As marketing experts, we know that women are the most important decision-makers when it comes to making purchases. Women make an estimated 80 percent of all buying decisions, so it’s no surprise that many of our efforts are spent engaging the almighty women in hopes of inspiring loyalty.
What we miss out on when we rush after the big market - women - are the essential bits of information related to male shopping habits that help us close the circle of spending. Men are making plenty of purchases, albeit coming to their conclusions about what to buy in different ways than women are. Those differing habits are where we can personally engage the male audience in ways that inspire long-term loyalty.
When new research by SAP busted the myth of the last-minute male shopper over the holidays, we were able to glean more information on capturing the elusive male shopper. Turns out that nearly 40 percent of men seek advice on what to buy loved ones, either in-store, looking online, asking friends and relatives or checking social media posts. What that means in practice is that men are utilizing available resources and past experiences to make buying decisions. If he’s already familiar with your brand, think how much more likely it is that you’re his starting point for any purchase.
Preference management, the active collection, maintenance and distribution of unique consumer characteristics, such as product interest, communication channel preference and frequency of communication is the best way to ensure that any shopper is an engaged, loyal customer. However, for male shoppers especially, that conversion could mean that you’re their first - and potentially only - stop for shopping, depending on the occasion. Starting that conversation with male consumers early and often means that you're laying the groundwork for men and reaching all shoppers regardless of gender.
Eric V. Holtzclaw is Chief Strategist of PossibleNOW. He's a researcher, writer, serial entrepreneur and challenger-of-conventional wisdom. His book with Wiley Publishing on consumer behavior - Laddering: Unlocking the Potential of Consumer Behavior - hit bookstores last summer. Eric helps strategically guide companies with the implementation of enterprise-wide preference management solutions.
Labels: brand, communication channel preference, consumer characteristics, frequency of communication, marketing, preference management, product interest, SAP, shoppers, social media