|shapes, lines||rounder, softer edges||harder, more defined lines/edges|
|colour schemes||brighter, more complex||simpler, darker|
|copy, voice||casual language and tone||formal, expert, minimize abbreviations|
|visuals||informal photographs||images featuring motion|
|tap into||desire for value over time, inclination to share information||impulsiveness, immediacy of need, inclination to brag|
|make the case||tell a story, focus on value, provide stories to share||prove it with numbers & testimonials, focus on problems solved, provide the little details and talking points|
Break-Through or Bunk?
It's pretty easy to test your marketing for a gender gap.
1. Evaluate Your Most Recent Results
At Willow's Blog, you will find an easy-to-use way to determine the gender of your list if it contains a first- or full-name field. Export the names, or just the first names, of the people to whom you mailed your last direct mail or broadcast email effort, as well as your list of people who responded. Run these lists through the Gender Finder application. Get a sense of what the make-up of your initial list was, vs. the make-up of your responders. Gender Finder processes your entire list upon upload, free of charge. It also has a simple form to input one or several names to determine the gender without a list file.
2. Next time, design to appeal to either men or women.
Evaluate the results from that effort. If this concept of gender marketing doesn't work, you should get the same approximate percentage of response from your list as you did before, before you tweaked the design to appeal to a specific gender. If the response is skewed more heavily toward the gender for which you designed, you now know the easiest way possible to increase your response rates: Do two versions!
Our guess is that some efforts are much more likely to be gender-marketing-sensitive than others, but it is so easy to test, why wouldn't you try? Like the rhyme says: Sure, go ahead and pitch to boys using the snails and puppy dog tails. The girls, not so much.
Get More from Variable Data
Whether you are an art director, copywriter, designer or even a printer, chances are you have produced broadcast email or direct mail campaigns with some embedded personalization. Why not use the power of variable data personalization to do more than add a "Dear John" field to your mailer? With variable data, you can write copy, choose colours and images, even design offers and call-to-actions based on gender. It's quick, easy, and, when set-up correctly, only marginally more expensive than producing one version for all. The return-on-investment is fantastic for many marketers.
Importance: The Cost of a Gender Gap
Sometimes it takes convincing of the powers that be that the return on investment for a new approach is worth the added time, effort and expense. Here's a sample ROI that demonstrates the impact. Just substitute your own numbers and stages.
Let's say your company sells furniture and is planning its annual clearance sale. Let's assume you drop 25,000 pieces in the mail for each store and you have 40 stores. You would mail 1,000,000 pieces across the local markets you serve. To keep it simple, we'll assume half your list is comprised of women and half of men.
Over the three-day sale, let's assume that 10% of the women visit the store yet only 6% of the men. To keep the example consistent with our experience, let's assume that 10% of the recipients who responded to the mailer with a visit actually make a purchase, with an average purchase price of $300.
In this experience, the gender response gap between women and men is 4%. 50,000 women visit your 40 stores, but only 30,000 men. Of those 80,000 visitors, 8,000 make a purchase averaging $300 for total chain revenue resulting from the mailing of $2,400,000.
Not bad, but consider the cost of that gender response gap: The 20,000 fewer men who responded resulted in 2,000 fewer sales worth a whopping $600,000! The relatively low cost of creating and producing a second version pales in comparison to the upside of closing the gender response gap.
Need Some Help?
If you need some help with gender marketing, personalization or variable data in general, give us a call at 905-660-1515. We'd be happy to help you think through your tests, creative options and even produce your effort. Thanks!