December 10, 2013

Marketers today often refer to the universal “she” consumer and shopper, simply assuming that men are not a factor in shopping decisions.

Yet while women continue to do most of the shopping and spend more of their own money, men are an active target market and shouldn’t be overlooked, says Kathy Oneto, VP of Brand Strategy at Anthem.

Certain male-focused categories such as personal care—which is reaching $5-6 billion in spending—have developed over the last decade, but it’s still common for men to be an under-served and untapped market.

Some marketers are recognizing this outage and spending more time and marketing dollars focused on understanding what men want to get beyond the traditional women 18-65 year old consumer demographic. Tide, Ruffles and J. Crew are a few brands re-focusing their efforts on men.

Marketers should consider two views—embrace the idea that perhaps their brands’ core target just might be men, or determine a way to bridge the gap and deliver gender-neutral marketing.

If you want to target men, invest the time and resources to understand the best way to build strong connections with them. It takes deep insight and thoughtfulness, to communicate to men in a way that’s genuine and not stereotypical.

For more insights and examples on how to lean in towards the other half of the shopper market, download the latest issue of Anthem Sightings, Vol. 3, 2013: Untapped Potential.