Seriously, in what I see as the latest "old news" being circuclated as "new" news, an article on the Fortune website at CNN states, "Men are from Facebook, women are from Twitter?" With the oh so inspiring tagline, "Studies show the genders really are different online."
OMG! Men and women are different online. Just like they are different offline! OMG!
You will forgive me my disdain, I hope. It leads me to ask: Is anyone out there really interested in the female market? Anyone want to really sell to women - the women with both the money and the inclination to spend it? Anyone...please...step up, now.
of course, you have your nose buried in Fortune magazine where Anna Kattan writes that "eMarketer estimates that U.S. marketers will spend 37.2 billion dollars on online advertising by the year 2013." After saying, "In fact, gender, more so than race, ethnicity or economic status, determines how and what we peruse online...more women say they use the Internet than men...[but] male Internet users tend to spend more time surfing the Web than females."
Stats, stats, stats...that mean nothing and change with the seasons. That's what's getting reported about the world of online marketing. And when experts or marketers or just freelance writers attempt to qualify the differences between men and women, they usually get it wrong.
Do women shop the same online as they do offline - busy with their window-shopping and looking around? Maybe. Maybe not. Depends.
Do men go online with the intent of getting the shopping done so they can go out and play golf? Maybe. Maybe not. Depends.
We know that women are nuturers, and that men are visual. So, of course women visit health sites and parenting sites, while men watch more videos and check stocks online. Studies say so, after all. But, what does it all mean, in the end?
Without context - without getting to know your customer, especially your female customer - you're shooting ducks in the dark. (sorry AFLAC) The article concludes properly by noting that stereotyping your customer, male or female, is a bad idea. If I've said it once on Lip-sticking, I've said it a thousand, nay a million times (sorry, Mom, can't help exaggerating), HAVE A CONVERSATION WITH YOUR FEMALE CUSTOMERES. LISTEN TO WHAT THEY TELL YOU. INVITE THEM TO A PARTY. BE PERSONAL, AND PERSONABLE. I suggest you try the same with your male customers. And then, only then, can you judge the differences in how a woman and a man feel about what you sell.
For heaven's sake - stop playing the male/female game. Indeed, we are different. If you're selling us electronics, we do process the information differently. If you're selling us gardening tools, we're likely interested in different aspects of the tools. If you're selling us photography, we just might be on the same page.
How...how...how can you know without asking??? At least Overstock, that great shopper's paradise, gets it right. I fully expect them to track visits carefully and when President Patrick Bayren tells TechNewsWorld that "female shoppers are flexing a lot more of their spending power online now," he knows of what he speaks. He is not quoting stats from any online or offline source. HIS client base is two-thirds women - that's how he knows! (yes, I shop at Overstock. I love Overstock.)
The reason I recommend marketing to women online, is because women not only buy or influence more goods and services than men, it's because we talk about them to each other. A lot.
Telegraph, telephone...tell a woman. Need I say more?