Men, Women and Their Relationship with … Their Phones (and Mobile Advertising)


Happy Valentine’s Day!  As our present to all the lovebirds out there, we at the Marchex Institute took a data dive into the various phone habits of Mars and Venus. We gathered some pretty interesting information about how men and women act – get ready for this – differently on the phone.

OK, we know what you’re thinking. How is this news? Of course women like to marathon chat on the phone while men’s conversations consist of utilitarian, monosyllabic bursts. Right? Right?

Uh … WRONG. Sure, we analysts had some assumptions going into this. But being the number geeks that we are, we decided, “Let the data reveal the truth.”

Using Marchex’s proprietary technology, we analyzed more than 200,000 phone calls placed to businesses in the last year by men and women and examined how the sexes behaved. By leveraging this technology that measures tonal frequencies that indicates gender, we can correlate a variety of interesting attributes between call and caller.

Here’s what we found:

Men spend more time on the phone; more talkative than women

On average, male callers stayed on the phone for 7 minutes 23 seconds and women for just 6 minutes 30 seconds. Men spoke more and spoke faster than women. The average male caller spoke 236 words per call at 32 words per minute and the average female spoke 227 words per call at a rate of 24 words per minute.

Male and Females call different kinds of businesses

It may come as no surprise that Auto Repair calls are made mostly by men and calls to nutrition businesses are made mostly by women. The closest to parity? Landscaping!

Imagine you’re in the business of selling pest control and you know that 60% of the calls you receive will be from females. How would you structure your campaigns?  Would you change your targeting methodology?  Recognizing the patterns and tendencies is the kind of game changing information that enables marketers and shop owners alike to materially improve conversion.

We also noticed that if the business category was most often called by men, those calls were often longer on average than the calls made by women.

Men Call Earlier in the Day than Women

Men and women also make calls at different times of day.  Men tend to make more calls at the beginning of the day whereas females tend to make more calls after lunch.

Men and Women Call for Different Products

In pest control, men and women seem to have a different set of concerns.  Of all pests, men call more often than women for mice…Of Mice and Men, anyone?

Obvious joke aside, men accounted for 52% of the calls concerning mice. Women, on the other hand, generated more of the calls for almost all other pest types. Females generated 65% of calls concerning bugs in general, 59% of roach calls, 58% of those for spiders and 56% regarding termites.


Perhaps there is no inter-planetary conclusion here but men and women do exhibit different tendencies on the phone with businesses. To confirm this in your own way, at the end of your next call for personal business, ask the company rep how your call was different than the average call from the opposite sex. Was the call more or less involved? Did you ask about different product or services? Then let us know. We’d love to hear your feedback.



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