Anytime you start generalizing about genders, you’re bound to upset one sex or the other. That said, studies continue to show that men and women respond to real estate marketing strategies in very different ways. To learn just exactly where the sexes differ on this subject, we compiled the findings of ten studies into one easy-to-reference article:
What Men Want
Facts, figures and concrete claims
When looking to make a purchase, men tend to be fact-gatherers. They’re more mistrusting than women, which makes them apt to skim over emotional marketing appeals and search for any statements based on concrete facts, scientific proof and proven results. They’re focused on what researchers call “rational” benefits, such as the value, engineering, functionality and the long-term usefulness of a product or service.
This is also how men spend most of their time on the Internet: searching for facts and information. Women, on the other hand, spend far more time emailing friends, building relationships, and pursuing hobbies and interests.
Simple, direct marketing messages
According to the company NeuroFocus – which studies men’s and women’s brain responses – men’s brains are very good at problem-solving and spatial issues, but weak when it comes to processing language and recalling details. That explains why most men prefer marketing messages that are simple and direct.
Linguistic studies show women tend to find such marketing messages cold and distant. But men respond well to messages that are so short and direct they border on what some researchers describe as “in-your-face” marketing.
An efficient, quick sales process
Much fun has been made of the primitive, hunting-like (“find it and kill it”) shopping instincts of men, but studies continue to show that this behavior really is representative. Men are time-oriented, “quick-shoppers” who will often purchase the first option they encounter rather than spend more time trying to find a better alternative.
In studies, women describe shopping as exciting, while most men refer to it as frustrating, unsatisfying and boring. They view it as a chore that needs to be completed, and therefore, are more apt to shop at traditional department stores, where they can quickly find well-known brands.
When it comes to brand loyalty, there’s a subtle difference between the sexes that can have a dramatic effect on the businesses they frequent. Women tend to show high brand loyalty to specific service providers, but men tend to be more loyal to the companies employing the service providers.
The authors of one study believe the reason for this is because individual relationships are more important to women, yet men see themselves as more connected to groups and organizations.
Men are also more brand-loyal because searching out new brands would require more time and energy.
What Women Want
Women are highly responsive to “emotional” marketing messages. They’re easily drawn in to marketing that incorporates talk of feelings (for example, the self-esteem boost that can accompany weight-loss, the guilt of not being able to care for aging parents, the pride of having a high-achieving child).
They tend to respond best to a friendly, one-to-one marketing approach – especially in retail shopping situations, where they also like to physically touch and feel the products. Marketing messages that incorporate lots of sensor-words like “touch” or “smile” tend to do well with women.
NeuroFocus, the research company, says the reason why women are more emotional, tactile shoppers is because there’s a strong connection between their right- and left-brain hemispheres, which means their language and memory attributes are strongly synchronized with their emotions.
Women may not be as interested in facts and figures as men, but they do like details. Lots of details. Also unlike men, women have the ability to recall many of those details later – thanks (according to NeuroFocus research) to a larger hippocampus region in the brain.
Exciting, interesting shopping experiences
For most women, online shopping is a bust. There’s just nothing like the brick-and-mortar experience – which some researchers describe as a “crucial” aspect of a woman’s social life.
While the real thrills come from hunting down a bargain or stumbling across an unexpected find, most women also derive great pleasure from simply browsing, wandering between shops and window-shopping.
The social aspect is also very satisfying. Shopping is an opportunity to get together with friends, talk and even share a meal together.
Bargains and low prices
Women are far more price-conscious than men. Unlike men, they have no qualms about making time to comparison shop, bargain-hunt, shop at outlet stores, or search out sales.
Relationship-selling is key with women. Before they’ll buy, they want to feel a kinship with the person selling the product or service. Whereas men tend to show more loyalty to brands (the businesses or organizations behind the product or service), women are loyal to the individual delivering the service or doing the selling.
Forming strong interpersonal relationships is important to women, and that tendency is clearly apparent in the retail world, as well. After forming a relationship with a particular doctor, salesperson or hair dresser, for example, women are much more likely to remain loyal to that person throughout their career.
A Final Note
While these generalizations are based on scientific studies and surveys, they’re still generalizations. You will, of course, have customers who don’t fit the profiles.
What if your product, service or target market is gender-neutral? Use these findings to make sure your marketing efforts and retail settings include features that appeal to both parties.
Knowledge is power in the marketing world, and with knowledge like this, you’re sure to boost business.
Check out our full list of marketing services to see which resources will help you market in the most effective way possible.