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In Today’s Hyper Changing Consumer Climate, the Differences Between Men and Women’s Discussions in the UK are Very Much Coming to the Fore

Published by Engagement Labs May 04, 2020


For this week’s blog, we decided to explore some of the interesting differences between women and men’s discussions during these tumultuous times.

Key issues are weighing heavily on women

In digging into the most recent data, we noted some interesting shifts in topics discussed. Among Total Public, we saw a lift in discussions about making a big household purchase (+8 pts since prior week), risks of obesity (+4), and holidays (+3). However, upon further exploration, we noted that these topic shifts aren’t consistent for women and men.

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This got us thinking - how are men and women’s conversations different during these turbulent times?

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Coronavirus falls as consumers’ most impactful conversation among men and women alike; family and friends a bigger component of women’s impactful conversations

During the current week, many consumers continued to describe their most impactful conversation as related to Coronavirus/Covid-19 (37% men, 35% women); however, as the line chart below shows, this figure has fallen as each week goes on. The biggest differences in men and women’s most impactful conversations include:

  • Women are more likely than men to say their most impactful conversation is about friends and family (14%, +6 pts from men), while men’s relates to jobs/finance (10%, -2 pts from women).
  • The emotions following these impactful conversations vary between women and men. Women are more apt to report the “crying face” emotion or “screaming in fear” than their male counterparts, while men are generally feeling more “happy/smiley” and “nervous” than women.

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Women are talking less about brands than men

Women’s conversations about brands declined by 10% during the current period which is defined as two-weeks ending the 26th of April vs. the prior period (2-weeks ending April 5th). The loss was driven by fewer discussions about CPG brands (drinks, household products), tech, children’s products, and media/entertainment. This is opposite the trend seen among men which saw a 7% increase in brand discussions, primarily driven by tech, media/entertainment, telecom, drinks, and food.

Similarly, men are engaging in more brand discussions than women during the current period (1.5B, +90M vs. women). The categories they are talking more about include: tech, sports, media, drinks, auto, travel and energy. However, women are talking more than men about a handful of categories: personal care/beauty, health, household products and shopping.

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Marketing to women and men have often required different strategies. After all, they say, “men are from Mars, Women are from Venus.” In today’s hyper changing consumer climate, those differences are very much coming to the fore. Emotions are different, the relative value placed on family/friends is different, and this is translating into different brand conversations -- they are of diminished importance to women, while they are growing among men. One size marketing strategies rarely work, and they definitely won’t today.


We will continue to update you on the impact of COVID-19 on Britain, and in the meanwhile we encourage you to contact us with any questions or if we can be of further assistance.

If your company has a COVID team at work, and we can assist with unique data (offline as well as online social intelligence), or if you wish to discuss the impact of the coronavirus on your brand or your category, we invite you to reach out to us.

In the meantime, stay safe and healthy!


Yes, I'd like to see the full report and discuss  more about the Coronavirus trends.