Make Marketing History

The views of a marketing deviant.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Forever Young.

Since my various posts about demographic groupings have generated much debate, I have continued to look for other examples. The latest one I've discovered is psychological neoteny that seeks to explain the prolonged immaturity of people.

It posits that formal education fosters a “child-like flexibility of attitudes, behaviors and knowledge.” Although this may be well suited to certain aspects of the increased instability of the modern world, it also means that the modern trend of prolonging education beyond the ages of physical maturity leaves many minds “unfinished.”

“The psychological neoteny effect of formal education is an accidental by-product — the main role of education is to increase general, abstract intelligence and prepare for economic activity.”

There are contradictions amongst these theories, of course, but the one thing it all does is emphasise to me the idiocy of marketing to a certain chronological demographic. Lives are far more fluid than that these days with cultural, psychological and neurological factors all contributing to one's personal development or lack of it.

You can no longer market to age groups (if indeed you ever could) - your "targetting" should be towards behaviours and attitudes.

3 Comments:

Blogger ann michael said...

I couldn't agree with you more about "the idiocy of marketing to a certain chronological demographic."

I may not be a professional marketer, but I have long felt that marketing aimed at me "demographically" is often (more than 70% of the time) completely useless and doesn't address any of my needs. In fact, it's annoying.

My dad is 81 and he feels the same way! He's more like 55 at heart (and level of activity).

2:17 PM, September 13, 2006  
Blogger john dodds said...

Are you saying you feel the same as an 81 year old?

2:31 PM, September 13, 2006  
Blogger ann michael said...

Hmmm...In one way I suppose I do!

Since my Dad would agree with you (which is quite an honor BTW - he's a tough customer!) and so do I.

I'm just saying that I'm not like all the other PTA moms (not that there is anything wrong with them! - we're just different) and yet I get approached in the same manner because of my age and the fact that I have school-aged children. My kids laugh about it too!

3:27 PM, September 13, 2006  

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