The Birds and the Bees of Marketing
by Kathleen Giese on April 18th, 2011
Although it may not be politically correct to discuss the differences in men and women from a marketing standpoint, it is a topic worth thinking about. It would be grand if we could market our product to every single person with the same advertising. But let’s be real; life is not that easy! We need to rethink who makes key purchase decisions, and if gender may be something to consider.
Men are from Venus, Women From Mars
Wait, you are right; we got it mixed up! Generally, men and women react in different ways to design, imagery, and content in marketing campaigns. Martin Evans, professor of marketing at Bristol Business School, says “In short, men want a message, women want a mood.” (Note: With this being said, please take it with a grain of salt. In this type of research there will be generalizations made and we apologize if anyone takes personal offense.)
Men Love Manipulation
Or so we women like to think, but boy, are we misguided! Apparently, men want everything fast and simple. This means marketing that grabs their attention and follows with bullet points, facts, and figures. Also, men are more prone to impulse buying and prefer free gifts. However, men do not like bright colors; they feel bold colors are a manipulative tool in marketing.
On the other end, females prefer emotionally driven advertising filled with bright coloring. Opposite to men, women find free gifts suspicious and enjoy detail. According to Paco Underhill, a nationally acknowledged author in environmental psychology, women prefer to have multiple options and feel as if they formulated their own, unique decision.
The Relation Between Belt and Pants
Underhill examined gender preferences in retail shopping. While men prefer to have the belts directly next to the pants, women prefer creating the outfit and searching for each article of clothing. After observational research, Underhill found women would not choose a belt placed next to the pants, mainly because that would make the experience too easy. Hence, we need to be conscious of how to appease women’s creativity and thought process while still making a sale.
How Does This Apply to Me?
Well, gender differences still apply when men and women are online. We must be cautious of our design and wording when we are targeting men versus women. Know your audience and speak the language that they speak. Easier said than done, but oh, so important. Have you considered the differences in gender and how important this may be in marketing campaigns?
Galdwell, M. (1996, Nov 4) The Science of Shopping. The New Yorker.
Swengley, N.(1999, April 30) Women like their Mail to be Moody; While Males Want to Cut Straight to the Point. The Evening Standard. 23.