Gendered Marketing

It comes as no surprise that men dominate the technology sector. They’re at the helm of the vast majority of startups in Silicon Valley and virtually every major technology company. Consequently, most startups in the consumer internet and B2B2C landscape decide by default to design their products thinking that men are their primary consumers, which is often referred to as the male audience bias. But they’re not.
The world of tech startups likes to associate women with Pinterest and social media, but many don’t realize women also dominate nearly all consumer spending. Women account for 85 percent of all consumer purchases, including 91 percent of new homes, 66 percent of computers, 92 percent of vacations, and almost half of all NFL merchandise purchases. The trend may be observed in every stereotypically male product and service. Even traditionally male industries, like online gaming, have heavy female usage. Did you know more than 43 percent of online gamers are actually 30-something women? Odds are good that your core demographic leans female, whether you know it or not.

Why should you care?

Because you need to build your product with your audience in mind. If you don’t, you risk alienating the very users you need to attract in order to survive. The design, from user experience to the colours chosen, must appeal to women. One of the first startups to
understand this was Mint.com. At one point, the Mint team A/B tested which shade of green in their logo and website converted more female users, then changed their official green to the one that won.
It doesn’t end at design. How are you marketing your product or service? Does the messaging appeal to women? The male audience bias extends to marketing as well. More than 9 out of 10 women say that advertisers don’t understand them. Men and women think differently, and make purchase decisions differently. You need to tailor your marketing and messaging to reflect that.

Not all women are the same

By now you will have probably read that Facebook’s fastest growing demographic is middle-aged women. Their influence doesn’t end there. Women over the age of 50 own more than 75 percent of the nation’s financial wealth, according to a 2007 study by MassMutual Financial Group. It makes sense: Baby Boomer women are often at the receiving end of a double inheritance, once when their parents die and again when their husbands pass. These 50-plus year old women spend 2.5 times more money than the average consumer. They’re ready to spend, but are you prepared to sell to them?


Designing and marketing with women in mind will give you an advantage in a global marketplace that mostly ignores the female perspective. That doesn’t mean making your website pink and fluffy. Dell tried that in a sad attempt to woo female customers in 2009 and was met with a severe backlash from women’s groups. Female stereotypes don’t work. To appeal to women, you need to test, do customer development, and learn what works for the female audience in your market. You’ll be surprised at what you learn about your product and what women really crave.

Adapted from huffingtonpost.com

Exercise 1

Find the words or expressions in the text which mean the following:

1) almost: __________
2) as a result: __________
3) a newly-established company: __________
4) to link something with something else: __________
5) to buy: __________
6) a branch of business activity: __________
7) to lose the support of somebody: __________
8) material goods in large quantities: __________
9) being better than somebody (e.g. competitors): ___________
10)strong disagreement or resistance: __________
11)a group at which a product is aimed: __________
12)to want something very much: __________


Exercise 2

Match the expressions from the two columns into logical collocations:

1) at the                   bias
2) a primary           your marketing
3) audience            the receiving end of something
4) consumer          helm of something
5) a core                 development
6) to tailor             demographic
7) baby                   growing
8) to be at              spending
9) customer          consumer
10)fastest              boomers


Exercise 3

Provide English equivalents of these expressions:

1) pokolenie wyżu demograficznego
2) zdystansować kogoś do siebie
3) główna grupa docelowa
4) spersonalizować działania marketingowe
5) uprzedzenie / tendencyjność
6) przewaga (np. nad konkurencją)
7) konsument docelowy
8) spadek (np. po mężu)
9) najszybciej rozwijający się
10)wprowadzić kogoś w zachwyt
11)pragnąć czegoś bardzo
12)testowanie dwóch wariantów produktu


Grammar corner…

In the text you found a sentence: By now you will probably have read that Facebook …
In this context it means that you ASSUME that somebody has already done something. The grammatical tense used here is called Future Perfect. As you probably know, the word perfect in grammar means done and complete. So how is it possible that a future tense can at the same time be done and complete? It not always is, but what we express here is our ASSUMPTION that it will be. In other words, we assume that something will be done at a certain time or point in the future. Future Perfect usually goes with phrases like: by (e.g. next week, the end of the month), before, until, next, or specific dates. If you would like to emphasize that something lasted for a longer period of time, use Future Perfect Continuous.


