Who is the target?

Seriously. Who is it?

It’s not someone who is between the ages of 14-24. It’s not someone who is making over $60K a year and somewhere between 25-34. It’s not a baby boomer who is now anyone over 50. And it’s definitely not someone who has a family.

Who is it? Who is the target?

Most marketers don’t really know. It’s a group, usually defined by a broad media segmentation, that contains thousands of different personality types, backgrounds and interests. We group them together because that’s the only thing we know – it’s the system we are used to using.

Targeting youth? Make sure you’re on the top 10 TV shows in Canada that “youth” watch and that you’re display buy is on Facebook and YouTube. What about Boomers? Make sure you’re in the financial section of the newspapers and have TV spots on all the news programs.

Does this really make sense?

Did you really find the same things interesting when you were 14 as when you were 24? Did you read the same paper when you were 34 as you did when you were 25? Are “youth” really one target?

Can we all just admit that the mass advertising targeting model is broken?

I’ve come across some different segmentations, more detailed looks at a target and one of the best models that I’ve come across is based on the diffusion of an idea – or, how an idea spreads from one group to another.

In 1962, author Everett M. Rogers wrote a book called “Diffusion of Innovations.” In it, Rogers describes five groups that help to carry an idea – Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Mass, Late Mass and Laggards. Each group plays a key role in spreading an idea and within each media segmentation (18-24, 26-24, etc), these five groups exist.

So, again, who are you targeting within your segment? The Early Adopters? The Laggards? Sure, all of these people are between 18-24 (as an example) but they don’t consume the same content or use the same websites.

Think about who your target is because digital is not a traditional medium – please don’t try to use it that way.

Who is your target?

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