Monday, August 15, 2005

Men are from Mars, Women from Venus

Context is a tricky thing to master ... there are so many wrinkles to it.

Take this notice that a friend forwarded to me:

THIS IS A MAN'S WORLD WIDE WEB. Men and women respond to the Internet differently, according to research done at the University of Glamorgan in Wales. That may not be all that surprising, but the research says men and women differ greatly in what appeals to them in terms of Web-site design. In almost every case, women preferred Web sites designed by women and men preferred those created by men. The problem, of course, is that the majority of Web sites are designed by men, including those--such as ones for cosmetics and beauty aids--meant to appeal to women. Not surprisingly, the University of Glamorgan has launched a consulting service for Web-site design.
At first blush, you could read this notice and say to yourself "that's not so surprising." But a lot of context is like that. We see it as so common sensical that we miss it and walk right into another marketing trap.

While I lack the facts to prove it, I might dispute the Glamorgan researchers in their conclusion that websites are designed by men ... my observation is that there are a lot of women working as web designers. That aside, the lesson for contextual marketers here is that women have a sixth sense and intuitively understand each other far better than we men ... remember, we are from Mars and they are from Venus. If you want to link into the sixth sense for a marketing project aimed at women, at least have the project evaluated by women before taking it live.

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