Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Marketing's repeated folly

Why Do Marketers Hate Old People?

Today, marketers are just as likely to target people simply because they are young -- even though they have no money and cannot and will not buy their products .

Conversely, they are just as likely to ignore people who are old -- even though they have lots of money and are prime targets for their products.

As I wrote recently, automobile marketers continue their idiotic habit of targeting people 18-34 for "youth cars" despite the fact that 88% of the people who buy these cars are over 35.

Almost everyone you see in a car commercial is between the ages of 18 and 24. And yet, people 75 to dead buy five times as many new cars as people 18 to 24.

In fact, marketers are more likely than ever to ignore and insult the people who can actually buy their products and grow their businesses.

Marketers contempt for and prejudice against older people is a remarkable and fascinating story. They have volumes of data that tell them about the size and power of the over 50 market, but because of their hard-wired prejudices they are blind to it.

I posted this a couple of years back:

The self-referencing “professionals” in the advertising industry overvalue people like themselves--young, urban, single, childless, iconoclastic. They undervalue those who are different. Advertising spending is shaped by this prejudice. Marketers believe that commercials have to target young, hip influentials while older suburban consumers are a lost cause.

Newspapers and broadcast television are penalized because their readers/viewers are discounted. Agencies expect to pay less to reach an older audience.

There is very little hard data to bolster this advertising conceit. It makes sense for newspapers to attack this idea and demonstrate that their print readership is a valuable target market for a vast array of products.

They cannot expect the advertising industry to do it for them. That runs counter to the industry’s self-image. Further, it would also reveal the fact that the typical agency is a one-trick pony that hasa no idea how to reach people over 40.

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