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Marketing Online - Men and Women Use the Internet Differently

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When it comes to marketing online, you must understand your consumers. This means learning what they look for, and how they use the internet. This can help you grab their attention and get your marketing message in front of the right audience.

It's also important to realize that when it comes to online habits of men and women - they differ. I know, surprise! In the past there has been a lag with women when it came to the adoption of the internet, that is no longer the case. Truth is, studies show that women under the age of 65 are quicker to use the internet than men. As women we love to use the internet for research, where men prefer to use it as an entertainment tool. Do you see how this information can help?

When we review studies that have been done on the different ways that men and women use the internet, we can gain a greater deal of knowledge on how to position our products online.

Let's take a look at what a past study done by Pew Internet and American Life showed, while this study was done in 2005 I still believe much of the knowledge is applicable and can be used today.

Men are more likely to use the internet to:

  • Read the news
  • Buy travel services or make reservations
  • Check sports scores and gather sports information
  • Stay updated on political news
  • Participate in online auctions, such as ebay
  • Write content to publish online
  • Download music
  • Buy and sell stocks, bonds and mutual funds

A Forrester study done in 2007 also showed that on the average men tend to stay online longer and devote more time to online entertainment and researching technical gadgets.

Women use the internet to:

  • Get health information
  • Read spiritual and religious information
  • Gain access and participate in support group websites
    • A few other interesting statistics that were provided in a different study done by Burst Media in the beginning of 2009 stated the following:

      • 62.3% of women use the internet as their primary source for information on the products they were considering purchasing.
      • 51.7% of the women studied use the internet as the primary way to keep in touch with their families

      As you can see men go online to be entertained and hunt down information, where women tend to go online to gather information that assists them in nurturing, themselves and those around them. Clearly while both men and women generally spend allotments of time online, gender stereotypes are prevalent in what they do with their time online.

      Putting it to Use: Think about who your potential customer is online. Is the majority male or female? Can you see how this information can assist you in not only where but how to position your product or service in order to increase the conversions you gain online? How will you use this information in upcoming marketing campaigns?

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