A radio interview by Rhetonic.co.uk stimulated some interesting ideas in my mind about how we should be considering the best way to present information differently in our marketing to men and women.
The concept of neuro-marketing investigates and shapes marketing based on emotions, beliefs and motivations. Men and women are wired very differently and to assume that one flavour of a brochure or website would appeal in equal measure not only to different demographics, but also to males and females, is certainly too vague and generic.
When it comes to presenting imagery it is clear that gender-appropriate photography will appear most relevant if it is targeted to the audience it is intending to influence. But it goes much deeper than that and one thing that we regularly miss is the notion that women have clearer peripheral vision than men.
For a man viewing a web page or printed marketing material the visual view is linear and precise. The logical brain and synapses kick in to provide focus as the man searches for clarity and ideally a single answer. Think of the view of a hawk searching for a mouse in a field of long grass. Very little extraneous information as the wider view is fuzzy and considered irrelevant but the focal point is clear and the hawk swoops for the kill.
For a woman the peripheral vision is more naturally finely honed and she will likely see much more context around what she is looking at. The wider page layout is vital as she takes in and responds to a broader view. The analogy from nature could be the antelope on the plain. Her field of view is wide as she keeps constant vigil on the horizon to watch for big cats who may threaten her.
So the next time you consider designing a brochure or web page, consider your priority target audience not only from demographic but also gender. Should you keep things linear, focused and precise or present them in a wider context?