SYDNEY: Children are more influential than ever in their parent’s purchase decisions as gender roles and relationships change in families, new research shows.

“It’s not ‘pester power’ anymore,” according to Kirsty Bloore, Research Director for Viacom International Media Networks Australia and New Zealand.

“Kids are fully involved in the family conversations,” she told the recent Marketing to Mums conference in Sydney. “And parents are really looking to them for their guidance and advice.” (For more on how changing family dynamics are influencing purchase decisions, read WARC’s report: Who’s the boss? Kids influence household purchase decisions.)

With 91% of Australian parents agreeing that it is important to have respect for children’s thoughts, feelings and opinions, and 85% saying a parent should always listen to their child’s opinion before making a decision that affects them, kids have more say than ever before.

Evolving gender norms, especially around fatherhood, have also contributed to new dynamic between kids and parents. Viacom research found that 85% of dads believe caregiving should be divided equally with their spouse while 97% say they play a big role in their child’s life – but this isn’t often reflected in Australian media or advertising.

“One of the things that dads spoke about is that the way they are perceived in the media is not something that they relate to. It is also not something that their partners relate to,” said Bloore.

“Today’s dads are more hands-on, present, proactive and interested. They’re more of a companion or friend. They are rational, patient, understanding and they’re a lot more affectionate and nurturing than their parents were with them," she said.

When it comes to buying things for the household, kids think they play a slightly larger part than their parents say they do: 66% percent of kids aged 6 to 11 say they play a big role while only 60% of parents agree.

“Kids think that they have influence over electronics, telco and pay TV subscriptions, entertainment, food and groceries, restaurants and holidays. With parents, it was ranked slightly differently,” Bloore reported.

Sourced from WARC