Gender Importance In Marketing

Gender Importance In Marketing

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Gender Marketing
Gender Marketing is not about male versus female. It is about understanding your customer and his profile thoroughly. Marketers generally adopt the approach of neutral marketing to play safe; by and large both men and women feel that they have not been targeted by the marketers properly. The marketers should continuously strive for competitiveness and take benefits from the ever changing environment which can be facilitated by the realization of the concept of gender marketing. In this article I will discuss about the changing role of women today and how it has an impact in marketing of products like online selling, car purchase, garment purchase and food & drinks.

God has created men and women with absolutely varying qualities. Since ages men have assumed the dominance in all societies, cultures and countries because he is always been the bread earner for the family. But with increasing change in demographics, economics and social changes, women are assuming an important role in a society. The two genders are both very important for the marketers because of their varying needs, behavior and psychology. Marketers generally adopt this approach of neutral marketing which is targeting both men and women simultaneously. They include both the perspective which appeals to both.
By and large both men and women feel that this not the right approach and they are not been targeted and served properly by the marketers which has eventually given rise to the concept of gender marketing. Gender marketing is a concept where the marketers study the needs and demands of both the genders separately, and according design a product to cater to them. Marketers have to identify their target customer gender and then devise a marketing strategy accordingly. Gender Marketing is not about male versus female. It is about understanding your customer better in all aspects like
• How they want to use your product
• What is the level of service they expect from you
• What is the price they are comfortable with
Many marketers still do not understand the importance of gender marketing which has lead to loss of sale. The basic reason of this concept gaining importance is ‘the changing role of women’. A woman today is not just a homemaker.

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The increasing number of women at the workplace is creating a very different and an attractive segment for the marketers. Men and women have different purchasing approaches. Whereas men tend to make purchase based on prices and availability of products, women are more holistic in their approach. Women today influence purchase decisions of products not only made for them exclusively like cosmetics and jewelry but also products like automobiles and mobiles. Let us now see some categories where gender preferences are very different and learn how should a marketer than react accordingly.

Gender and Internet

Online purchasing is becoming very popular among the customers and a very important channel of distribution for the marketers. Generally, we associate technology with men but today even women are becoming increasingly techno savvy. They prefer a plasma TV over designer set and a high featured mobile over designer shoes. Women go online to save time and simplifying their lives whereas men are more into news, stocks and other entertainment sites. It may amaze you that 60% of the online shoppers are women. But as an online retailer have you ever thought to reach this segment through internet? Are your marketing communications addressing their needs properly? Now just have a look on the aspects that this huge potential segment considers while purchasing online.
• Relationship oriented marketing approach- women are more influenced by relationships than men. So, the online retailers can develop a relationship oriented marketing approach by establishing an online chat option. This way the customers can put queries and exchange ideas. It will make him feel that personal touch which will result in repeat visits and ultimately customer loyalty.
• Security concerns- women are more concerned about security and this becomes an obstacle in purchasing online. Security concerns include stolen credit card numbers and privacy issues. To address these issues clearly mention your site’s privacy policy and also constantly reassure he customers as to the securities of their transactions.
• It should be simple and informative- You should aim to reduce the time of purchase for women. The lesser the time they take the more loyal they become to you. You can do this by making your site very simple and informative. Information should be enough to take quick and smart decisions.

Gender and Garment purchase

Like the way we just saw that 60% of the online purchasers are women, Similarly with changing social structure and society becoming increasingly contemporary, purchasing garments is no longer the forte of only women. Today men are becoming increasingly brand conscious and trend savvy. Now let us try to identify the key drivers that influence the decision making process for garment purchase which is different for men and women.
Sears conducted a research and concluded that for men, the sole purpose while buying clothing is to see that it fits properly. Whereas in case of females there is a big list of factors considered while purchasing clothing which includes it should fit properly overall specially from the waist region, the color should match the color of the skin and the neckline should be flattering. Further, men take a more self-oriented approach to clothes, whereas women have many other concerns like they relate clothes as symbols of their personal interrelatedness with others. For women, clothes are more related to their social and psychological aspects of life. For men, the need of clothing is often determined by financial constraints but in case of females the financial constraints are not that strong, instead it is the social and peer relations which define the need of clothing for them
One more important thing to note here is women have more demands for variety as compared to men. It is also seen that women always want somebody to accompany and make advices while they make their purchases of clothing. Advantage service provider! While serving to a women you should keep in mend to appeal not only the purchaser but also her companion. The equation goes like this that if the companion says Yes, she may or may not buy it but if the companion says No, she would definitely not buy it.

