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Want to Reach Male Shoppers? Target their Phones

It has become increasingly clear that gender does count with online ads - even with the relatively sparse real estate available on the mobile screen. The latest evidence comes from an Old Navy mobile campaign that is turning heads - and aimed at men. It also can be seen in new statistics provided by mediaFORGE.

The latter was compiled in conjunction with, an online apparel retailer of streetwear fashion. The study was conducted over a period of 30 days, serving personalized, interactive display ads to three segments of site abandoners. One control group was served gender-neutral ads while the other two groups were served gender-specific ads to determine the effectiveness of gender-based messaging.

The study showed that, not only were gender-based ads two times more effective at driving traffic back to the site than gender neutral ads, but that men were much more likely to return to the site to purchase. The study also found that ads targeting men generated over five times more revenue than gender-neutral ads and ads targeting women were clicked two times more and generated just under five times more revenue than gender-neutral ads.

Other findings:

  • Clicks on male-targeted ads converted to sales at triple the rate of gender-neutral ads, while clicks on the female-targeted ads converted at double the rate of gender-neutral ads;
  • Ads targeting women are clicked more often, but convert to sales at a lower rate compared to the ads targeting men.

The survey results follow a mobile campaign rolled out by Old Navy, developed by Camp + King, whose goal was to reach out men between the ages of 25-35 precisely because of their high rate of mobile usage, Mobile Marketer reports. This is Old Navy's first direct effort targeting men in a while, the publication said. Not only did it target men’s love of their smartphone devices but it also played on an underutilized fact: namely that men don’t hate to shop, they just shop differently than women.

Another study, by comScore, pointed to similar findings. In the EU5 countries of France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK, nearly two males accessed mobile banking for every one female during the three-month average ended March 2011.


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