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Have you ever seen a Duluth Trading Company Ad? Here’s one for you:
I LOVE THEM!!! ?They’ve only recently started advertising on prime time, but their unabashedly male focused catalog copy has been one of my favorites for YEARS.
For some reason, we struggle with marketing to men or marketing to women. I think it’s all this politically correct mumbo jumbo that gets us tangled up in our own underwear. This is why I love Duluth. They know exactly who their target customer is, how they feel about clothing and how they WANT to feel about the clothes they wear. They aren’t so focused on a specific demographic of men (although it seems that way) they are focused on mens EXPERIENCE with clothing in general. This means that even my sensitive-new-age-guy husband can relate to the?wonders of Duluth’s “Ball-room Pants”.
What’s Duluth Know That You Don’t?
Marketing in itself is a complex and fascinating subject. Marketing to men specifically, takes us into an area that can be littered with land mines. Knowing your target market is critical to effectively communicating with that market and making sales, which is our ultimate goal. What follows is a blueprint of how to do just that with as few pitfalls as possible. Please understand that marketing is not an exact science and sometimes even the greatest products are marketed improperly. Past history is full of them.
First thing we need to understand as marketers is that men and women are very different as are children and adults. Each one has to be communicated with in a different way and on a different level. When marketing to women, you have to be sure to think like a woman. But for men, you have to put your hard hat on.
In order to do this, we need to understand three basic things about our target market. In this case, men in general, although individuals do have different characteristics and not all men follow the stereotypes. That’s why no marketing plan is going to appeal to everyone. Our job as marketers is to appeal to as large a segment of the male population as possible.
Don’t be afraid, shy or cautious about what it’s like to be a man
So the first of these three things that we need to do is understand how a man thinks and feels. The reason we have stereotypes is because they are often very true. Men are not as emotional as women in general. They aren’t as easily swayed by their emotions as women. They’re more of a “just tell me what the thing does and what it will do for me” kind of person, with an emphasis on what it will do for me. That’s why you see so many bodybuilding promotions simply showing the results of their product. For a man, a picture is sometimes all they need. There are plenty of studies of male psychology around the Internet. To be up on your marketing skills to this demographic, it is recommended that you read at least one of these. That’s your first step in understanding what men feel and want out of life in general.
Run surveys and just plain hang out with GUYS
Next thing you want to do is conduct surveys. Don’t believe everything that you hear and read. Find out for yourself. If you have free space on your web site, assuming you have one, place a survey box on it with some basic questions related to your product. If you’re an offline business, build a mailing list and send out questionnaires. Get as much data as you can. It’s critical to your success.
For example, let’s say you’re selling golf clubs. Golf is a typical thing that a man does in his free time, though women are into it as well. But both have different expectations out of the golfing experience (refer back to how men and woman feel differently) unless of course they’re playing on a pro level.
Ask the prospect what they want most out of a golf club. Is it the feel? Is it how far they can drive the ball over all else? How important is price? Are they more inclined to trust a brand name over a no name brand? And so on.
You can get more information out of surveys then you can by simply trying to guess. Nothing beats going directly to the horse’s mouth for the answer.
Troll the competition. Don’t just copy, look for what’s missing
Finally, and this is so easy to do, is to actually look and see what the competition itself is doing. There is an old rule of thumb in marketing. Your competition will tell you all you need to know about your target market by the way THEY approach that market. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. The successful companies in your niche have already done the leg work. Look to see what the best selling products are in your niche. Then analyze the approach. This is an excellent exercise in improving your own marketing skills as you might see tactics that you might have never thought of before such as using videos or Facebook ads to reach your target market.
What you need to get, more than anything, out of this article is that men and women are indeed different and you can’t market to them the same way. Men, for the most part, are driven by power, money and sex and not necessarily in that order. They need to be in control of their situation at all time. They do not like feeling vulnerable and become very uncomfortable when they are. Don’t try to sweet talk him with how he’ll fall in love with his new Porsche. Just tell him how fast it’ll go and how all the women will be climbing all over him.
In other words, get to the point. What’s in it for him?
Do that, understand his feelings and scope out the competition and you’ll be more than on your way to marketing to a man in a, whether we like it or not, man’s world.