Should You be Marketing Differently to Women and Men?

One of the most common distinctions we make is between men and women. That got me thinking about the real difference between women and men and if it makes sense to adjust our marketing messages based on who’s buying.Portrait of the angry young couple

Here are some interesting stats I pulled from a Freakonomics podcast that explored the differences between men and women:

Currently women make up about 57% of college students and yet women only have 7% of the patents than men. If more women were to patent, it would add 3% to our GDP. And I just heard that women are less likely to get struck by lightning. 80-85%of the lightening fatalities are men. They think that it’s because men tend to be outside more than women and go outside. Men are 4 times more likely to drown. They spend more time in the water, they overestimate their swimming abilities.

Another interesting theory is that women are more uncomfortable with conflict and competition. But to make a long story much shorter — global studies have shown that this really is a function of nurture and culture rather than nature.

How to Market to Men and Women

And there you have it! ?There’s just no getting away from the fact that each gender has its preferences. Here are 5 ways that men and women differ in how they respond to marketing and how to leverage them to make more money.

  1. How to sell:? Men want to see it up front and women as part of the background. So if you’re wanting to sell a car to a man show him all the features up front. But if you want to sell that same car to a women show her the outcome or benefit first, then support it with the features.
  2. How to grab them:? If you’ve got a retail store, know that men care most about accessibility; parking and inventory and women care more about the interaction or relationship with the sales staff. If you’ve got more of a service or online business, you’ll want to make sure to give men access to products and services quickly and have an engaging and friendly site and perhaps a chat box for women.
  3. How to get chosen:? Again, when you think about men, think about focus. Men will outline their criteria, eliminate competing alternatives and then choose. Women will consider the overall picture, match it against the criteria and then choose considering the whole. Say you sell accounting services. A man will make his shopping list, he will search for all the services that meet his criteria, he will eliminate those that don’t have what’s on his list and choose the one that most closely matches his list. Women, on the other hand will still have their criteria, but they will consider all the firms at the same time. They are more likely to adjust their criteria based on the choices that are given if they discover value.
  4. How to brand:? Have noticed the proliferation of men?s cosmetic grooming? products recently? Someone finally figured out that men like to take care of their skin too they just don’t want to use a feminine brand to do that. Men are more sensitive to gender perceptions and are far less likely to use a product that looks and sounds feminine. Women are not as sensitive to this. So if your market is mostly men you want to make sure that your message, brand names and packaging are manly? enough.
  5. How to price: This may not be news to most couples, but women are far more price and value conscious than men. Maybe it’s our ?gatherer? nature, but women will comparison shop (reference my hot to get chosen comments) and they will choose the option that has the highest perceived value. Men (who are the hunters) are more likely to grab and purchase something that most closely matches their list.