Internet Marketing and Gender: Knowing Your Buyer(s) Will Increase your Bottom Line
Before you begin your marketing campaign, you must first understand the audience youíre targeting, beginning with their interests, experience, and expectations. As you may expect, there are many differences among Internet user groups categorized by gender, age, income, and other demographic factors. Internet users vary in areas such as techno-savvy, frequency of use, or purpose for usage.
These differences may be surprising. Itís challenging to first interpret the data, and then modify your marketing strategy to meet the demands of the users in your niche. To simplify this process, take a look at some of the gender-related trends outlined below and the business lessons they teach.
Gender differences and SERPs
Letís first consider exactly who uses the Internet. *Two-thirds of the American population is now online. On an average day, there are about 68 million people online, who make up approximately 53% of all Internet users. 86% of women aged 18-29 are online, but only 80% of men in that range are. Of those Internet users who are 65 or older, 34% of the men are online - but only 21% of the women.
Gender differences also play a role in Internet and search engine usage. Men seem to show a greater interest in technology over communication online. Some 88% of male users have used search engines: 40% of males use them daily, and 28% several times per day. Only 27% of women online search daily, with just 16% searching multiple times per day.
Recent data also show that 43% of men have heard of the distinction between paid and unpaid search engine results, whereas only 32% of females are aware of this difference. 54% of men report confidence in their search ability, while only 40% of women do so.
Itís important to remember that these last figures are based on self-reporting. Gender differences that emerge from online self-evaluation may reveal more about technological self-confidence, or the types of searches performed, than anything else.
Income, buying, and gender
An interesting relationship exists between income and gender in relation to Internet usage. For men and women with incomes under ,000, the percentages are almost equal, at 49% and 48%. There is, however, a shift to 66% of men and 76% of women online with incomes between ,000-,000.
In the income range ,000-,000, the numbers level again at 84% men and 87% women. The figures diverge again slightly for those making over ,000 at 90% men, 95% women.
In households with an income of less than ,000 per year, only 29% use search engines on a typical day. That number rises to 37% for household incomes between ,000 and ,999. It rises again, to 47%, in the ,000-75,000 range, and to 52% for households earning over K per year.
Selling, too, is related to income. 21% of households with an annual income above ,000 sell online, compared to only 13% for those in the below K bracket.
What does this mean for you and your product?
If your product or service is gender specific, consider gender perceptions when planning your strategies for search engine marketing. For example, PPC may end up being more effective than organic results when targeting women. But with only 27% of females searching daily, you may get better results by investing in links from well-trafficked womenís portals, doing co-registration campaigns, purchasing ads in womenís ezines, or just using offline word of mouth campaigns.
When considering products, EPCs, and average sale, keep in mind that higher income households not only search more frequently, but theyíre also likely to be more sophisticated about buying and selling online. Keyword and competition research are more important for products targeting those markets. But the higher the average income of your target market, the less you have to worry about the perceived differences between male and female search usage.
*Note: Statistical Data provided by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, www.pewinternet.org.
About the Author: Anik Singal is an Internet Entrepreneur and expert in affiliate marketing, including the latest web traffic tactics. For a free course that explains how he earned ,466 in just 60 days using proven marketing principles, visit www.affiliateclassroom.com/free-course.html