Women Still Have the Edge: How They Differ from Their Male Counterparts

Posted by Steve Kleber on Sep 13, 2007

If you still don’t think that women are a vast force among your current and prospective customer base, then it’s time you opened your eyes…and I mean quickly.

According to Marti Barletta’s latest book, PrimeTime Women, “women are the mightiest money machine on the planet and if they had their own country, their spending power would rank their economy as the sixth largest in the world, outstripping the GDPs of Spain, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland.”

Moreover, Barletta points out that “as of 1973, a woman could not get a bank loan without a signature from her husband or father.” And, “until 1981, state laws designated a husband ‘head and master’ with unilateral control of property owned jointly with his wife.”

How things have changed…

Women are the Chief Purchasing Officers of the Home, making about 80 percent of all household-related purchasing decisions. So, if you’re not targeting this group in your marketing campaigns, it’s time you sat up and noticed who’s really “wearing the pants” and how they drastically differ from their male counterparts.

Women are not easily fooled and simply slapping a “for her” sticker on your typically male-dominated marketing campaigns will not convert her into a customer. You may even turn her off completely! Your marketing campaigns must truly reflect female gender benefits.

So, what’s the first step? Let’s identify how these genders differ from one another in terms of attitudinal traits and communication styles.

Differences between Men and Women

Women 
Better at language and verbal skills
 
Men
Better at spatial tasks

Women
Better people skills

Men
Greater mechanical aptitude
Women
More perspective and intuitive abilities

Men
More linear, focused thinking

Women
More networked, contextual thinking
Men
Greater strength and speed

Women
Are people powered

Men
Pay less attention to people

Women
Are ensemble players – “we”
Men
Are soloists – “me”
Women
Do Unto Others – view themselves first as member of a community, then as individuals

Men
Do Unto Others-see themselves first as individuals then as citizens to the community

Women
Occupy a peer group-outlook is relational without being comparative

Men
Occupy a pyramid- relates to others in comparative terms

Women
Driven by empathy- want to belong and be understood
Men
Drive by envy- motivated by operating principle of aspiration
Women
Like to keep it “real”-looking for those “that’s me” moments
Men
Respond to idealized scenarios – want to stand out from the crowd and be the best

Women
Can’t live without talking to their girlfriends
Men
Like buddies to do stuff with
Women
Welcome advice
       
Men
Can be offended by advice
Women
Laugh at themselves
Men
Laugh at the other guy

Women
Like to ask
Men
Like to read

Women
Maximize

Men 
Prioritize
Women
Care about the important stuff and the details

Men
Care about the important stuff
Women
Integrate – comprehensive grasp of all details

Men
Extricate – clarity comes from simplification and processing the most important factors
Women
Seek the perfect answer – the answer that’s going to benefit all available

Men
Find a good solution- shoot from the hip

Women
Want the full report
Men
Want the executive summary

Women
“Rapport” talk – transmit information, solve problems and connections among individuals
 
Men
“Rapport” talk-transmit information and solve problems
Women
Seek emotions   
Men
Hide from emotions
Women
Connect through story 
Men
Connect through status

Whatever your company, product or service, women are the influential consumer buying group. Do your homework and identify how your company can successfully reach this vast force with your new-found knowledge. Next week, we’ll delve into how to apply this knowledge into your marketing campaigns.

To request a copy of our latest Chief Purchasing Officer white paper, contact Mairead Stack at mstack@kleberadvertising.com or by calling 770.518.1000. And make sure you’re checking out our blog posts for the latest insight about marketing to women, part of an ongoing series.

This entry was posted by Steve Kleber on Thursday, September 13th, 2007 at 8:27 am and is filed under Advertising, Brand Management, Marketing, Public Relations. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.