FOREWORD: After many thousands of years, countless studies, numerous focus groups, and much angst all round, it has recently been discovered that men and women are different. And it’s these differences we’ll look at in this article and how to use this knowledge to make more sales. Sure I take a light-hearted look at this topic, and there are generalisations going on as well, but in my humble (and accurate) opinion, this little article contains a few lessons all of us should keep in mind.
DISCLAIMER: For the female reader. If you’re married to a male of our species and you’re wondering how on earth things changed so quickly… I mean… one minute you’re going out with a charming athletic prince… and then BANG… you got married and overnight your husband changed into a lounge-loving Homer Simpson… and you’re wondering how did this happen… well this article won’t help you at all. Sorry. But it will give you a few lessons on how the money flows and who’s doing the spending, plus give you an insightful, albeit brief look into the male mind.
DISCLAIMER: For the male reader. If you think after reading this article you’ll know everything there is to know about women, and somehow you’ll turn into some kind of 21st century Casanova; then get a grip will ya? This isn’t that type of article. But you will get some lessons and there are two big things to keep in mind. One, women are different and buy for different reasons than us. Two, women control the money.
The Language of The Sexes
Let’s talk about sex shall we? More specifically, let’s talk about the differences between males and females, and how this effects how each group buys. Don’t worry. I won’t get all deep on you. I’ll keep it light-hearted but you’ll get plenty of lessons.
First up, a very important statistic. Studies PROVE 70% of the buying decisions are made by women! Now I’ve read different studies, some say 60% or even 80% of all buying decisions are first orchestrated by women. So no matter what study you listen to, it’s a big chunk of the population right? They hold the purse strings. And they buy based on different criteria than males. This means it takes a different message to make the sale when selling to males or when selling to females.
A different language.
But this can lead to confusion.
When a wife asks her husband, “What are you thinking about?” And he replies, “Nothing”… then trust me on this…
He really IS thinking nothing.
There is no mystery here! No cover ups. He isn’t thinking about work or fantasising about some blonde bimbo from the office. Chances are if he answers “nothing”, especially if he’s watching TV, then in fact… give me a drum roll please… he is thinking…. nothing!
NOTE: To male married readers. If you ask your wife what’s she thinking because you’ve been in the same room with her for 30 minutes and she hasn’t made a sound, and she replies, ‘nothing’, I suggest you get outside, preferably with power tools, lawnmower, whatever you can find, and get busy until the danger passes.
So first up, one thing to understand is we males are a simplistic bunch. We don’t share our feelings as much as women. In fact, it’s an unwritten law in the male Handbook Of Life never to share feelings; ever!
Females of course, have a whole big support network of girlfriends to share every feeling they ever experience. For males, the thought of actually telling our friends about any problems we are having makes us shudder. I mean, you just don’t do that! We’d rather run naked through Surfers Paradise on a Saturday night than ever reveal our emotions.
Fact is, males run on just a few key drivers.
But in our defence, we have evolved a bit since our cave-dwelling days. We’ve come a long way since hunting Mammoths with spears and the modern man has clumsily adapted to his new surrounds. Fact is, a few males are becoming mind readers. And, there are a few exceptionally smart married males who know how to actually interpret the meaning behind his wife’s words. (These remarkably talented individuals usually end up as copywriters.)
Husband asks wife,
“What do you want for Mother’s day honey?”
“Oh don’t worry about that. You don’t have to get me a thing…”
Now to an outside male, especially a single male, he would assume it’s all cool and no presents are required.
Married guy instantly realises he better get her something good, something thoughtful and he better put a bit of love into the giving as well.
Or another example…
For the fourth night in a row, a selfish husband kisses his wife on the cheek and heads to the door,
“Well I’m off to the pub to catch up with Bluey and Johnno. You don’t mind do you?”
The wife replies between clenched teeth,
“No I don’t mind. You go. Don’t let me stop you.”
The smart married guy (maybe a copywriter) turns, takes a seat, and gets his boots off without delay.
The smart married male has evolved so damn far he indistinctly knows…
To do the opposite of
whatever his wife
Males and females are different in other ways as well.
Take the humble IKEA furniture for example.
A female will carefully read the instructions, work out what she needs and then put the furniture neatly together with a minimum of fuss.
A male refuses the instructions. He already knows, deep down in his DNA, how to build anything. Besides, looking at instructions is a sign of weakness. So the male plunges in, puts together the wrong bits, pulls it apart again and starts afresh and then, after much grunting and swearing, finally gets the damn thing together (albeit with a few extra parts in hand).
So we are different.
And we make decisions differently as well.
Take shopping for shoes for example.
A male will stride in, choose a pair of shoes, avoid trying them on because they look like the right fit, and gets out as quick as he can.
Total time elapsed 27 seconds.
A woman however will bring along friends. She’ll try on many shoes. She’ll take photos of shoes an upload on facebook, asking her friends which one is the best. It’s a collaboration of minds and great discussions are had before a winning shoe can be purchased. When she finally chooses the pair she wants, a whole morning has disappeared.
So these differences can be confusing and that’s why, above all, as marketers, not only do we have to know what makes each gender tick, we also need a deep understanding and empathy for our market to be able to sell them all the good stuff we’ve got that’ll improve their lives.
The point of this mildly amusing article was to first point out males and females are different and we buy differently based on different things. If you continue to market the same way to both sexes you’re in trouble.
In future posts, I’m going to give you specific steps to take so your message is congruent to whatever sex you are writing to. Until then, keep in mind that women DO control the wallets.
Love to hear your thoughts on this below… cheers… Pete.
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Pete Godfrey, The Wizard of Words, from rebel without a clue to one of the most in demand and highest paid Copywriters and Sales Strategists in Australasia… all with the power of his emotionally charged words that sell… Discover the “Secret Weapon” to increasing your Sales and Profits by downloading the valuable report "The Ultimate Copywriting and Marketing Secret" While you're at it, follow Pete on Facebook