One of trickiest marketing challenges is to understand the gap between people that are 30 years old or younger, and the folks that are 50 years old or older. Back in the 1980’s, the clothing store The Gap ran an iconic television campaign with the slogan (and catchy song) “Fall into the Gap”. The people who remember that ad, like me, fall into both worlds.
If you are 30 years old or younger, you probably don’t have a landline telephone and may not have cable television service – you use Netlix and Hulu. You may have a number of things in your house, but one of them is most definitely high-speed Internet service. You use your mobile phone frequently. You are well trained on the ways to communicate using emoticons and acronyms. And there is some chance that you’re reading this article.
Contrast about with someone who is 50 years old plus. You probably have Internet. You probably don’t know which speed your Internet is – you just know that it is the cheapest option you could select from your cable provider. You probably have a smart phone, but you mostly use it for making telephone calls. You might also use the calendar feature. When you out with your friends, you couldn’t imagine “checking in”, or sending a picture to the world on Instagram. In short, the world you live in has changed, but only around the edges.
But that leaves an important gap. How do you market to the people in between? You know – the 30 to 50 year olds. A smart marketer will understand that these gappers. The gappers don’t know quite how to use social media, but they try. These people use Facebook to maintain relationships, but they are almost with people that they met in the real world. The gappers watch TV still, but they will occasionally be found watching YouTube.
Defining the age that is going to make up your target market is critical. A younger demographic requires a marketer to embrace social media and develop a deeper relationship with followers who are likely to share their habits with their online network. An older demographic still responds to traditional advertising which uses classic marketing positioning like sloganeering and sales. The middle group responds to a little of both.
But remember what you’re trying to do. In many cases the medium is the message.
Don’t Fall into the Gap with Run-D.M.C. – http://youtu.be/yoleRFfAwMs
Jonathan Frutkin is an attorney at The Frutkin Law Firm, PLC in Phoenix, AZ. He’s written a new book called “Equity Crowdfunding: Transforming Customers into Loyal Owners” which will be published in May, 2013.
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