I will have finished writing my memoirs by the end of next week. => On Friday next week, you will be able to say: I have finished writing my memoirs!

Next month we will have been living here for 4 years. => Next month you will be able to say: I have been living here for 4 years.

You can see from the examples that before the specific time mentioned in a Future Perfect or Future Perfect Continuous sentence passes, it is still the future, whereas at that specific time, it becomes the present.


Exercise 4

Complete the sentences with the correct form of the word(s) in brackets:

1) By June 2015 I ____________________ (GRADUATE) from college.
2) By the time we even finish, they ____________________ (SUCCEED).
3) Economists estimate that the OTC-drugs market ____________________ (EXPAND) over the course of the next 2 decades.
4) We ____________________ (CLOSE) the deal by the time they enact the new legislation.
5) On June 7, 2015 we ____________________ (OPERATE) on the market for exactly 15 years.
6) The courts in this country are extremely slow! They ____________________ (DEAL) with this case for 20 years by the end of this month.
7) The private education sector ____________________ (SHRINK) significantly by the end of the decade due to shifting demographics.
8) I ____________________ (NOT FINISH) the report by the time the meeting starts because I received the last set of data too late.
9) The new highway ____________________ (COMPLETE) until the general election.
10)By 2025, the Chinese economy ____________________ (SURPASS) the American one.



virtually – prawie
consequently – w rezultacie
a startup – startup (nowo założona firma)
to associate something with something – kojarzyć coś z czymś
to purchase – zakupić
an industry – branża
to alienate somebody – zdystansować do siebie kogoś
wealth – majątek / bogactwo
an advantage – przewaga
a backlash – silny sprzeciw
an audience – grupa docelowa
to crave for something – pragnąć czegoś
to be at the helm – kontrolować coś / być za sterami
audience bias – tendencyjność względem pewnej grupy docelowej
a core demographic – główna grupa docelowa
to tailor something – skroić na miarę / spersonalizować
baby boomers – pokolenie wyżu demograficznego (tutaj: osoby urodzone po II wojnie światowej)
to be at the receiving end of something – być odbiorcą czegoś
a branch – gałąź (np. przemysłu) / oddział (np. banku)
quantity – ilość
aimed at – skierowany do
to woo somebody – oczarować kogoś
OTC drugs – leki bez recepty
legislation – ustawodawstwo
over the course of – w trakcie
to close a deal – sfinalizować transakcję
to enact something – wprowadzić coś w życie
shifting demographics – zmieniająca się sytuacja demograficzna
to surpass – prześcignąć


download lesson (pdf)



Ex. 1
1) virtually
2) consequently
3) a startup
4) to associate something with something else
5) to purchase
6) an industry
7) to alienate somebody
8) wealth
9) an advantage
10)a backlash
11)an audience
12)to crave for something

Ex. 2
1) at the helm
2) a primary consumer
3) audience bias
4) consumer spending
5) a core demographic
6) to tailor your marketing
7) baby boomers
8) to be at the receiving end of something
9) customer development
10)fastest growing

Ex. 3
1) baby boomers
2) to alienate somebody
3) a core demographic
4) to tailor your marketing
5) bias
6) an advantage
7) a primary consumer
8) an inheritance
9) fastest growing
10)to woo somebody
11)to crave for something
12)A/B testing

Ex. 4
1) … will have graduated …
2) … they will already have succeeded.
3) … will have expanded.
4) … will have closed …
5) … will have been operating …
6) … will have been dealing …
7) … will have shrunk …
8) … won’t have finished …
9) … will have been completed …
10)…will have surpassed …