insight

May 15, 2023

Demographics2Look at When Marketing

People are unique. We can all agree on that statement. 

Yet, when looking at marketing decisions, it seems the experts want to lump us into categories with the assumption that everyone occupying that category has the same patterns, desires, interests, and passions. 

That is most evident in the generational groupings so popular over the past few decades. You know what I’m talking about.  It’s become trendy to pit the Baby Boomers against Gen-Y or Gen-Z, and don’t even talk about those Millennials and their preferences. Born in a certain year you are a certain way. Born in another decade and you absolutely fall into a different category. Speakers, authors, the media, and culture in general all thrive on generalizations. 

This kind of thinking makes it easier. It’s faster to produce the TV news story or magazine article. And it’s also wrong. 

Just because you know when someone was born doesn’t mean knowing what they’re going to think or how they’re going to respond. I hate to break it to you, but horoscopes are meant for entertainment purposes only. You can’t tell me that everyone who is born in 1998 or in January are cut from the same cloth. 

Demos Are Interesting, But They’re Not4Making Absolute Targeting Decisions 

Yet in advertising, companies are too often identifying their targets based on the generational labels they read about in magazine articles or see spoken about on television. That goes for hiring too. You’ll hear leaders discussing their “Millennials” or recruiting “GenX” employees and how difficult it can be for these people to work together. It’s all so – generic. 

It’s also off track. 

Good advertising draws interested people into a relationship with your product, service, business or organization. Great marketing keeps them engaged with you and loyal to your way of approaching client, customer, or patient interactions. 

Grouping generations together solely based on their birthday is overly simplistic and misses the mark. Instead, focus your advertising on reaching out to the people most likely to do business with you – regardless of their precise birthday. Your product is unique and so is your audience.  Focus on that part of your messaging and find the common ground with your interested audience.  Effective advertising resonates with consumers regardless of their stereotypical generational label. 

Target that next campaign to those you want to reach and do it in a unique way to get the best results.

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