So, I’ll admit it–on the surface, grouping ad content by the life stage a consumer is entering make sense, on paper. That’s the theory behind Burst Media’s new Life Stages Network, which apparently expects to target consumers in the midst of “important decision-making events in their lives.”
And yes, that’s standard media theory that goes back to at least the first targeted magazines from decades ago. Sure, the family with two children, two incomes and two professional jobs is more likely to buy the Volvo, while the single guy may be much more interested in the Wii. I get it, I get it, OK?
But in a world where social media users are creating their own context–their own pages, their own user groups and even their own communities using targeted Facebook apps–you’ve got a wealth of data out there which tells you exactly what people are *doing*, not just what they *should* be doing given their ages and stages. Hell, from my age and demographic (just beyond Generation X), you’d never have predicted that I just bought a baby-blue Fender guitar and blew $200 on gaming gear, but there you have it.
I’m sorry, Burst. I’m not saying you folks aren’t smart and all of that. What I am saying, however, is that the assumption that you can drive buying behavior meaningfully strictly by demographic clumps seems faulty to me–and given that social media is generating better data daily, it seems a bit lazy to try.
Hey, if one of you are reading this and you think I’m full of beans, please do feel free to write back and set me straight. I’ll publish your answer in full (minus any unprintables of course 🙂 ). Otherwise, color me underwhelmed. I just don’t think this model is very motivating to consumers these days. Hey, aren’t sites like iVillage (which have more than a decade to perfect their model and tons of money to do it) still struggling to perfect their “just us girls” vibe?
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