Targeting your customers

If I walked into your business today, would you be able to look at me and know if I were in your major target demographic? 

Sure, I doubt you’d turn down my sale if I wasn’t in your target demo, but would you know if your marketing was specifically designed to bring me and my wallet into your business.

Gone are the days when your “target client” was anyone with money (in fact did those days ever exist?) but today I want to have a little look at specifically targeting one gender as your target demographic.

Now before anyone gets up in arms about sexism, please remember businesses have been doing this for years. While I’m sure many men like the look of a female leg in a heel, Jimmy Choos aren’t marketing to the boyfriends, they’re marketing to their consumer, the women.

Or look at the “delightfully tacky, yet unrefined” Hooters or doll creation company Friends 2 B Made. They’re obviously not trying to attract every type of clientele either.

And if the literary world tells us that men are from Mars and women can’t read maps, how do you market to just one gender appropriately and effectively.

First, we have to realise that men and women are different (thanks to legendary blogger Guy Kawasaki for this info): “…men have 6.5 times more grey matter than women. Women have 10 times more white matter. Grey matter is for processing centres. White matter is for creating connections between processes so that people can see and process patterns.”

So let’s have a little look at how two unlikely new businesses online are conducting their gender-specific marketing

First, HusbandHero:

This site will email your husband once a month giving him ideas on what he can do to be more romantic such as hiding fresh flowers around your house for not one but five days in a row. Can we all say awww…

I don’t know about how my husband would feel if I signed him to start receiving emails (this is an option on the site for harried wives out there). The first email going to my hubby would tell him that the site is to him what the utility belt is to Batman. Knowing my hubby he’d probably just prefer to go see the new Batman flick.

As of today my favourite new gender-biased product online is the Manly Man Candle Company.

Described modestly on their website as “Quite possibly the world’s most perfect product. Ever.”. The Manly Man Candle Company sells manly-scented candles in flavours such as leather, hunting lodge, coffee, yard work, grandma’s cooking and my favourite: Sports injury. Now you can smell like a professional athlete without the pain and suffering!

New flavours surely to come soon: “Socks after an hour at the gym” and “Trust me this t-shirt is fine to wear, I just smelt the armpit.”

You can’t get all the customers, so do you know who you’re after?


Kirsty Dunphey is the youngest ever Australian Telstra Young Business Woman of the Year, author of two books (her latest release is Retired at 27, If I can do it anyone can) and a passionate entrepreneur who started at age 15 and opened her own real estate agency at 21. Currently Kirsty heads up the premium online copywriting site for real estate agents and is a co-director of Elephant Property Launceston, Tasmania’s only boutique real estate agency purely for investment property owners. Kirsty’s other ventures are outlined at her website where you can also sign up for her newsletter.

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