The Peculiarities of Generational Marketing

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If you have been following our Marketing Bites closely, you know that we keep track of the latest industry trends, including the specifics of demographic segmentation and the respective best strategies for marketers. 

Curious for our current update on the subject? This time it is not a summary of a lengthy report but more of a bite-sized visual treat. Let us share with you how the unimitable Tom Fishburne, the “marketoonist” whose publications we eagerly await, has addressed this serious subject with a funny new cartoon and post on the importance of trying to appeal to younger audiences. Trust us – as usual, it’s spot on:

Generational marketing (Source)

Hungry for more? Check out some thought-provoking highlights extracted from Tom Fishburne’s post:

  • Obsession over younger generations: According to Epoch Strategy Director Alex Murrell, only 5% of advertising spend is targeted to adults aged 35-64, despite the fact that over 50s hold 80% of the wealth (in the UK), make up 60% of car sales, 58% of travel spending, 50% of health and beauty sales, and 49% of all FMCG sales. Although the over 50s are one of the largest, wealthiest and most underserved audiences available, they are dramatically under-represented in advertising.
  • 50+, the most valuable economic group in the history of the world, is willfully ignored and disparaged: In the words of ad contrarian Bob Hoffman, marketers, it seems, would rather pander fruitlessly to young people than make real money selling things to old people. It seems that the idea of people over 50 driving their cars, drinking their coffee, eating their hamburgers, and wearing their sneakers is appalling and such an embarrassment.
  • Beware of Generation Alpha: Meanwhile,as one AdAge article put it, kids under 10, “the tech-savvy young children of Millennials whose rising influence could soon make Gen Z an afterthought,” are in the spotlight of the hype machine.
  • 35+: Continuously ignored. AsRyan Wallman observed, “marketers will continue to ignore all consumers over the age of 35, unless someone discovers a way to put these consumers on the blockchain.”
  • Fundamentally, advertising’s job is to make people buy things. According to advertising veteran Cindy Gallop, who has long been against ageism in advertising, there is this very mistaken thinking at the moment that everyone aspires to be young. For older people, that is not the case at all. Older people are comfortable and have the confidence that comes with age, feeling free to express their individuality however they want.  

It seems that ageism in advertising will remain a controversial and under-addressed topic to explore. As explained by Mrs. Gallop: “If only advertising talked to us in a way that made us feel we were the primary target, we would spend that money big time. Lead what’s aspirational about being older and the young will follow.”

Can’t get enough of Tom Fishburne’s work? Enjoy some more subject-related cartoons he has drawn over the years:

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