Making The Men In Your (Marketing) Life A Priority This Year

January is almost gone. But if you're still fine-tuning your marketing plans to this demographic for 2014, I thought now would be a good time to share some ideas that you may want to keep in mind.

Marketing Personas - it's surprising that many brands and marketers still have not researched and developed marketing personas. How can you develop advertising, branding, and marketing messages to appeal to a specific audience – i.e., males — if you don't know exactly who that audience is?

If you "feel" that your customers are, say, urban dwellers in their 20’s, with X amount of income, that still encompasses a huge, potential swath of customers with very divergent interests and tastes. What's the racial breakdown of your target urban male customer? Sexual orientation? Does your brand appeal to gay men as well as straight metrosexuals? While not wanting to stereotype, those two segments might share an overlapping sense of taste in fashion, but they're not always reading the same media and interacting on the same social platforms.



2014 could be the year that you dig in and develop well-researched customer personas or review the personas you've already developed. Here's a template to help you get started.  

Content Marketing - Content marketing has been the buzzword for the last two years in the marketing world. We all know that consumers are tuning out traditional advertising and, hence, marketers are trying to create compelling content to lure customers into the purchase funnel.

Despite some beliefs, content doesn't just mean text, articles or white papers. In fact, the visual web is exploding. In 2013, Instagram was the fastest-growing app, according to Nielsen. Instagram currently has 150 million active users. And 70% of those users, check Instagram at least once a day. Vine was another popular video app that saw a meteoric rise in adoption in 2013 and proved, yet again, that video was a powerful medium for getting your message out. 

What's your content strategy for reaching men? Are you and your team strategizing and brainstorming visual content specific to your male audience? Not to belabor a point, but if you spend the time to build well-researched marketing personas, those personas may very well include visual triggers that your male personas respond to more often.

Analytics - Figuring out what your audience responds to leads us to discuss analytics. I'm sure you've heard the axiom by now, "You can't fix what you don't measure." That applies to marketer’s tenfold. We live in a world of big data and analytics. Measurement and analytics should be informing all of your marketing plans for 2014. 

What can you measure? Everything and anything. But that vast choice leads to analysis paralysis. If your numbers aren't actionable or informative in some way, don't track them. 

Here are baseline analytics that you need to get a handle on in 2014: Overall sales; revenue vs. profit; percentage of male vs. female customers; online traffic — where is your traffic coming from now (paid search vs. organic vs. referral); what are your biggest traffic sources — Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram; bounce rates; time on site; device your target is using to access your site (mobile, tablet, desktop); etc.

Once you have the basics out of the way, you should be looking at: what were the most popular social media posts the week/month before and how can you replicate or grow that success especially for posts aimed at men.

I've outlined just a few ideas and plans to target men with your 2014 marketing. What are your marketing goals/plans for targeting men this year? Let me know.

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