How to make the most of an overlooked market
It’s often been said that Women make more than 85% of all healthcare decisions. While this is true, and it warrants paying particularly close attention to that segment of your target market, you shouldn’t ignore the other 15% of your possible customer base.
Gender roles are becoming more and more fluid, which can mean more full-time or stay-at-home fathers are making the health and wellness decisions mom used to make. Men are also becoming more savvy about their own health and nutrition needs, and there are a lot of things we can do as Health Nutrition marketers to help that process along. Here are a few:
Help him feel like an expert
Believe it or not, men are talked down to a lot in our culture—especially by advertisers. If they are not blatantly made to feel inept as the butt of the “I can’t do anything without a women” joke, they are teased for being down and out oblivious. Give him some credit! Appeal to his ego, and give him facts he can share. Lean on technology to get him involved, and create tools that challenge him to learn more. When a man feels like he is building a knowledge base and becoming an expert, he will feel more in control. And control is something most men appreciate.
Create events or offers that are just for him
Many times we market to a female audience by default, simply forgetting that men might have an interest in what we are doing. Whether you are marketing healthy cereals or an herbal supplements, be sure you have a “just for men” strategy. This can mean giveaways at male-dominated venues, such as sporting events, or it can be as simple as a micro-site that asks then answers questions that are specific to his needs. I recently saw an ad that targeted dads who are “snack parents” at sporting events, and I thought, “How brilliant!”. There are informed, engaged, hands-on dads out there. Make sure you are talking to (and congratulating) them.
Remember that men aren’t women
When marketing to women, we tend to focus on how our communications will make her feel. Often we focus on tradition, sharing with friends and family, or good old-fashioned sentimentality. Men aren’t women and they never will be. Of course you can appeal to a man’s feelings, but if you want him to take action, you have to start with his mind. Push what’s practical and stick with the facts. Provide data and concrete benefits, and create opportunities for him to learn more. Once he’s engaged with your brand, you can worry about how he feels, but tread lightly and use a good dose of humor.
If you enjoyed this article you may also be interested in:
photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/hi-phi/66012169/”>[phil h]</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a> <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/”>cc</a>
Jessica is a competitive athlete and the President of Energize HNM, a health and nutrition marketing agency. Jessica is committed to supporting health brands of every size by helping them define their missions and connect with their customers on a deeper, more meaningful level.