Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Millennials Aren't a Homogenous Psychographic Cohort!

Comment to Jerry Shereshewsky 's article on MediaBizBloggers: "Ignoring the Truth"

Jerry, you raise an excellent point, but you stopped short, I think, of elucidating it. There was a shift some years ago, along with the growth of strategic planning at agencies, from demo- to psychographics. What you are talking about is a shift from broad-based psychographics ("Millennials are open to new things"), to micro- or hyper-targeting ("If we speak to early adopters, we'll break through traditional demographic barriers"). What I'm getting at is the current state of denial in the mindset of the marketing industry -- the majority are still back in the demographic dark ages, struggling with trying to turn today's youth into tomorrow's loyal consumers -- it ain't gonna happen, too many choices and too much narcissism! My point is that 'early adopters,' some might call them 'nerds,' never stop being so. They start out in their teens trying new technology and lead their friends and parents to try new things and they just keep doing so until they expire. One thing this cohort shares is high IQ, an analytical and intense focus ability that does not fade with age. Marketers, looking at the forest, don't distinguish these leaders from the herd. They assume that ALL Millennials are early adopters as they all seem to be familiar with technology that many older (and later adopting) folks struggle to learn how to use. Now using hot young people in ads doesn't throw off the 60 year old nerd -- she/he still feels like those youngsters live inside them, but recognizing that the cohort is ageless would significantly change media planning. For another interesting (to the nerd in me!) strategic distinction amongst the Millennials, read this post of mine: "Millennials are Two Distinct Psychographic Target Groups" (click title for link to post)

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