THE GENDER MARKETING DIFFERENCE – PTC EPISODE 40
There is a big difference between marketing to men and marketing to women. The book “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus” by John Gray, Ph. D. discussed in great detail the communication and relationship differences between men and women. These differences are critical in marketing. They are also important elements to your podcast strategy.
I’ll be speaking at the Podcast Movement in Dallas August 16th & 17th. My affiliate link is online at PodcastTalentCoach.com. I will be doing a session on this very topic showing you how to make use of these marketing tactics in your podcast.
Today, we are going to cover five major differences you need to consider when marketing to the different genders. Keep these differences in mind when you are shaping your podcast content.
Please understand that I am speaking in generalities. I understand these statements won’t hold true for every person. These points are are simply how most men and women react in common situations. The definition of stereotype is “a simplified and standardized conception or image invested with special meaning and held in common by members of a group” There are times when the stereotypical case will not hold true for a specific situation. Most of the time, this is the case.
In a broad sense, men tend to think very linearly. Women usually think very spatially. To be effective communicating with each gender, you must understand these differences. You must also select one to target. The same message will have difficulty reaching both genders effectively.
Men and women also take different approaches in the way they solve the problems. Because men think linearly, men focus on the solution. Men try to determine what steps are needed to reach a successful outcome. If a man is in need of a new car, he will find the solution step by step. A man will review his options, compare the features, determine the best buy for the money that will do the job, and make the purchase. Men typically move through a problem step-by-step. If the steps are all completed successfully, he buys the vehicle.
Because women tend to think globally, they are typically concerned with the way their relationships are affected by problems and the possible solutions. A woman tends to consider how each person in her close circle is affected by each possible solution. If she is in need of a new car, she will typically consider her needs and those of her family. Will her kids be safe? Is there enough room for everyone? Will the features please her family? Are there entertainment features available to keep her kids occupied on trips? She will also consider how her friends will view the purchase and if she is being treated right by the salesperson. If the relationships all benefit from the purchase, she buys the vehicle.
You can see evidence of this difference in the way auto makers market to the different genders. Minivans aimed toward women will play up the features for the entire family. The commercial will depict the envy of the neighbors. The storyline may even show mom juggling soccer practice, shopping, carpooling and work. These commercials tend to be very spatial in nature and focused on relationships.
Commercials for trucks that are targeted toward men will usually tout the problem solving ability of the truck. The script will play up the horsepower, torque and hauling capacity of the truck. The commercial will usually show the truck pulling some ridiculously heavy load, like trees or ships or something. Men will be convinced they can get the job done with this particular truck. The steps are very linear.
When handling tasks, men tend to be single-minded and focused on one goal, while women usually multitask well. This difference probably began with the cavemen. Each had well-defined duties in the household back in the cave.
Cavemen would set out to find dinner and bring it home. He had one task with one goal. Women handled the entire household doing many things at one time. Men needed to be very focused to find dinner without being eaten by a tiger. Women needed to multitask in order to tend to the house (or cave), handle the children and keep the family in line all at the same time.
You can see this difference in society today. When men are watching television, they watch television. When men attend a sporting event, they watch the event. Men are typically focused on the thing they are doing. This is usually true even if they are doing it with friends.
Women, on the other hand, typically have the ability to multitask very well. Women can be cooking 3 different dishes for dinner, talking on the phone, and keeping an eye on the evening news all while being fully aware of what the children are doing in the other room. Women multitask in a way that astonishes men. Men cannot understand why women spend an entire baseball game talking with the people around her rather than watching the game. Men are there to watch the game. Women attend because it is a way to socialize and strengthen her relationships. She enjoys the game for much different reasons.
The tendency to focus on one task or many creates another interesting difference between men and women. Because they tend to multitask and focus on multiple items simultaneously, women do not seem to tire of activities as quickly as men. When men focus on one thing only, they will become bored with that particular item before a woman. Men will want to move on to the next thing. Therefore, men tend to like new and different. They tend to appreciate change more than women. Women will tolerate repetition much more than men, because they are not as focused on one item at a time. It may also take more messages in different ways to effectively reach and influence a woman.
Men and women also differ in the way they remember things and events. Again, men are linear. Women are spatial.
Men typically view communication and problems solving as a way to show their strength and power. Men typically see things as a competition. It is a linear approach. They seek validation by solving problems. When men are communicating with each other, you will often see each attempt to “one-up” the other. You will often hear, “Oh, you think that’s bad. One time something worse happened to me.” Other men do not typically take offense to these comments. These challenges are a way for men to show their power and dominance.
Women use communication and problem solving for much different purposes. Women use both as a way to strengthen the relationship. Women seek understanding when tackling a problem. Rather than seeking validation, women are typically seeking empathy from and an opportunity to bond with their communication partner. You will rarely hear a woman try to “one-up” the person with which they are communicating. However, you will hear, “Oh, that’s terrible. What did you do?”
When I go out to lunch with my buddies, we have a good time. When I get home, my wife will ask me what we talked about. I will tell her, “Nothing really. Sports and politics.” She finds it baffling that we didn’t discuss his son’s birthday or our family vacation. We debate the nuances of professional versus college sports. We might discuss the benefits of one political candidate over another. That’s how men communicate. Men use a friendly challenge to bond. Women tend to see that style as a lack of understanding.
Men and women also handle relationship problems differently. Just like problems in any other area of life, men typically seek the solution (linear) while women tend to use problems to strengthen the relationship (spatial). Understand these differences as you build your relationship with your audience.
Let’s take a typical, hypothetical couple. Tina and Adam have been together for 3 years. Their standard Friday night is eating take out and watching TV. Tina says, “Adam, we never go out anymore.” In Tina’s head, she is thinking, “Our relationship needs more ‘us’ time. We don’t spend enough time together having fun.” Adam replies, “Fine, let’s go out tomorrow night.” Adam is thinking, “Done, problem solved.” Tina then gets a little more aggressive with, “That’s not what I mean.” Now Adam is really confused. “You just said we don’t go out enough. Let’s go out tomorrow night. What’s the problem.” Tina says, “I’m not just talking about going out.”
Conversations similar to these fall apart, because men and women approach the problem in much different ways. Women use the conversation to strengthen the relationship. Men use communication to solve the problem. “Going out tomorrow night” means different things to each of them.
When men remember events, they tend to remember in a linear fashion. They will remember events in sequence as one thing happened, then the next and finally the last. It is a sequential time line. If a man were recalling a party, they would typically begin with the setting and who arrived first. He would walk through the time line of the party. His description might begin with, “Things got going in the kitchen. We moved downstairs and shot some pool. Paul had a bit too much to drink and after he broke the lamp trying to dance, the party came to a halt and everyone headed home.” It is a step-by-step recollection of the events.
Women typically remember events in a very spatial way. They will remember who attended the party. They will remember the great time that was had by everyone. Women will recall some of the great conversations that took place. The memories would possibly include the laughs, the gathering places and the details of the atmosphere. The recollections of women tend to be global in nature.
These differences between men and women will play an important role as you define your target audience. Will your communication be spatial or linear? This is something you’ll need to decide before you can move forward to create the structure and content of your show.
Gender is only one characteristic of your target audience. There are many others to consider. Just as if you were describing one individual person, gender would only be one characteristic of that person.
I’d love to help you with your podcast. E-mail any questions or comments you might have to Coach@PodcastTalentCoach.com.
You can also find tools to help you create great content at www.PodcastTalentCoach.com.
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