Marketing to Men: Make the Most of Gender Differences (and Similarities)

Are you seeing a rise in the number of men interested in getting a little work done? If so, you’ve got plenty of company: In a recent survey of 400 RealSelf doctors, 73% said, yes, they’d seen an increase in male patients.

If you’re among the other 27% who haven’t seen an increase, you may be missing out on a market that is poised to grow over the years to come. Chalk it up to the pressures of the workplace or the love-it-or-hate-it fascination with the “dad bod” but the key to helping men achieve their aesthetic goals is to know what they’re looking for and how best to reach them.

What men are most interested in: In the above survey, 27% of doctors said their male patients were interested in getting rid of unwanted fat via liposuction or non-invasive alternatives. (Only Botox and fillers scored higher, at 42%.) As plastic surgeon Elisa A. Burgess, MD, told the RealSelf Trends blog, “Men want CoolSculpting, CoolSculpting, and more CoolSculpting.” (As an aside, it’s safe to say that while some women may “love the dad bod,” most men who own one probably don’t.)

How they research their options: While many of the ideas regarding innate gender differences (e.g., Mars-Venus) have been debunked, studies have shown that men do research their purchases differently than women. On the one hand, men tend to read more about the products and services they’re considering than women; on the other, they tend to be less influenced by other consumers’ reviews, either positive or negative. Marketing materials that highlight features/benefits may carry more weight than testimonials.

How they’re changing: Based on the above, it’s safe to say that men’s shopping habits are different than women’s in some ways and similar in others. Furthermore, the gap may be set to shrink even further as research shows that, unlike their older peers, Millennial males do enjoy browsing and the more social aspects of shopping.

At this point, it’s too early to tell what impact Millennial males will have on the industry as men still account for less than 10% of the procedures performed in the U.S. Nevertheless, the number of doctors who are seeing an increase in male patients, coupled with society’s increasing acceptance of cosmetic surgery in general, suggests that wanting to look one’s best isn’t limited by gender.

As plastic surgeon Kyle A. Belek, MD, told RealSelf Trends,

Social media, magazines, and television have shown generations of men that it’s OK to be concerned about their appearance and to think of plastic surgery as an accepted way to meet their goals. Everyone wants to look good and be respected. Those traits are not gender-specific.

About Rob Lovitt

Rob Lovitt is a longtime writer and editor who believes every good business has a great story to tell. He has written for dozens of magazines and websites, including NBCnews.com, Expedia.com and the inflight magazines of Alaska, Horizon and Frontier airlines.

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