The differences in marketing to men and women

on Tue 4 Jul


When you're putting together your marketing strategy or marketing materials does it ever occur to you that there are real differences between how women and men receive messages and make the decision to buy?


When you think about it a couple of things are quite obvious:


  • Men will look at the usefulness of a product or service and want to know how it works whereas women will want to know exactly what it does and will probably want “emotion-appeal”


  • Men will be happy with a few details focusing on their priorities whereas woman want lots of information and won’t buy until their satisfied.


A logical extension of that was born out in a 2008 study at Massey University s which showed that most women are more interested in comparison shopping than men.  Whilst women will be looking for the better deal, men will be looking for the assurance of a familiar brand.


This also means that women are willing to try out something new or unfamiliar which, in theory, means that a well-conceived and timed marketing piece will have more chance of converting women than men.


On the other hand convincing men to look at the unfamiliar takes far more effort because they are more set in their ways so you are looking at having to put much more time, effort and money into the marketing.


However, on the positive,  men are more forgiving of mistakes in client service – once they like something they are more difficult to lose!


Why are we so different?


It’s all about the brain


Women have a larger prefrontal cortex than men. This has an impact on her emotions and the regulations of that emotion, there’s also more intuitive reasoning.


I read a fascinating example regarding the image of someone having a drink.  When this is shown to men and women they will react in similar ways however show someone having a drink and touching someone else on the shoulder and women’s brains really light up. Astonishing and considerable food for thought…


There's a very interesting article by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen of Cambridge University who suggests that the difference is that women are “empathising “and men are “systemising” Please click here if you’d like to read more about this


Accessible Marketing


Knowing all these things will help you keep on track in terms of things like women being happy to read descriptive text with emotional cues whereas men will prefer bullet pointed lists.


And women will like warm and emotionally appealing messages “L’Oréal – because you’re worth it” but men like practical information “Ronseal – does what it says on the tin”


Think too about how this impacts on websites - men will want to go in and out to get the information or product they need,  but women are much happier to browse. So make sure your website accommodates this.


It may take more time and effort but a tailored marketing strategy really is the way to go. Rather than go for a one size fits all approach you're more likely to succeed in converting your potential clients and customers  by focusing on which of their specific marketing buttons to push. You know where I am if you need some help with that.  


P.S. NOW you know why a couple shopping together is seldom a happy experience. The male partner will say “This will do” whilst the female partner may very well be saying “but what about this one, or this one…or this one” Sound familiar?

P. P.S. If you'd like to download my FREE guide to creating your virtual customer you just have to sign up for my newsletter at the bottom of my home page.

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