The modern man has a blurred identity. There was a Coke commercial which played this out perfectly, showing a couple going through raising a child in the first year of his life before finding out they will be parents again. That first year shows life for the modern dad.
Life is a hot mess. Parenting duties are shared. There is very little control. There’s authenticity and vulnerability, which are highly valued qualities for millennial dads.
Millennial dads break the mold when it comes to gender stereotypes for men. They defy the most common myth for men these days. In the last post, we already destroyed the idea that men belong to patriarchy. What other truths do we need to understand men?
First Truth: Men are Emotional
The first truth is that, contrary to myth, men aren’t emotionally absent. Myth of emotionally unavailability stems from the idea that men don’t have feelings; it stems from patriarchy. But there’s a difference between having feelings and showing feelings. Older generations are taught not to show any. This doesn’t mean they don’t have them. In fact, it can be argued that a man’s emotional landscape is likely more fragile than a woman’s because it is rarely exposed for challenged.
There’s something to be said about men and their emotions. It can also be argued that because they’re less explored, men are also less conflicted when it comes to dealing with problems since they’re able to separate the emotion from facts at hand. This is often why people believe that men are solution oriented while women are discussion oriented. Of course, these aren’t strict gender divisions. Some men fall into narratives more while other women are more solution oriented, having learnt to compartmentalize a flood of emotions.
So when it comes to your marketing, remember that men are still focused creatures who are heavily drawn to visuals. They’ll be more affected with targeted visuals and even videos. Lead with this. Let copy follow and keep it short and concise so that your call to action buttons or text stand out even more.
Second Truth: Men Are Just as Important as Women When it Comes to Being a Parent
Men actually play a double role when parenthood is imminent. They’re faced with thoughts on how to be more secure, and how to be able to provide for their new family, and be as source of unwavering support for new moms. There’s more. LiveScience shows that the “male brain becomes especially primed for cooperation in the months before becoming a father. Fathers-to-be go through hormone changes…which likely encourage paternal behavior.”
Beyond that, fathers question their significance as parents. Many don’t know that the type of paternal play fathers engage in (spontaneous interaction and rough housing) is important for building confidence in a child’s early development.
In the Coke ad, it’s about keeping the baby alive. Quite literally that’s priority number one for dad. But dads are about more than that. Dads don’t realized that their role as father is critical for a child’s development and how that works out. It’s going to be the job of your marketing department to show two prong value: value of a father to a mate and value of a father to the child.
Third Truth: No Man is – or wants to be – an Island
The interesting little tidbit about men is that they aren’t as competitive with each other as women tend to be, especially as they get older. In that sense, men are more inclined toward bonding and cooperation, but also struggle to always initiate this. And when it comes to your marketing, your goal will be to imitate bonding.
Next week, I’ll show you how your marketing team can do this.
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