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25 Jun Why Demographic base marketing is out and Intent based Marketing is in

Demographic-based marketing has ruled the roost for many years. Companies have traditionally marketed products and services towards certain groups of people based on age, gender, and so forth. However, according to the recently released Communication Trends Report from Hotwire PR, 2016 will be the year that successful companies start to change their approach and focus more heavily on the values, passions, and motivations of their customers rather than on arbitrary categories like age. There are many clear reasons for the shift from demographic vs. intent based marketing. Read on to learn more about how you can shift your marketing campaign into high-gear.

Who cares about age?

As the saying goes, age is just a number. Categorizing people by age or other demographic categories for the purpose of marketing a product is quickly becoming obsolete. Current cultural norms dictate that you’re never too old to learn a new skill, begin using technology, or pick up an exciting hobby. Likewise, you’re never too young to go back to your roots and learn about old-school traditions. A person who wants a new cell phone or to learn about cooking could just as likely be a teenager or a senior citizen. All of this means that trying to market a product to the most appropriate age group is essentially futile. When it comes to demographic vs. intent-based marketing, intent is the clear winner. The best path forward is to determine how your product appeals to the things that make your customer tick. What do they love? What entertains them? How does your product fit those values? Tapping into the topics and ideas that your audience cares about most will allow you to connect with them more meaningfully than if you simply focused on a certain age range.

The millennial situation

Many companies are buzzing about how to market products to the millennial generation. Some specific issues with reaching millennials are that they may be used to a constant stream of electronic communication, causing them to tune out messages and advertisements that they deem extraneous. Millennials are also accused of being more cynical and mistrustful of companies who try to sell them things. True or not, the biggest issue with reaching millennials is that it’s an incredibly diverse generation, making this the perfect illustration of the conflict between demographic vs. intent-based marketing. Anyone born between 1980 and 2000 is considered a millennial. This means that some millennials are currently nearing 40 while others haven’t even gotten their driver’s license yet. Members of the millennial generation will have a wide range of life experiences, worries, and preferences. Thinking of millennials as an age group will not be nearly as effective as focusing on the values and passions that may be compatible with your brand.

Content that packs a punch

Clearly, marketing campaigns that will be relevant to the modern consumer must provide content that is personally relevant and motivating. Demographic vs. intent-based marketing demonstrates that content based on the goals and intentions of customers is more actionable than content based on demographics. Your goal should be to show people how your product will make their lives more fun or less complicated. To do this, your company will need to figure out what topics and ideas are most intriguing to your customers and how to present your product or service in a way that meshes with those interests. Developing buyer personas ~ a popular marketing technique, may help with this process as long as the development of these personas leads to actionable marketing content. Personas that are too vague will fail to address the actual questions of your customers or the content, topics, and keywords they focus on. Another important step will be to determine what platforms your audience prefer to receive content through so that your message actually reaches the audience. Social media websites, video and music streaming, television, and blogs all present avenues for delivering content that is both useful for your customer and promotional for your business. As you shift marketing strategies and consider a demographic vs. intent-based marketing campaign approach, understanding all of these elements will be critical.

The changing dynamics surrounding demographic vs. intent-based marketing will continue to be impactful for marketing campaigns in 2016 and beyond.  3degreeZ can help approach your marketing initiatives as a publisher rather than as an advertiser. We’ll help you identify the true values, passions, and real world concerns of your target audience and utilize relevant content and platforms to show how your company identifies with those values. The most successful marketing strategies show potential customers that your company understands their needs and can help make their lives a little better. As current culture embraces diversity and discards outdated labels, demographics like age, gender, and race will be less helpful than tapping into the intent of the consumer.

Michael Medipor
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