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LIVE FROM FMI: Marketing to the Male Mind


As American gender roles continue to blur, 51 percent of men now act as primary grocery shoppers in their household, representing an untapped opportunity for retailers, according to Janet Oak, senior director, strategy & insights, Galileo Global Branding Group.

Men are in the store, says Oak, but the key for retailers is to build a marketing strategy that effectively targets them.

According to the study, 78 percent of both men and women are responsible for all or nearly all of the grocery purchases in the past month, as well as eight of every 10 food or beverage purchases, indicating a continued leveling of the playing field.  And both genders spend essentially the same amount of time in-store –- 34 percent of females and 28 percent of males spent 31 or more minutes during their last trip.

And to further reveal men as a lucrative consumer group, Oak explained that one-third spent at least $50 on their last shopping trip, and 14 percent spent $100 or more –- just $3.40 less on average per trip than their female counterparts.

Six Types of Male Archetypes

Oak then identified the six types of male archetypes categorized by their feeling toward gender roles, cooking and shopping for their households. The "Traditional Male," on one end of the spectrum, believes in highly differentiated gender roles, followed by "Modern Day," "Primal," "Confused," Discerning," and "Heckled" – the latter of which resides on the opposite side of the spectrum, and represents men who believe strongly in equality and splitting of household chores. 

Although both men and women make mission-oriented trips, the study found, men are 10 percent more likely to do so. Eighty-nine percent make more than one per week and 50 percent make more than three mission-oriented trips per week.

Oak then explored the six types of mission-oriented trips that men make: Man-riety (15 percent), trips designed to switch things up and try something new; Crowd Man-agement (26 percent), robust shopping occasions, designed to get something for everybody; Man-shape (13 percent), health-oriented trips that often take longer to find items of interest; Stockpile the Man Cave (10 percent), trips to find items for entertaining and hosting; Well Man-nered (13 percent), designed for special occasions; and On DeMand (23 percent), shopping occasions for something "quick and easy."

In closing, Oak presented a series of strategies designed to better market to the male consumer group. Retailers should aim to understand the different mindsets and missions, identify those that represent the best bet for their business and market products accordingly. Men value convenience and prefer everything they need in an easy-to-access destination.

Additionally, Oak said, add a sense of "gamification" to couponing, promotions and marketing efforts, and suggest new pairings and combinations, particularly in the snack aisle. And finally, keep products and themes on the masculine side, because, as Oak said, "Don’t forget male shoppers are still men!"

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