Unless you sell a gender-specific product, such as sanitary pads, segmenting your audience according to gender reinforces negative social stereotypes. So says marketing specialist Gaby Barrios, who is on a mission to topple some outdated marketing traditions. Barrios’s data-backed approach to market segmentation may help breathe new life into your firm’s brand and marketing strategy.


Gender-based marketing is problematic for businesses and for society.

During its live coverage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019, one US Spanish-speaking network aired ad after ad for cosmetics, diet aids and household cleaners. Marketers had expected a large viewership of Hispanic women and strived to make smart use of fixed advertising budgets. Market segmentation is a popular advertising tool, but using gender as a demographic “shortcut” toward reaching target consumers is problematic. For businesses, gender-based marketing falls short of a brand’s full potential. And for society, such marketing reinforces gender stereotypes.

In the past, gender-based marketing was convenient...

About the Speaker

Gaby Barrios is a marketing specialist and a partner at the Boston Consulting Group’s Center for Customer Insight. 

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