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BizReport : Research archives : October 10, 2016

Traditional demographics giving brands only half the picture

Brands are only seeing half the story when using traditional demographics, according to new research from Network Research, and should instead delve into research on behavior and attitudes.

by Helen Leggatt

Age, gender and income are not giving brands enough relevant information to effectively target today's consumers, argues Network Research's managing director, Virginia Monk. Thus, by using traditional demographics, brands only see half the picture.

"In recent years we have witnessed a clear rise in generational marketing," commented Monk. "In particular, we've been bombarded with think-pieces and books that explore marketing to Millennials, but any researcher worth their salt should understand that broad-brush demographic segments aren't helpful, and that generation-based marketing needs to become far more nuanced."

Monk's comments come out of recent research conducted by her company in which 1,500 consumers were questioned about 60 of the UK's best-known brands. The research called into question several currently held perceptions about consumers such as those on lower incomes being less concerned about the environment or that consumers in the high earners bracket are "opinion leaders".

"So, researchers and marketers need to work harder to understand their target audience," says Monk. "Conducting more research in attitudinal segments for brands can have huge implications, opening up new markets and driving strategies to ensure maximum uplift in some surprising areas, many that would have remained hidden with traditional demographic segmenting."

Tags: brand marketing, demographics, marketing, strategy, targeting

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