The 411 on Marketing to Men
When you break it down, marketing is all about understanding your audience — what they like, dislike, feel passionate about, and most of all, what you can say or do to elicit a response from them. Personalities, interests, and purchasing behaviors differ greatly between men, women, children, and other groups of consumers — and not always in the ways we might think.
For marketers, this makes demographic data essential. There are plenty of misconceptions about men’s interest (or lack of interest) when it comes to shopping and purchasing. The successful marketer knows it’s essential to look past common beliefs or stereotypes, and look instead to solid research and statistical data to show what your male market really cares about in the brands and products they buy.
Whether men have always been your primary target market, or you’re just beginning to expand your offering for the male population, we’ve put together data-driven tips to get you on the right track when marketing to men.
Men Are Influenced by a Company’s Online Presence
If you think online shopping is all women’s territory, you couldn’t be more wrong. Men are influenced by online channels just as much as — and in some cases, more than — women. Research shows that men are influenced by the results of major search engines, which means your money will be well-spent on search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) strategies, to maximize your reach in search engine results.
Men are also influenced by social media. While women often use social media to search for deals and special promotions, men are more likely to use these platforms to research product information and read reviews. In fact, 54% of men say they use social networks when researching products. For your business, this means having a social presence is crucial. Utilize your professional social account to tell a story about your business, and to show customers why they should choose you over competitors.
Men Respond to Mobile Ads
Research shows that men are more likely than women to make a purchase from a mobile ad. If you’re targeting men, your marketing dollars are well placed in mobile advertising. Sixty-eight percent of male smartphone owners respond to mobile ads — compared to only 58% of female smartphone users. While mobile ads are a smart move, you’ll want to stray away from allocating your marketing spend towards physical catalogs; only 5% of men check catalogs for ads.
Men also report signing up for mobile notifications, using mobile apps, and purchasing from those mobile apps more often than women. The lesson here is to run ads where men are most likely to respond to them: through mobile applications and advertisements.
Men Don’t Need Gender-Specific Ads
What you may find surprising is that men and women alike don’t care for gender-specific advertisements. In fact, 71% of men and 74% of women say they prefer gender-neutral messages. Just because you’re marketing to men doesn’t mean you have to try to appeal to their “manly” side.
The modern man is multi-faceted; he may be equally interested in football and ballet. He might be a stay-at-home dad, or the traditional breadwinner of the family — or both (think remote employees and freelancers). As gender norms and stereotypes are becoming less and less distinct, it pays to run gender-neutral ads, even when you’re trying to appeal specifically to men.
Men Aren’t the Only Group You Have to Worry About
It’s important to remember that even if your product is catered towards men, you may have to sell it to women, too. On average, women control 80% of household spending — and they’re not shopping only for themselves. Reportedly 90% of women consider their significant other when purchasing expensive items.
The key takeaway here is that big-ticket purchases are often a joint effort in the home, even if the man is the one using the product in the end. That doesn’t mean you should ditch your male consumers, or stop reaching out to them. It only means that it’s important to consider the household as a whole; don’t ignore the women simply because you sell a male-tailored product.
While these tips will get you started on the right foot, you’ll have to dig deeper into your specific customer base, to better target your marketing campaigns. When it comes to marketing, the more research you have at your disposal (that means not only gathering data, but knowing how to read and interpret it), the better you can maximize your campaigns for success.