Monday, September 27, 2010

The New Reality of The Demos

You've probably either seen the Census crew or filled out a form by now here in the U.S. as we review our House Districts and population characteristics.  This count will bring out some realities in marketing and demographics that will likely change a lot of the strategies many products have been using for the last 30 years.

While the final results won't be out for another 6 months or so we can see what the likely picture will be from the 2009 estimates.  
Look at the 3 circled groups that roughly represent the Older Boomers born before 1964 with 63.6 million, Generation X  born from 65 to 79 with 61.4 million in the middle and the new Millennial Generation born between 1980 and 1994 at 64.8 million on the younger side.

The real key here is that now we have hit a time when the new Millennial's actually outnumber the Baby Boomers.   Much of the entire product strategy and marketing targets for most products has been built around  the Boomers since they first came of age in the 60s.   That's why we still place so much importance on the 25-54 demos even though you can see that now that audience is mostly built from the Generation X group with the lowest population numbers of the 3 groups.

We can already see the shift in many products in what they are selling and how they are using media to market their wares.  Obviously the younger Millennial's are much more adapted to all the new media options.  They also have vastly different desires and needs when it comes to products.  Look at the car industry, which seems more interested in the compact and even sub-compact models like the Ford Fiesta or the Kia Soul than keeping the Mercury brand name alive.

The problem we face in radio - we've been obsessed with 25-54 for the last 20+ years and haven't worked a lot on the younger demos.  Now that the Millennial's are centered in their 20s they are a huge marketing target and with the revelation in the upcoming Census news that now they outnumber the old champion demo of the Boomers radio has a lot of catching up to do.

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