Marketing and the differences between men & women


Does your business target both men and women? While the marketing process is the same, the creative and tactical execution is fundamentally influenced by an understanding and appreciation for their differences. Each gender encapsulates a unique story and a lifetime, full of significant moments of joy and sorrow. Today these stories are converging, women want more of what men want, great friends, independence, career, and money.

While there are increasing similarities in male and female character, at the heart of it all are deeply rooted archetypal roles, such as father, mother, nurturing and providing traditions that are engrained into the psyche. Good Marketers recognize and celebrate the hopes and dreams of their target markets by fashioning stories around male and female identity.

Marketing has over time reflected changes in traditional roles to the benefit and detriment of both genders. For example, over the last few years the male character is often portrayed as simple and stupid. The female character as it appears in advertising is more diverse, with the ability to get things done and look great doing it.

Men want to be entertained, they want humour, and they want to see products with true functional applications, they want to know how you use it. Men take less satisfaction from the shopping process itself, therefore anything that helps a man find what he is looking for faster and more effectively is got to be the way to go. Women want to see how products are useful to them, how they might look when they are used, and how they contribute in relationships with others.

Sometimes to market to men you have to market to women as the purchaser. Women buy beer at supermarkets, clothing and food for men, etc. Therefore the purchase proposition must include both parties. Irregardless, think about how the product appeals to the end user, and how does the purchase contribute to satisfy the purchasers need to feel rewarded from the end user.

If you are marketing to both genders, develop features that add value and solve problems. Recognise that your product has attributes that satisfy people on a level that pervades gender differences. Concentrate on the aesthetic commonalities that appeal to both males and females. Explore the emotional and physical responses that are common in all of us.

Extracts assembled from an interview with gift.ed magazine

By Hayden Breese