Social media and the end of gender marketing

For the spring break, I went to see my family in France. And, of course, my very first concern was to buy cheese.


Arrived in the grocery store, I came face to face with this special product:



I know the effectiveness of gender marketing, but I am really wondering if a manly cheese was necessary. Did Bel increase the sales of Apericube after this marketing campaign? I am definitely curious.


But, despite this sexist cheese I believe that gender marketing will soon break and reach its ending point. And social media will cause this great revolution.


Yes, gender marketing used to be a great tool to target customers and increase the chances of selling products. But isn’t it a little old-fashioned nowadays? Today, thanks to (or because of, depends on your point of view) social media and online analytics, marketers are able to know everything about you: your date of birth, your hometown, your interests and your favorite food. Hence, knowing if you are a man or a woman looks absolutely pointless.


Moreover, targeting women used to be very efficient because they were the decision makers to purchase goods, especially food, clothes, toys etc. According to Mediametric Survey, 51% of Internet users are men, and 40% of them buy online:  we are far from the cliché of men hating shopping.


To put it in a nutshell, gender marketing won’t obviously disappear tomorrow and we will have to deal with girly toothpaste for a while, but I guess that smart marketers will be more likely to use information they collect online for a more efficient and targeted advertising.


I’m pretty sure you already know Riley, but just in case: here is the video of this little girl asking relevant questions about gender marketing.

Let me also recommend Seth Godin’s fantastic book about the non-future of mass marketing: We are all weird.


3 thoughts on “Social media and the end of gender marketing”

  1. I disagree, Joyce! I think that gender marketing is here to stay – albeit in even more sophisticated forms. Although you point out that marketers “…are [already] able to know everything about you…” I see this as supporting evidence and not a reason why it will end. The likes and dislikes of both women and men become crucial pointers to how many products and their sales environments are ultimately set. As individuals or as part of a partnership, (hetero, lesbian or transgender) the values and aspirations of women are as vital to understand as those of men yet both men and women have different hierarchic value systems. Or…am I missing the point here…?

  2. I think Riley is a genius, personally. 🙂 Targeted marketing based upon gender does seem to be more than a bit passe, in my opinion. And. perhaps, in the case of the cheese – taken a bit too far! It’s more of a shotgun approach: instead of marketing to groups with common interests (and marketing well, so they will share the product with others) many companies go for just the assumed common ground of masculine or feminine. Thank you for sharing – and giving me a chuckle over girl and boy cheese.

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