Marketing programs still teach the “consumer lifestage” model. You want the younger shoppers who are just forming families because they have a lot of new purchasing needs all at once, and their brand preferences are still open to being influenced. You don’t want the older shoppers because their brand preferences are locked in place…and besides, they’re going to die pretty soon.
Makes sense, right?
Sure – if it’s 1960. Or even 1970. Or maybe even 1980, with 65 year olds who were born during the First World War.
But today, the model is…there’s no gentle way to say it…dead. Obsolete. Kaput. And marketers who still cling to it are kissing good-bye to hundreds of millions of dollars in sales and market share.
Yet the model persists.
“They’re not our primary target…”
“They’re important, but we’re getting them anyway…”
“We want to reach the shoppers who haven’t made their brand choices yet…”
Of course, nobody is arguing – ZoomerMedia least of all – in favor of reducing ad spending against younger demos to literally zero. It makes perfect sense to devote some of the marketing pie to younger shoppers who are still formulating their brand choices, and who have a lot of “family start-up” purchases to figure out all at once. That part of the model still makes some sense – except for the awkward fact that “family start-up” is increasingly an event that occurs in the 30s (Gen X) and not in the 20s (Millennials).
But the second part – older shoppers have their brand habits all figured out so there’s no point throwing too many marketing dollars at them – is demonstrably not true. A look at the Fall 2013 PMB numbers quickly establishes the case:
How many sales dollars, and how much market share, will you allow this dead model to cost you before you change your strategy?
That's how many Zoomers worked out at a fitness club over the past year. You'd expect the younger Millennials to contribute more. You'd be wrong. They're almost a million behind -- only 2,486,000 people. Source: Vividata Fall 2018