Mindless Millennial segmentation also applies to Boomers

There seems to be a growing chorus of voices and opinions supporting our contention that demographic segmentation – and the focus on Millennials – is outdated and dangerous for marketers.

The last week saw two separate pieces in UK’s Marketing magazine on the topic.

The millennial dilemma: generation, mindset or irrelevance?
Are you a millennial? Or a geriatric mum? Time to ditch the bullsh*t demographics

It is important to bear in mind that the outdated notion of age-based targeting is applicable to young and old. “Boomers” is another segmentation that should be relegated to history, for all the same reasons._71435662_m3750096-family-spl

Both the articles mentioned above are well worth a read but may require a login so here are a few quotable quotes from the first of the two;

  • BBC Radio 1 head of music observed that there is a 40% overlap in the musical tastes of 60-year-olds and 13-year-olds, going by the lists of each age group’s 1000 favourite artists.
  • Regardless of age, we are now able to explore new ways of doing things that humans have always wanted to do, but hitherto haven’t been able. Our behaviour has changed, but the underlying drivers haven’t.
  • When companies promote their insights into each generation as revelatory, yet also conclude that they’re pretty much all identical, it quickly starts to lose meaning and value.
  • One point of view that seems to be gaining popularity is the idea of ‘millennial’ as a mindset, rather than a specific age group.
  • Demography is becoming less relevant in predicting human behaviours, attitudes, needs and interests.
  • [targeting is] almost incidental as to what people’s motivations are, which are much, much more primal and universal. We laugh at the same things and cry at the same things, and it doesn’t really matter what age we are. There are generational nuances, but they’re massively overplayed.
  • Everyone is ‘Generation easyJet’. You can be 89 or eight and be part of it.
  • When looking at some of the most successful brands right now, they are, broadly speaking, age-agnostic.
  • Virgin Holidays customer and marketing director Claire Cronin believes that the way to create non-demographic-specific marketing is to create segments based on ‘passion points’.
  • Advertising to the mindstate, rather than the behaviour, is becoming increasingly important. We’ve had great success in personalising activations to occasion. [Diageo]
  • Members of that [millennial] cohort find it incredibly annoying to be lumped together with their peers across the world, merely because of the year in which they were born.

How to make a brand relevant across generations and age divides? It’s all about creating a Lifetime Customer Experience so that people of all ages can easily access your brand.