Traditionally, marketing to men has been one dimensional and uninspired. That's because in the past, many marketers have resorted to outdated stereotypes when engaging these customers.
But things are changing. As this week's select articles show, more marketers are realizing that reaching male customers requires a lot more thought. Society's definition of masculinity is changing, and smart marketers are changing their ways to better connect with the modern man. This often begins with a deep understanding of the nuances of specific types of male attitudes, behaviors & beliefs. Indeed, what motivates men is complex and will continue to change, and as a result many marketers are building a community with these customers to engage them continuously, ultimately fueling incremental learning, insight & impact.
If you want to market more effectively to male customers, here are three tips to keep in mind:
- Ditch the clichés.
The much-maligned "doofus dad" image is finally fading away. As dads become more central in all aspects of their kids' lives, more brands are creating work that celebrates rather than mocks what fathers do. Dove created a video showing how dads wholeheartedly participate in childrearing (#RealDadMoments). Meanwhile, a recent Canadian campaign for Peanut Butter Cheerios is a lighthearted ode to the modern dad.
Consumer research has found that men today largely aspire to be well-rounded and upstanding, but advertising is often quick to paint them as more one-dimensional and less well-intentioned. Clichés around masculinity -- rooting for a football team, grilling steaks, ogling women -- still predominate in marketing communications and male-targeted products (take Powerful Yogurt, which promises to help the consumer "Find your inner abs") even as we move into a more nuanced concept of gender that questions stereotypes and old assumptions. For example, men are far more comfortable taking charge in the kitchen, changing diapers and wearing jewelry than in the past. - Marian Berelowitz, AdAge
Most men today aspire to be well rounded. Ditch the clichés when marketing to male customers. (CLICK TO TWEET)
- Reach out directly to male customers.
"We always thought that if we speak to the gal, we'll eventually get to the guy because she'll bring the hot dogs into the household, and the household will consume," said Kristin Kroepfl, director of marketing for Ball Park. But in the past year, Kroepfl says, they've started reaching out to male consumers more directly, "in a voice that's bold and confident and a little bit more manly than we've been in the past."
In their campaign to reach men, many food companies are pushing boundaries. Kraft Foods recently began featuring men in TV commercials for its Jell-O, Velveeta and Miracle Whip brands, products it historically marketed largely to women. - Sarah Halzack, The Washington Post
More CPG companies are advertising directly to men "in a voice that's bold and confident. (CLICK TO TWEET)
- Consider their unique needs.
"We anticipate men's needs at different stages of their lives, and create products to meet them," Unilever's vp of marketing Rob Candelino told Digiday. "The Dove Men+Care and Axe users are guys at different stages in their lives, and each brand's efforts are tailored to reflect the unique interests and needs of these men."
Vincent DiCaro, vp of non-profit organization the National Fatherhood Initiative, praised the [Dove's #RealDadMoments] campaign's portrayal of fathers.
"It does actually do a great job of presenting a positive and realistic image of fathers, and that can be helpful," DiCaro said. "But it is also a sentimental way to sell soap. And there's no reason why it can't be successful at both of those things." - John McDermott, Digiday
Smart marketers tailor their campaigns to the unique needs of different male customer segments. (CLICK TO TWEET)