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.