These nine key gender differences should affect your marketing approach to both men and women. (Just because men and women differ doesn’t mean one way is “right” and another “wrong” – they are simply different perspectives).
1. Men Pay Less Attention to People; Women Are People Powered
Men hold the view that people are important, but no more so than current events, new ideas or cool gadgets. Women think that people are the most important and interesting element in life, and they are oriented this way from birth.
2. Men Are Soloists; Women are Ensemble Players
Men look at the world from the perspective of the individual. Their core unit is “me.” Freedom-that is autonomy, independence-is one of men’s highest values. Women see themselves-and everybody, really-as part of an ensemble company. Their core unit is “we.” They take pride in their caring, consideration and loyalty to and for others.
3. Men Do Unto Themselves; Women Do Unto Others
Men view themselves first as individuals, then as citizens of a community. Women view themselves first as members of a community, then as individuals. They feel responsible for people who need help, and they open their wallets to support companies that care, too.
4. Men Aspire to be Winners; Women Prefer to Be Warmer
Men think competition is fun. It’s built into how they work, play and communicate. Their professional and personal lives are often seen as a contest. Because of this, men’s mentality is rooted in concealing; any imperfection could be construed as a sign of weakness. To women, interaction is fun. Conflict is not. Playing is fun, but losing isn’t-somebody’s feelings are going to get hurt. Women focus on teamwork and have an instinct to trust and share.
5. Men Occupy a Pyramid; Women Occupy a Peer Group
In a man’s worldview, groups naturally fall into hierarchies, with some people “naturally” ahead of others. He relates to other people in comparative terms like higher or lower, faster or slower, bigger or smaller. The goal is to be at the top of the pyramid. Women view people as equal-no one person’s interests comes ahead of anyone else’s. Her outlook is relational without being comparative: similar to or different from, know her or don’t know her. Women don’t particularly want to be looked up to any more than being looked down upon.
6. Men Are Driven by Envy; Women Are Driven by Empathy
Men are motivated by the operating principle of aspiration. They are evolutionarily programmed to win. And when they do, they will be admired by envious peers. The operative emotion with women is empathy. Women want to belong and to be understood. They’re most likely to relate to the premise, “Yep, that looks like my life. If that product works for her, it will work for me too.” Whereas men want to be admired, women want to be appreciated.
7. Men Respond to Idealized Scenarios; Women Are into Keeping it Real
Men want products and services that will make them stand out from the crowd, and they respond to scenarios that let them imagine themselves as the best, the first, the top dog. When women see idealized scenarios, they don’t identify with them. In fact, they may conclude that the company’s products are for “someone else.” Instead, women look for “that’s me!” moments-they tell her you understand who she really is.
8. Men Like Buddies to Do Stuff With; Women Can’t Live Without Talking to Girlfriends
True male bonding can occur without a word being spoken. Men bond through activities like going to a ballgame or going fishing. Women bond through talking, and their relationships with their close women friends are some of the most cherished elements in their lives. Men are inclined to think of other people as a drain on their energy, while women view others as a source of energy.
9. Men Can Be Offended by Advice; Women Welcome It
Men don’t like asking for advice or seeking out help-they feel it frames them as “one down” from the other guy. Women see advice as valuable and are more likely to seek and welcome assistance from other people, including salespeople and financial advisors.