Years ago, direct mail expert Mary Hutchinson wrote me: “You know, I am wondering how much of the Christian TV divide is about gender as much as it is about age. Women respond with their emotions and buy or give. Men generally don’t. So to be successful in a Direct Response kind of way, you have to appeal to the women. And the end result is not appealing to men. Might that be part of the underlying issue?”
It’s a great question, and we do sometimes get stuck on the “65 and older” thing when we talk about Christian media audiences and we miss the role that women play. There’s no question in my experience that women are the largest users of Christian media – especially TV – and they certainly seem to respond to product offers more.
It’s always been a fascination of mine that in that world, most Christian TV leaders are men. It’s remarkable that it took so long to see Joyce Meyer, Anne Graham Lotz, and Beth Moore come on the scene. (And boy have they done well). There are other women who are coming along, and I certainly encourage hearing their voices.
Few churches and ministries have been successful at reaching men. Most simply assume they’re reaching male audiences, but don’t have any real data to prove it. So what does this mean for producers and programmers? Should Christian media be one huge Lifetime Network? Should we start doing more Christian sports, outdoors, or other male-oriented programs? Should we stop producing campaigns based on emotion? What do you think?