When 'Over 35' Really Means 'Over 50'

With baby boomers not really babies any longer and quickly becoming a predominant and "old" audience for marketers to reckon with, both agencies and marketers are wrestling with the notion that it ain't all about the 18-34 year old any more and have begun spouting misleading terms such as "over 35" when they really mean "over 50." But, "over 50" is so uncool and just doesn't gracefully roll off the tongue of the typical 20-something, 30-something agency/marketer type.

Companies have tried to re-brand their older-focused companies towards younger audiences and have alienated existing, older customers. Companies have re-branded upward but have focused to a 35 year old when their audience is really 55. And some say the whole age-focused thing is just the wrong way to target and it should be more about psycho graphics. There's a lively discussion in the Adrants discussion group right now. Are we marketers handling the age thing the right way or the wrong way?

by Steve Hall    Jan-31-06   Click to Comment   
Topic: Trends and Culture   

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Comments



Comments

Interesting discussion there from the target demo and the agency side. I think there’s a growing body of consumers out there who 'get it' even though they are 40-50+. All the 'kids' into viral today and everything else are going to be that age at some point. Will the Crispin's of the world stop advertising to them just because they get to be over age 40? That's a pretty big market to ignore.

Posted by: makethelogobigger on January 31, 2006 10:53 AM

Psycho graphics are so much more effective than age targeting. Age,sex and race lines blur more every day but how a certain group of thinking consumers react to their environment is a much more effective way of influencing sales. It's been proven by brands like Apple Computers and Mini, who on the surface may look like they are targetd to younger people but if you really deconstruct the creative they are reaching a mindset not a group of 20 somethings OR aging boomers who are actually very diverse in their tastes and habits.

Posted by: Spyro on January 31, 2006 11:15 AM

Psycho graphics are so much more effective than age targeting. Age,sex and race lines blur more every day but how a certain group of thinking consumers react to their environment is a much more effective way of influencing sales. It's been proven by brands like Apple Computers and Mini, who on the surface may look like they are targetd to younger people but if you really deconstruct the creative they are reaching a mindset not a group of 20 somethings OR aging boomers who are actually very diverse in their tastes and habits.

Posted by: Spyro on January 31, 2006 11:15 AM

Aren't we all just 25 years old in our heads anyways, despite our actual age?

Posted by: Kyle on January 31, 2006 4:29 PM

Targeting by age (or by any demographic) is such a cop-out. Marketers routinely take the easy road to deliver lowest-common denominator messages. Yes, we need to understand how to segment an audience, but to do this with a blunt instrument that assumes all people in a demographic are similar is yet one more example of traditional marketing that no longer works. Assuming those over 55 are suffering from a common lifestyle is nothing short of prejudice that is just as bad as racial or gender bias. But it seems hard to get marketers to stop this insanity. So I applaud you for asking the right question – you call it psychographics. Seth Godin calls it “worldview” and I would call it “contextual marketing.” It is far more important to target customers with similar interests, wants, needs and expectations and to cluster them accordingly.

Is this harder? Yes. But it is way, way more effective to conduct marketing that is targeted in this manner so that we create messages and offers that are actually appealing to those we want to persuade to take action.

We need to spend more time analyzing our data, listening to customers, evaluating what they are saying and then produce campaigns that are truly relevant.

The results will be several hundred percent better than traditional demographic marketing.

Posted by: Dale Wolf on February 1, 2006 11:55 AM







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