The Death of Demographics

25 01 2010

3d pie chartThe advent of social media marketing and PR marks the beginning of the end for the use of demographics in targeting consumers.

The PR agency that I work for was recently appointed to conduct an on-line PR campaign for a major brand in the DIY sector.  The target online media list was rigorously profiled and we identified people who might readily be interested in the product.  We were then asked to check whether the demographics of the target blogs, forums and sites was in line with the target market for the product.  Demographic data is now available from sites like Alexa.com. So we did it.

I wonder however what the value of this really is.  Demographics are about getting closer to your target audience but it is an imprecise science.  The holy grail in marketing is the aquisition of ethnographic data.  Ethnographics are holistic covering the places where people live, what they do for a living, what they eat and drink, their customs, language and culture.  In social networks we can build an accurate ethnographically detailed picture of our target audience based on what they do and what interests and excites them.  Whatever part of the social spectrum they might come from the fact is that they have shown an interest in a relevant area.  That’s an insight more powerful than any generalisation based on class, sex, race or place.

About these ads

Actions

Information

2 responses

16 02 2010
Public Relations Tools | Demographics & Enthographics | Business Training.com Resources

[...] PR and the Social Web wrote a post on this recently that help to corroborate my point: In social networks we can build an accurate ethnographically detailed picture of our target audience based on what they do and what interests and excites them. Whatever part of the social spectrum they might come from the fact is that they have shown an interest in a relevant area. That’s an insight more powerful than any generalisation [sic] based on class, sex, race or place. [...]

24 01 2011
Quora

Is consumer segmentation dead?…

The advent of social media marketing and PR marks the beginning of the end for the use of demographics in targeting consumers. Segmentation is designed to get you closer to your target audience but it is an imprecise science. In social networks we can …

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 250 other followers

%d bloggers like this: