By 2020, several consumer segments with distinct needs, preferences and identities will have emerged as significant audiences for many brands. Marketers that begin paying attention now will reap the benefits. By Annie Griffiths, Strategy Director, MediaCom USA
As in personal relationships, it takes time to build credibility with consumers who do not know and trust you. As a result, brand marketers need to look out to the horizon to identify consumer groups that are gaining in influence and financial clout, and decide which deserve their attention and investment today. Those who wait too long – or ask for preference and loyalty too soon – are likely to be passed over in favor of those who show sincere interest (and investment) before they “have to.”
Building bridges can be as much about creative and messaging as it is about finding the exact right media channel to leverage. It’s also about understanding the subtle nuances that distinguish one segment from another. The “reasons why” that resonate with your current core target audience(s) may or may not differ from those you know less well. We currently see five target audiences that are not only gaining in buying power and influence, but are also too often pigeon-holed in terms of their presumed habits, preferences and needs. Marketers are advised to look more closely to ensure that their actions have the greatest chance of resonating with the members of these segments.
Boomers (Born 1946-1964)
Boomers are the largest generational segment in our lifetime. In the US, those born between 1946 and 1964 account for almost one quarter of the population and control nearly three times the amount of disposable income held by younger generations.
1946 to 1964: think about that. While we label them all “boomers,” what this means is that older members of this segment are likely to have been personally (and perhaps dramatically) impacted by World War II, while others were born many years later into the decade of peace and love. How could all these people share the same values? How could they look and think the same? The answer is that they can’t, and yet… how often do we see boomers represented as white-haired, happy retirees, fussing over golf clubs or grandchildren? The answer is, too often – and that has to change.
Four things to remember:
Millennials (Born 1977-1994)
Millennials (sometimes called Echo Boomers or Generation Y) will make up nearly half the global workforce by 2020. Many have seen their families live through economically challenging times, including the financial crisis of 2007- 2008. In 2012, The Associated Press reported that one in two new college graduates in the US were either unemployed or underemployed, and those in Greece, Spain, France and many other countries have experienced very high levels of unemployment and less than stellar prospects. For many, finding full-time work will mean having disposable income for the first time. By 2020, many will be starting their own families, making them likely buyers of automobiles, household furnishings, clothes and baby items, in addition to medical and financial products and services.
Five things to remember:
Dads (Men who have children living with them)
The number of dads involved in household purchasing decisions will be on the rise between now and 2020. There are a number of factors driving this dynamic, including an increasing number of females making more than their male partners and a rising population of single-father homes. In the United States alone, the number of such households has increased from less than 300,000 in 1960 to more than 2.6 million in 2011.
Three things to remember:
LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender)
In use since the 1990s, the term “LGBT” is an adaptation of the earlier “LGB,” which itself began replacing the word “gay” when describing a larger mixed sexuality- and gender-based community. Whichever term is used, this group has significant purchasing power: in 2012, an estimated $790 million in the United States alone (MarketResearch.com). And do members of the LGBT community make purchasing decisions differently than their non-LGBT counterparts? According to a Harris
Research/Witeck Communications study, 88 percent of LGBT adults and 70 percent of non- LGBT adults are likely “to consider a brand that is known to provide equal workplace benefits for all of their employees, including gay and lesbian employees.” The study also found that 62% of non-LGBT adults were no more or less likely “to purchase everyday household products and services from companies that market directly to gays and lesbians,” while 58% percent of LGBT adults were more likely to do so. As LGBT citizens gain legal rights around the world, including the right to marriage and adoption, they will become a more influential and vocal group. Why should brands care? Here are just a few statistics related to the rising spending power of LGBT households vs. the general market in the US:
The last three figures are from a Community Marketing, Inc. 2012 survey of 13,000 LGBT Americans
Three things to remember:
Hispanics are the largest minority in the US, and the majority of the population growth in the country is attributed to this segment. By 2020, it is projected that this group will make up almost 20 percent of the US population. Most important, this demographic segment will have buying power of nearly $2 trillion in 2020. Hispanic Millennials are seen as trendsetters and tastemakers for all population groups. As their numbers swell, their influence will continue to grow.
Things to consider when targeting this segment:
It is critical that brands recognize the new wave of consumer groups that will have enormous purchasing power by 2020. Those that don’t will run the risk of losing their customer base, falling behind and becoming irrelevant; those that do are likely to earn loyal and vocal new fans