As a content marketer, you know your target audience inside out, don’t you? But how much attention do you pay to their gender when it comes to planning sales content that would hook them?
If you just look at pure neuroscience, it’s clear that men and women read and perceive information differently. Depending on words, images, and meanings you use to encrypt a marketing message, its sales outcome may differ when read by a lady and when — by a gentleman.
Sure, customer types go far beyond gender. Still, the difference between feminine and masculine perception makes it challenging for content creators to come up with meanings (cues) that would resonate with their multi-gender audience.
Let’s dig into these differences to understand whether or not you should focus on gender factors in sales content. Can this tiny detail influence the overall revenue of particular content marketing campaigns?
Man vs. Woman Brain
According to studies, size and weight aren’t the only differences between male and female brains. Women use both sides of their brain simultaneously, thanks to their thicker corpus callosum, which allows them to solve problems and make decisions quicker. As for men, they use brain sides alternately, with the left side being the predominant.
As we know, the left hemisphere is responsible for processing logic and facts, while the right side interprets visuals and context.
Source: How to generate ideas like crazy
Why does this matter to content marketers?
These differences in brain structure lead to the corresponding contrast in men’s and women’s approaches to taking in new information, researching things, any making buying decisions. Male buyers are mission- and task-oriented, and females are more discovery-oriented and ready to change their initial goals for a more satisfying outcome.
Understanding these gender-specific tendencies, motives, and rationales, we can adjust a sales message accordingly to trigger the desired action from the audience.
3 Problems to Overcome With Gender-Specific Sales Content
For those willing to dig deeper and decide whether the game’s worth the candle, here go three core differences in male and female content perception and purchase decision making.
#1: Men and women read differently
First off, women read more than men and are ready to consume a more extended passage before deciding whether they like what they read. Men are more likely to abandon reading sooner.
Second, ladies prefer detailed descriptions, while gentlemen want to read short and up-to-point messages. This tendency also explains why men tend to read non-fiction genres, and women are more likely to choose fiction.
And third, the above two statements make it clear why men are 50% more likely to pick up a cold call from sales representatives. (Women prefer emails.) When we plan a sales outreach and content types to use for it, such details may play a pivotal role in the overall campaign outcome.
With these differences in mind, sales writers and managers can consider different content tricks to capture the audience’s attention and interest:
- Start a message with clear and concise info, leaving brand storytelling and long descriptions for later
- Use visual content that works better for men or women (perhaps you’ve heard of color psychology and codes (archetypes) addressing masculinity or femininity.)
- Consider different trade channels for men and women
- Address to men and women with different words and numbers. Yes, it seems they have a gender too.
Source: Why every number has a gender
#2: Men and women perceive sales content and salespeople differently
It has long been known that women are more about emotions, and men are about data and facts. When it comes to decision-making, this difference influences the strategy they use for information processing.
Women rely more on subjective (other customers’ feedback and reviews) information about a product, while men prioritize the objective one (model, features, etc.). To be exact, men’s and women’s approach to testimonials is as follows:
- Men: Read them to form their own opinion on the product. (Looking for facts.)
- Women: Read them to understand the motivation behind the purchase to see whether their own situation is comparable. (Looking for reasons.)
More than that, ladies are more loyal to an excellent service than product benefits, while men stick to a brand that once worked for them.
With that in mind, salespeople may want to focus on highlighting the advantages of their products in content (when selling to men) or building a personal relationship with customers (when selling to women).
The interesting fact is that the gender of your sales representative may influence the outcome too.
A few years ago, Director of Sales at Gong.io, Chris Orlob, shared the results of their analysis of how conversion rates changed depending on a buyer’s and a seller’s gender. That’s what they’ve noticed:
- Saleswomen selling to women bring more deals than other gender combos.
- Women are more successful in selling to men than men are at marketing to women.
- Men better sell to men; yet, the conversion of this gender combo is still a bit lower than that from women to women.
I see two reasons for this:
First, many women still consider selling a man’s game, working harder to keep pace with their male colleagues.
And second, female buyers are more likely to have a negative perception of salespeople, willing to work with someone who makes them feel comfortable; and that’s why they may be more open to a seller of the same gender (subconsciously, of course).
#3: Their buying motives differ too
Researchers distinguish two core motives behind shopping:
- Utilitarian: It’s when we go shopping “to get things done.”
- Hedonic: It’s when we go shopping because we love it.
As you’ve probably guessed, men follow the first, more logic-based motive: They want to find and get what they need quickly. Male buyers will engage with the content that focuses on products and demonstrates value.
Ladies are hedonic shoppers. They engage with emotive content resonating with their views and values. They want to know more about a brand, the lifestyle it sells, and how its products will make them feel.
In sales content, appealing to different buying motives may be realized by designing two different layouts for landing pages or creating several sub-accounts on social media. In other words, customize your content for different genders, interests, regions, etc.
It’s all about personalization and authenticity, so crucial for every brand to have right now.
What are you going to do from here?
Understanding gender-specific tendencies, buying motives, and rationales of the target audience, content marketers can adjust their messages accordingly to influence the overall outcome of their marketing campaigns.
There are some distinctive differences between male and female buyers: They read and perceive sales content differently, and their buying motives are different too. By considering these differences, you can enhance customer engagement, loyalty, and conversion by far.
So, when hiring or outsourcing content specialists for your marketing campaigns, make sure they understand your target audience inside out and are familiar with the concept of gender factor in content creation.
With all the gender-specific tendencies known, each person is unique and wants to be treated as an individual. So be careful not to give in to stereotypes. Try to understand the motives and expectations of your customers, and manage your content to sell them the experience they seek.
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