A-ha! So that’s why we always want to spend your money, new research finds women pay more attention to and are therefore more engaged in ads than men.

Measuring the effectiveness of advertising is a hard one to crack and when targeting consumers the separate interests and feelings of both men and women are major factors in marketing communications campaigns.

We currently live in a world where information is being constantly thrown at us from all directions, and we struggle to keep our attention focussed on any one thing for any length of time. So it was interesting to read about new research which has delved into the mind of the modern consumer to discover the levels of interest in advertisements for both men and women.

A panel of 11,000 consumers were asked about their attitude to advertising across 33 product categories. Research found the respondents reactions could be divided into four separate categories: seekers, reactors, rejecters and ignorers.

Greater numbers of females fell into the seeker and reactor categories whilst the rejecters and ignorers were mostly men.

It was shown that levels of attention are the same between men and women in categories such as utility suppliers and financial services. However, women pay significantly more attention to adverts about (surprise!) fashion and clothing, holidays and charity.

The obvious conclusion is that men and women are different and like different things.  But there is a definite deeper meaning that us marketers are very interested in. If women are paying attention to a holiday ad, the likelihood is that they are the key influencers (i.e. in charge) and as the desired target audience, companies should be targeting their ads towards them.

While women are engrossed with ads featuring luxury bathing products and beauty items, men are still disengaged with these sort of ads, even though male grooming has experienced a major boom of late.  The information demonstrates advertisers still need to work harder to engage men in this sector, possibly utilising more ‘below the line’ techniques such as PR and direct mail campaigns.

This advice is also reversed when it comes to women and technology. As you might expect, men are more interested in computer, video game and mobile phone advertisements. Therefore advertisers face a challenge of creating more integrated and bespoke campaigns targeted specifically for women rather than their existing generic campaigns.

When Indian scooter maker Hero Honda introduced a scooter specifically targeted at women, it went beyond a ‘feminised product’. As women make 80% of household spending decisions, businesses are understandably keen to create products and services to attract females.

22 dedicated women-only scooter ‘Just4her’ showrooms were opened up across the country. With an all-female sales staff, the entire showroom is designed to make women buyers feel more at ease.

They are also working on creating all-women teams of mechanics and introduced the Lady Rider Club, the first of its kind, offering special benefits that include milestone rewards, personal accident insurance and special events for members.

Hero Honda is now selling 18,000 Pleasure scooters a month and receiving great praise for its innovative approach.

Perhaps we can go even more specific than male or female. Perhaps future research will focus on how best to deliver targeted advertising that piques the interest of each individual – male or female. And if you think that’s farfetched, take a closer look at those Facebook ads you keep getting…

In the meantime let’s just celebrate our differences… as seen here in the wonderful Battle of the Sexes ad for the Mail on Sinday. Now sic ’em doggies!