Marketing and advertising practitioners have spent decades formulating and re-formulating odd, complicated, and even divisive audience segmentations. Primarily, these partitions were based on age: Baby Boomers, Generation X’s (that’s me) and, recently, Millennials. These designations are an attempt to homogenize a population so that mass messaging can be “directed” to a particular audience. They work, at least sometimes. (We had some good results launching a cool ebook called For Your Inspiration that showcased quotes by Millennial leaders.)
While there are unique and distinct age-based audiences, there is also a better way: truth-telling and helpfulness. Simply put, today’s consumers want to inform themselves. Armed with easy access to information, prospective buyers, across every generation and demographic, today make decisions about what they will buy and from whom they will buy it before contacting a business. In fact, one study found that 81% of consumers do online research before making a purchase. In the B2B world, data suggests that buyers get 60% of their way through a sales process before speaking to a sales rep.