United you stand

Building a segmentation is a perennial marketing obsession. This can be useful of course, few companies can appeal to everyone, even less can afford to reach them all, so finding differences between groups can help. Used unwisely it can hinder though.

Over 20 years of data from the IPA Databank proves that the best targeting strategy you can have is to reach as much of the market as you can. To resonate with what lots of people have in common, not what divides them.

If you just read the news, you’d be tempted to think this was next to impossible, with a nation divided across geographical, social and age fault-lines. However when you look at the data, you see that in real life, there’s lots of commonality, even between generations.  On tech, COVID and even broader social issues.

According to YouGov, half of people aged 50-70 say they couldn’t cope without internet access, that’s only 20% less than people aged 18-34. They worry about the effect of social media on society, 70% of both groups agree it’s changing the way we interact for the worse, they also agree parents should limit the time children spend on it.

Beyond digital and tech, when it comes to COVID-19, despite the older group being far more at risk, 30% of each group agree Tier 3 restrictions are too tight, while the older group are only 10% more likely to agree the balance is about right.

On broader social themes, they disagree that success is best measured by wealth, while half of each group agree celebrity culture is unhelpful and harmful. Even when it comes to the dreaded ‘Snowflake Generation’ debate. They are divided, as you might expect, but not by as much as you might assume. 40% of the older generation think young people have a hard time, compared to 70% of the 18-44 year olds.

All of this goes to show that if you just read the news headlines, you’d assume we’re a divided nation, but data reveals the truth that, if you look for it, there is much that connects us too.

This is good news for marketers, because the lifeblood of growth is connecting with as many people as you possibly can rather than what keeps them apart.


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