this might be a good time to recalibrate your pitch, a new study suggests. Today's men are evolving and adapting to the challenges of these times—such as  the recession, the increasing number of women who outearn their spouses and men's altered role in the family structure. And they're OK with it.

Men's Health, in partnership with GfK Roper Reports, surveyed more than 3,000 men between 18 and 65 from last May to June for the magazine's online ManScan Study. The study showed that 67 percent of men feel that their overall life is the same as, or better than, it was before the recession. But while they still consider career and finances important, they are shifting their focus to family, social life, emotional well-being and physical appearance and health.

Only 57 percent of men said their career is better than, or the same as, it was before the recession. Even more sobering, though, was their judgment of their financial health. Less than half (42 percent) of the men surveyed said their financial state is better than, or the same as, it was before the recession.

[Men Think About Sleep & Food as Much as Sex]

However, the survey found, there is more that men value than career and money. A majority of respondents reported significant improvements in their relationship with their spouse, social life, physical appearance, emotional well-being and physical health.

Of particular significance, the survey found that men are no longer fixated on the need to be the primary breadwinner. Although 30 percent of women outearn their spouses today, 80 percent of the men surveyed are "completely happy" or "OK" with it, illustrating that men are achieving higher life satisfaction based on more than just their earning status.

And men are learning to share, the survey found. Nearly half (47 percent) of men said they equally share in food shopping with their spouses; sharing work with their spouses also extends to house cleaning (44 percent) and child care (32 percent).

"The data uncovered in the ManScan suggests that as men evolve their attitudes to suit the times, so do their interests, priorities and behaviors," said Cary Silvers, director of consumer insights for Men’s Health. "With men placing more emphasis on being well-rounded, a successful life is determined beyond the traditional narrow dimensions of work and career. Advertisers and marketers should answer with programs that target this modern man — and they already are."

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at nsmith@techmedianetwork.com. Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and has a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.

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