Marketing to men? Careful of these three mistakes.

DATE:March 8, 2017

For a long time, marketing to men took a very one dimensional approach and focused largely on stereotypes. Today, men have become increasingly involved in childcare, household duties and in female-dominated professions; just as women are no longer the only ones held responsible for childcare and homemaking. While men and women are different, the stereotypical stark contrast of earlier decades is starting to fade away.

As former definitions of masculinity and femininity continue to be challenged, it’s time to rethink your marketing strategy to keep up. We’ve written about the mistakes you may be making when marketing to women and now we’d like to turn our attention to any flaws you may have in your marketing strategy if your target audience is men.

Mistake #1: Misunderstanding how they shop.

In this case, one stereotype does prove truthful. Men tend to spend significantly less time browsing, preferring instead to focus on their original need rather than other options. They don’t necessarily dislike shopping, in fact, 43% of affluent men (more than $100,000 in household income) view shopping as relaxing and enjoyable. Male consumers tend to do their research on what they need ahead of time and then stay focused when they go to buy. They also spend more per shopping trip than women and shop less often.

Mistake #2: Thinking they won’t share their experience.

Positive shopping experiences and purchases will travel in men’s social networks. Nearly 45% of men shared stories about a positive experience online with a brand. This is a powerful statistic since 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know over other types of advertising. So while women are generally considered the best at word-of-mouth marketing, don’t disregard men’s role.

Mistake #3: Disregarding generational differences.

Millennial men are very different than the men of Gen X and Baby Boomers and you should be adjusting your marketing strategy to capture each accordingly. Millennial men are more likely than any other generation to use social media to search for brands and view the information they find as trustworthy. Xers and Baby Boomer men spend more time watching TV than Millennial men and are also less likely to use music streaming services. The ways in which the different generations of men use media—digital or otherwise—is important to understand in order to be effective at reaching them where they ‘hang out,’ so to speak.

The way men and female brains are wire can even have an influence on the way they shop and make decisions. This Guided Selling article offers some additional aspects to differences in men and women’s purchasing habits which include which gender is more apt to respond to paid advertising vs. email vs. online options.

Looking for additional ways to market to men (or women)? We’d love to help you create the best print pieces for your target audience—no matter the gender.  Let’s chat!

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