Marketers targeting a female audience need to understand the critical difference between men and women. Namely, women cycle and men consummate.
How Female Consumers Differ from Male Consumers
The key difference between the sexes arises as a result of females being oriented toward the conceptual, the underlying dynamic, the relationship between things and also to stability over the long-term. The female understands and sees patterns over time.
In contrast, males are oriented toward the present, the concrete, the visual, winning and themselves. Evolutionarily speaking, the male must "bring home the bacon." Above all else, males are pragmatists.
Seven Tips for Marketing to Women
With these gender differences in mind, there are seven factors retailers should be aware of when seeking to make their brands more appealing to women:
1. Pattern. Marketers should recognize that women have the ability to perceive more than the metric of a product attribute or an instance in time. They appreciate the underlying pattern (idea) that gives rise to the fleeting moment.
2. Authenticity. Beyond immediate appearance, marketers should realize that persona, biography (or history) and current contingency must all be factored into a brand, and that universal principles underlie particularities.
3. Quality, not just quantity (size). Marketers should understand that for women, bigger and more is not necessarily better. A steady build is often better than an impulsive response.
4. Connectedness, not just individuals. Marketers should know that communality can reign over power and dominance. Women see people as interconnected, bound together.
5. Society, not just markets. Marketers should recognize that markets are numbers, but numbers are not people. Women are people and have personal feelings about themselves and others.
6. Quality of life, not just accumulation. Marketers should learn that women have material and spiritual needs made up of individual wants and "musts" that are cast in the context of a social matrix.
7. Reasonableness, not extremism or absolutism. Marketers should see that most issues have grays, and exaggerations to one side or the other only cover-up the reality of subtlety and nuance to which women are attuned.
Yes, women and men, in some fundamental ways, are different -- cognitively, not just physically.