November 14, 2017

Marketing Chart: How brands disappoint men and women with their marketing


The goal of marketing is to win over a customer.

However, certain marketing behaviors are more likely to alienate a customer than win one over. This week, we share data showing how brands disappoint men and women with their marketing.

Read on to see the chart, along with analysis and advice from MarketingSherpa and Sam Beiler, Marketing Director, Equipter (a construction equipment manufacturer).

(As seen in the MarketingSherpa Chart newsletter. Click to get a free subscription to the latest research and case studies from MarketingSherpa.)

by Daniel Burstein, Senior Director, Content & Marketing, MarketingSherpa and MECLABS Institute


We asked 1,200 consumers about a company they were unsatisfied with. We then asked …

Thinking about the marketing of [Company Name], which of the following have you ever experienced that makes you unsatisfied? Select all that apply.

(The chart will open in a new window, click and zoom to read the data.)

To see 35 charts from the study, download the free report.


Women are slightly more likely to prefer customer-first marketing than men

The most frequent way unsatisfied female customers describe the marketing of the businesses they are unsatisfied with is — they don’t provide customer-first marketing. “[Company Name] does not put my needs and wants above its own business goals” was chosen by 38% of unsatisfied female customers (their most frequent choice) and 31% of male customers (their second most frequent choice).

So, while women were more likely to be concerned with customer-first marketing than men, it was an important consideration for men as well.

“Based on this data, people clearly dislike an experience where they feel a business is trying to just sell them something. Just think of the last time someone knocked on your door trying to sell you something, or you randomly received a call from a company trying to sell you,” said Sam Beiler, Marketing Director, Equipter (a construction equipment manufacturer).

“Just today, I received a random phone call from someone trying to do just this. The funny thing is that I can’t even remember what the person was trying to sell. The phone call went something like this.

Me: ‘Hello, this is Sam.’

Other person: ‘Hi, this is Carol from so and so, and I wanted to tell you about this special opportunity ...’

"And that’s where she lost me, and I zoned out and eventually hung up. That conversation would have gone completely different if she would have at least given some effort to really communicate with me and see if I am experiencing a problem that their service could potentially solve for me,” Beiler said.

Relationships important to both men and women

The most frequent descriptor chosen by men — “[Company Name] doesn’t make me feel like I have a relationship with the company” — was still chosen by more women (35%) than men (33%).

“Reviewing this data chart, we clearly see the importance of communicating in a way that builds relationships. For me, the easiest way to communicate this way is to simply put myself in the shoes of the customer, then build content from that perspective,” Beiler said.

Putting yourself in the shoes of the customer can help with an area that was a bigger reason for men to be unsatisfied — lack of relevance. Although it was one of the lesser concerns for both genders, men were more likely than women to say that the company that made them unsatisfied had marketing that is boring and irrelevant (14% for men and 9% for women).

Toward a better customer experience

Ultimately, the goal should be to use this data to create a better customer experience — with your marketing and your products. And, as Beiler put it, “Delivering a better customer experience results in more referrals, higher closing ratios and more revenue.”

Related Resources

Marketing Chart: Generational differences (and similarities) among unsatisfied customers

Marketing Chart: The outsize impact of customer-first marketing on word-of-mouth

The Importance of Building Trust: What 2,400 consumers say about trust in the conversion process

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