Richardson, Texas

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Thanks in part to the vast amount of recent changes in consumer technology and digital avenues available, many marketers are beginning to question the effectiveness of targeting generations solely based on common characteristics. According to a 2003 academic paper, "Cohort segmentation: An exploration of its validity," only 45 percent of the respondents actually align with their generation's characteristics. Therefore, it's become more clear that generational marketing pigeonholes and oversimplifies the differing age groups’ needs and wants.

Ever since marketing dashboards became popular in 2007-2008, marketers have been optimizing them to meet their needs. Rather than having the systems be dumping grounds for data, users are adding functionality from analytics to cross-departmental communication capabilities to make the systems as useful as possible.

Keeping track of trends in behavioral targeting is a study in contradictions. While businesses are wary of controversy, they're crowding into this space of tracking consumer behavior. And while consumers dread being tracked online, they resist barriers to "free" content. Here to clear up a few misconceptions and provide an update on the contested but increasingly popular practice are...

For the younger crowd, it may be a shock to learn that funeral preplanning accounts for 60 percent of business for cemetery and funeral home owner and operator StoneMor Partners of Levittown, Pa. Much of that is due to predictive modeling that StoneMor—the steward of 232 cemeteries and 59 funeral homes in 28 states and Puerto Rico—uses to figure out which consumers would be most interested in settling their earthly concerns prior to death.

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