Gender and Car purchase

“Women want the same things as men, but they want more” by Ford’s Sheryl Connelly, the company’s chief marketing office manager for global trends and futuring. When we talk about car purchase, women are again high influencers and deciders also. They conduct lot of research and comparison shopping when it comes to cars or any expensive thing for that matter. This would make you think that they completely dominate the car salesperson but it is not so. Although they influence a lot of car purchases but still take a back seat in deciding alone and independent and often depend on the male member of the family or the dealer himself. Advantage service provider! They can influence the women to a great extent as they are here to listen to you and get influences.
So now the question arises whether the car purchases should be positioned towards men or women? Well, the answer is this segment is dominated by men where they are the decision makers but also highly influenced by women. A man can be targeted through technical aspects and a woman can be targeted by the happiness that the woman is bringing to the family i.e. the emotional appeal.

Gender and Food & Drinks

There are different categories of food which appeal to the two genders. A marketer has to find out exactly what appeals to the two genders and market the products accordingly. Women in general are more conscious about health, not only their own but of the whole family. So, if you want to position your product as healthy product, best is to target the women folk for it. Men are health conscious but they do not like to be associated with any kind of health food or drink. Pepsi solved this problem by launching diet pepsi which did not have the name diet associated with it like Pepsi max and Pepsi one. If we talk about eating out of families then also major decisions are taken by women. One of the reasons of this is eating out is not only a change but also relaxation for her.

Men vs Women Differences – Now let us see the basic biological and social differences between men and women i.e. the reasons why the two genders respond to different products so differently.

Men Women
Competitive Cooperative
Independent Interdependent
Externally motivated Intrinsically motivated
Sports Arts
Activities like mechanical tasks Activities fostering social tasks
Source- Power Point Presentation by Dr. Kevin Lance Jones

Difference in the Acquisition and Consumption behavior

Men Women
Selective examination of ad messages Detailed examination of ad messages
Decisions based on heuristics Decisions based on attributes
Pay attention to positive emotions in purchase decisions Pay attention to negative emotions in purchase decisions
Source- Power Point Presentation by Dr. Kevin Lance Jones

Examples-
Fair and Handsome- Fair and Handsome from Emami is the first fairness cream made for male segment is a great success. Emami conducted a research in which it was found out that 25%-35% users of the female fairness cream are men. That gave a rise to an idea for having a cream only for men. The target segment is urban men aged 15-35 years. The marketing for the brand was very loud and the most important medium was Television. With brand ambassador SRK, this brand has become a huge success.

Hero Honda Pleasure- "Why should boys have all the fun?"

The tag line of the product ‘why should boys have all the fun’ makes the product exclusive to the men segment. For the first time in history of the two-wheeler market an advertisement is made which is targeting only females. Although the other players in the scooty market have shown girls in the advertisement but have also played safe as they do not want to drive away the ‘guy’ segment completely.

Conclusion

An organization’s success is generated by the new, innovative ideas and risk taking capabilities to always try something new. They should continuously strive for competitiveness and taking benefits from the ever changing environment. This can be facilitated by the realization of the concept of gender marketing. The men and women have to be considered as separate identities and marketing strategy has to be developed keeping this in mind. More than 85% of the decisions in different product categories are influenced by women, so it is high time you start marketing to them. We have just seen that the role of women has changed over the ages and she is influencing the decision making and purchase of products in so many categories.
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