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The Death Of Demographics

Jamie Allebach
Jamie Allebach Chief Executive & Creative Officer

“Our target audience is women, ages 25-54!”

For decades CPG food and beverage brands have used this key demographic targeting the primary, kingpin shopper of every household. So, why change? After all, women still do all the shopping, right? Sounds kinda stupid when you say it out loud.

50+% of your sales fall outside of this ancient bulls-eye. Research tells us that men are doing 50% of the grocery shopping, and in many cases are the primary shopper. If you don’t believe the data, look around next time you’re shopping.

But, even so, regardless of the “man” factor, there are many other potential buyers of your brand. We have so much more information available to us, why cling to this old model?

Here are some thoughts on the matter:

Wouldn’t you much rather reach all category buyers of your brand? To grow your brand, you have to drive reach and household penetration among ALL potential category buyers. “Reach” is key here.

With your more targeted initiatives, segment your audience based on consumers who are currently purchasing your brand category and consumers with a purchasing history in your category.

To open this up even further, build unique behavioral segments based on personal interests, and shopping patterns.

As marketers, haven’t we learned that emotion is key? Most consumers purchase based on emotion. So, target consumers based on this. Has your brand suddenly become more relevant to a consumer or group of consumers? Are people posting emotional responses that suggest they may be interested?

Social media and digital are real-time. Target people in the moment. Have things like weather, location, time of year, or something special suddenly made your brand more relevant to them? Life moments are key. Millions of posts are happening daily that can be optimized for your brand. Connect your brand with consumers in their correct state of mind.

Hey look, demographics had a good run, and life was easy for us, when it came to marketing. But there also used to only be 5 channels on TV! Demographics don’t hold much relevance for modern marketers.

As marketers, we always talk about how hard it is to change behavior of consumers—sometimes it’s hard for us to change our ways too.

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