The danger of targeting a demographic.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for stereotyping and over-generalizations. It’s kinda like putting your brain on auto-pilot. Look, over in the produce aisle... check out that senior citizen. He’s afraid of computers. That young, single woman two aisles over is probably really into shoes. Oh, that guy picking up the bottle of organic wheatgrass... that’s a liberal. He must hate America. See how easy that is? While these assumptions bear no consequence in the supermarket (other than, of course, a slow form of brain rot), when it comes to planning the course of a multi-million dollar marketing campaign, they can be the difference between success and failure.

Things like gender, age, income and education have traditionally been the four pillars of a brand’s target definition. However, like picking a good cantaloupe, when it comes to targeting, it’s what’s inside that counts.

The truth is this: demographic cues are poor indicators of brand preference and shopping behavior.

We didn’t say that. MRI did.

Being one of the largest providers in demographic data on American consumers, MRI – also known as Mediamark Research & Intelligence – confesses that...

“On average (across product categories), less than 2% of brand choice is explained by demographics.”

That’s not a typo. Two percent.

If you want someone to choose your brand over your competitor's, developing your strategy around a demographic won't get you anywhere.