Demographics and Targeted Marketing

It’s no secret that the advertising and marketing world are heavy consumers of demographic data and track population statistics. Knowing who your customer is and implementing segmentation strategies are critical to most businesses. It’s easy to see how advertisers will pick specific programming for TV or other media advertising based on the demographics of the audience for the show or production. comScore, a global leader in digital market intelligence data, recently released a report “Next-Generation Strategies for Advertising to Millennials”.

As the Baby Boom generation ages, their market needs change with them. There’s a shift from big houses to small, cars for comfort instead of hauling kids, less need for so many electronic gadgets, and what about making that retirement destination decision. Advertisers look to unique characteristics of generations to focus their messages and products to the largest groups of consumers. The Millennials fit that model with an estimated $170 billion in purchasing power. While a dollar is the same regardless of who spends it, the characteristics of each generation mean those dollars get spent in different ways.

So, how different are the Millenials? Advertisers need to answer some key questions: are there common grounds between generations; how effective is television or radio advertising for different age groups; are racial differences important in the use of a particular product or service; how to maximize use of digital media; and what are the best means of persuasion?

“Share of Choice” is a term used to indicate the response to advertising where a higher number indicates the ad is more persuasive in moving someone to a purchase decision while a lower number indicates less effectiveness. This quick graphic from the comScore study shows that TV advertising doesn’t do as well a job of persuasion for younger ages as it does for older ages.

The report presents some interesting stats but one thing I find lacking is a description of the data collection itself. The study reportedly includes more than 500,000 women across all ages yet the graphic presentation of some results are based on less than 100 cases and given only in percentages. And these are the basis for many of the conclusions about effectiveness of TV versus digital advertising media. I find it difficult to interpret such results and would be surprised that advertisers are making budget decisions on such few cases.

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