Where Are The Men Online?

Imagine that you’re a marketing specialist and your job is to sell a new widget to men. It might be a fine widget and if you could find the men, they might buy the widget.

Your boss tells you to find the men, sell this widget. Your boss gives you a big budget but not enough for TV advertising. You have only enough money for Internet advertising.

But you can’t find the men online.

There are scads of websites for women. Those websites are all about celebrity gossip, style advice, relationship advice (always wrong), shopping, and the like. Those websites are colorful, vibrant, and without serious content. Men don’t visit those websites.

But where are the men online?

Welcome to the manosphere.

It’s a wild and untamed place. It’s a place where men exchange ideas and discuss issues that are relevant to men. There are nasty words. There are insults and there is derision. There are ideas at which the SWPL clutch their chests and cry out “I’m coming Elizabeth!” Google Fred Sanford, please.

Single men are looking for ways to be more attractive to women. Married men are looking for ways to strengthen their relationships or get the hell out. There are discussions of politics. There are discussions of guns, body building, motorcycles, and all things that men love to pursue without the cloying interference of women. The beer is cold, the furniture is mismatched, the music is loud.

Manosphere blogs are bereft of pretty pictures and the other tactics necessary to attract the attention of women. Manopsphere blogs are heavy on words, light on graphics. Expect no political correctness in the manosphere. Political correctness is considered both a moral and intellectual weakness.

You found the men. Hooray you. So now you must sell your widget in a ferociously tough environment. Good luck. While women seek validation, men want truths. The words and ideas are so tough that what the few advertising opportunities seem like placing a billboard in a minefield. The manosphere simply doesn’t care. If the billboard you wish to plant in that minefield doesn’t contain essential truths relevant to men, it will be completely and utterly ignored.

Yep, welcome to the manosphere.

Logic and reason are concepts that rule here. Go ahead, try an emotional appeal to sell that widget. It will fail. Emotions are the realm of women and you are supposed to sell the widget to men.

How do you sell that widget in the manosphere? You don’t. You present that widget in a logical and rational way and you pray that enough men see that. Ah, but once enough men see that your widget solves a man-related problem the men will talk. They will post nice reviews and recommend that your widget is good and does indeed solve a problem. You will succeed in your marketing endeavors.

If that widget is poorly made and fails, the men will talk. “This widget sucks!” will be both the refrain and the chorus and those words will be spread widely. You will be fired from your marketing job unless the engineers (all men) are given the incentives to make a better widget. There are few widgets advertised in the manosphere because the marketers are mostly women. There are also few widgets advertised because men have a higher standard for the products they purchase.

As the manosphere grows, advertisers will come calling. They will want to sell their products and services here. If they don’t understand the essential nature of the manosphere, those advertisers will fail.

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  1. #1 by Workshy Joe on February 22, 2011 - 8:43 AM

    The odd thing about internet advertising – compared to TV or radio – is that you take your cues from what the users are typing in.

    Man types in “online dating” and the search engine tries to figure out what he’s looking for – or what they want to funnel him towards.

    If it was just a case of “go where the men are” you’d see far more online dating services advertised on sports websites, nascar, computer games sites and the like.

    There are two big dirty secrets in the online dating world:

    1. The men massively outnumber the women.
    2. On the paid dating sites, the vast majority of profiles belong to people who are not paid-up members.

  2. #2 by Hope on February 23, 2011 - 12:32 PM

    There are several ways to sell to men online: sports, finance, tech, video games and sex (porn). Those sites are generally graphic-heavy with the exception of perhaps finance.

    The manosphere is text-heavy and has a more intelligent audience, and hence difficult to advertise to, because high IQ people in general are less swayed by marketing and are more interested in substance. Most advertising is fluff and catchy slogans/pretty pictures (I work in marketing), and they work on the general public who don’t want to read past the first sentence.

    Emotional appeal does work on men — but it has to be an appeal to masculine ideals, honor and strength, helping out the weak, or improvement in general. Men will also shell out tons of cash for collectibles, cards, memorabilia and even virtual currency in video games. They also tend to be more “reciprocal” in their purchases. If they feel that someone has given them something of value for free, they will gladly donate or purchase something as a gesture of appreciation (my husband does this).

    The social bookmarking site reddit is very male-oriented, has tons of educated men in their prime of purchasing power, and has a lot of social clout if a marketer taps that group the right way. The audience has a keen eye for real quality and interesting products and will promote them. The Old Spice stuff worked well there, as did a small soap-maker called Soapier, who were struggling and posted their story, and got a ton of online orders for reddit-themed soap.

    I don’t know much about the online dating segment / marketing, because I personally loathe it. I was on POF and OKCupid for maybe a few weeks and disliked everything about the virtual meat market.

  3. #3 by Simon Rierdon on February 23, 2011 - 10:37 PM

    If an advertiser has a product that dovetails with “NSFW Fantasy Fest boobs” I can help them out with thousands of hits…still my highest search engine result behind the “Submissives” post. And I haven’t posted all of my pics yet.

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