Big Idea: Research, Research, Research
Baby boomers have gone digital, and even though they represent 25 percent of the U.S. population, they represent half of its consumer spending. The Hispanic American population is growing and choosing to buy mostly the same things the average consumer buys, and will spend more than $1 trillion in 2010. Millennials, the generation known for loving everything digital, will be the majority U.S. age demographic by 2011. However, there's just one catch for marketers looking to reach millennials—research shows they generally hate advertising, they don't value print or radio channels, and they "say that nearly all TV advertising annoys them," says Rick Erwin, president of the data division for Experian Marketing Services, a marketing services provider based in Costa Mesa, Calif.
Um. OK, then. Now what?
"What's happening in integrated marketing is the ability to target almost every form of media at the granular individual or household level is now technologically possible," Erwin says. "So what's really happening is while marketers make important insights and conclusions from the kind of demographic and behavioral analysis I just gave you on those three segments, what they're really doing is they're targeting very small, very granular segments of individual populations. And they're targeting all of their media activities against the exact same granular, individual profile."
In other words, marketers need multiple levels of research in order to target consumers. Attitudinal research, such as factoring in political beliefs and media consumption choices, is the first step in customer insight, he says. Then combining demographic, behavioral, attitudinal and psychographic data can help businesses market to individual consumers or tight consumer segments.
Big Idea: The Continued Rise of Data
It's almost eerie the way Eric Schmitt's predictions have come true since he penned his 2004 Left Brain Marketing report for Cambridge, Mass.-based independent research company Forrester Research.