Are Men Becoming More Like Women?
posted by Stuart Cumming ~ 03/02/15
Category: Marketing

A recently published marketing study titled "Myth of the Mansumer" might have you thinking the marketing gap between men and women is narrowing. But we're not sure their statistics (while interesting when taken in isolation) are all that conclusive.

 But we're happy to report what they're suggesting, and along with it, give you some other terms of reference on the subject.

On second thoughts, maybe we shouldn't. 

If we just stay quiet for a while the article might go viral and thus signal the end of that dreadful, Borat inspired, "Mansumer"  marketing-speak moniker. Let's take a look at what this myth busting study purports to actually bust.

Check out the infographic below and you'll see across the top, the three traits they say are those of the Mansumer.

1. Men are more efficient and concerned about time.

2. They are not influenced by browsing.

3. They make logical rather than emotional decisions.

Yet, if we go into the infographic, little is revealed to bust the so-called myth. We don't see anything that suggests that retailers are wrong to continue their belief that male shoppers should be treated differently from female shoppers.


there isn't much debunking of the Mansumer myth going on.
Maybe the actual research was more detailed, but for those of us who are more likely to scan an infographic than read the actual article (let alone read the full research report!) there isn't much debunking of the Mansumer myth going on. 

Vive la difference.

Anyone who dangerously suggests men are becoming more like women in their buying habits had better have their guns loaded and get ready to repel boarders. 

All generalisations are dangerous (including this one). The myth article does attribute much of the change to men's buying habits to the influence that the internet is having. 

We recently wrote about Seth Godin, the Direct Marketing guru who was out here a few months back. Seth reckoned the internet has organised people into Tribes. And Tribes he defines as "people like us doing things like us."  Which is just another way of describing the increasingly fragmented market today's retailers and their various marketing agencies are facing. Especially when you can, depending on circumstances, belong to more than one tribe at once.

So to us, lumping men into, or out of, the "mansumer" category is pretty meaningless. We're more into the "different strokes for different folks" school - different ad strategies for different target audiences.

The Chasers are onto it.

Even huge marketing companies like Unilever, with all their research resources, can find this men v. women thing confusing. Unilever own both the women sensitive brand Dove and the women-totally-insensitive brand Lynx. The ABC's Chaser guys took them to task in this great comparison in their anti-marketing TV program "The Checkout". Our guess is the marketing departments for these brands are on different floors. Perhaps even different buildings.

They don't always get it wrong.

But yes, Blind Freddy will tell you today's Millennial SNAG is different from the steak burning, beer guzzling, Boomer stereotype of yesteryear. But it looks like at least one team at Unilever read the research all the way to the end.

Is the Mansumer myth busted, debunked and buried? We think it was a pretty tenuous construct in the first place. But if it means getting rid of that dreadful name, we're all for it. 

Now, if we can also get rid of "sheconomics"...

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