Do you know exactly who makes up your target market? What demographic does your product or service appeal to the most? Have you ever really considered whether or not you yourself are a part of that same audience and demographic?

I ask because it is supremely important as a business owner that you really understand your target audience. From a marketing perspective, if your messages aren’t perfectly aligned with the attitudes and behaviors of your ideal audience you will most certainly miss your mark.

Perhaps your customers and clients are from your own generation. If so, you stand a better chance to actually market to these people in a way that will resonate with them. After all, you ARE them. In today’s marketplace though, I fear that in most cases we as business owners are NOT perfectly aligned with our target market in our own attitudes and behaviors. This could be viewed as a problem, but I think what it really indicates is that we all just need to do our homework if we hope to be successful.

I want to use Generation Y, or “millennials” as an example to drive home a point today. Below are a few interesting facts about this group. Contemplate these and see if you feel like you could ever really understand them. For me, the chances are slim that I will ever truly “get” millennials. I will however immerse myself in all that I can find in order to learn more about the generation. Like many businesses, millennials are becoming more and more important to my company’s bottom line with each day that passes.

“•There are about 76 million millennials in the United States (based on research using the years 1978-2000).

•Millennials are the last generation born in the 20th century.

•Twenty percent have at least one immigrant parent.

•A number of studies, including one by the Center for American Progress, anticipate that millennials will be the first American generation to do less well economically than their parents.

•Millennials are also sometimes called the Net generation because (at least according to some people) they don’t remember a time when there was no Internet.

•As a result of growing up with the Internet and associated devices, millennials are often said to be the most technologically savvy generation to date.” –

I have a 10 year old daughter who loves her iPod. I have older children who love their smartphones…I too love and use these things, so we’re on the same playing field right? Not even close. I also thought that I would understand my children better than my parents seemed to understand me. What with all my “crazy” music, strange fashion sense, and horrible haircuts…what was so hard to understand? I guess my point is that we’ll never fully understand generations not our own. As responsible marketers and good parents/children, we have to try though, don’t we?

I’m including the infographic from CMS Wire below because it’s digital marketing AND millennial focused. I hope that after this post you realize the necessity to better understand every single person we hope to market to. The good news is that it only takes a little diligent homework…it’s also a really good thing that we all fall into a much easier to digest “generation” and that we all share very similar attitudes
and behavior with our peers. Sure, it’ll take some work to figure it all out and to make a plan, but it’s not rocket science!

Do you have thoughts about the topic today? Please feel free to use the comment section below, I’d love to hear your input.

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