TOKYO, Sept. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- While the explosive growth in data might be tempting marketers to increasingly rely on age-based demographic segmentation and targeting, a new global study released today by McCann Worldgroup finds that age-based assumptions about people's attitudes and behavior are becoming increasingly elusive. In fact, these traditional suppositions themselves are aging out in their relevance throughout all regions of the world.
Even the subject of "aging" itself, traditionally viewed as a conversational topic primarily relevant to the 65+ audience, is one where age-based assumptions don't hold. As uncovered and detailed in McCann Worldgroup's new "Truth About Age" study, people across the age spectrum are not adhering to the expectations traditionally associated with their life stage. In fact, two-thirds of people in their 70s believe "you're never too old to casually date" while it's young people in their 20s who fear death the most.
These findings—which emphasize the importance in brand marketing of understanding people fully as human individuals rather than as predictable members of a demographic category—were among many in a new worldwide study conducted by McCann Truth Central, McCann Worldgroup's global intelligence unit. The large-scale "Truth About Age" study surveyed nearly 24,000 people, aged 20 through 70, across 28 markets*, supplemented by qualitative research in 36 markets* around the globe.
"We're at a pivotal moment in human history, where traditional age norms are being challenged across every age group and marketers must respond to this new reality," said Suzanne Powers, Global Chief Strategy Officer, McCann Worldgroup. "It's time to rethink the playbook with regards to the way brands approach age across the spectrum – not just when it comes to marketing to 'seniors' – so they can play a more meaningful role in people's lives at every life stage."
"We found that age is becoming a less useful predictor of behaviors and attitudes," said Nadia Tuma-Weldon, Senior Vice President, Director, McCann Truth Central, and an author of the study. "Brands need to go beyond the 'number' to ensure they are connecting with people of all age groups."
To help guide marketers as they rethink age-led demographics, McCann is introducing a new Age Marketing Playbook based on the following four principles:
1) Start young: Surprisingly, the study found that people who most feared death were in their 20s, and people who worried least about aging were in their 70s. Smart brands will find ways of reframing the age conversation much earlier.
2) Celebrate the gains: In the second half of life, much of the aging narrative is oriented around loss, yet our data suggests there is much to gain and celebrate. Brands have the opportunity to rewrite the narrative by developing new language and imagery to connect not just with the aging population but, with people of all age groups.
3) Go beyond the number: Age is becoming a less useful predictor of behaviors and attitudes so the traditional approach to targeting and segmentation must be reimagined. Brands need to interrogate their own consumer segmentations in new ways to ensure that they are consistently going beyond the 'number'.
4) Promote intergenerational connections: Overall, there is one consistent theme that transcends markets when it comes to aging well; spending time with people of different ages. The data shows that the old consistently misunderstand the young and vice versa. There is a rich opportunity for brands to drive a dialogue between the generations and co-create an age-positive future.
About Truth About Age*
McCann Truth Central's "Truth About Age" global research study surveyed 28 quantitative markets with nearly 24,000 respondents globally (Canada, US, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Sweden, Norway, UK, France, Spain, Finland, Denmark, Hungary, Germany, Turkey, Lebanon, South Africa, India, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea, China, Japan, Philippines, Australia, Portugal) and 36 qualitative markets (Canada, US, Honduras, Nicaragua, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, Sweden, Denmark, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Nigeria, South Africa, Russia, South Korea, China, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Philippines, Australia, Portugal, Mexico).
About McCann Truth Central
McCann Truth Central is McCann Worldgroup's global intelligence unit, with representation in more than 100 countries around the world. Truth Central's mission is to create original research that unearths the macro level truths driving people's attitudes and behaviors about life, brands and marketing. For more about Truth Central or to access previous Truth Studies, visit: http://www.mccannworldgroup.com/about/truth
About McCann Worldgroup
McCann Worldgroup, part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), is a leading global marketing services company with 24,000 employees in more than 100 countries, comprising McCann (advertising), MRM//McCann (digital marketing/relationship management), Momentum Worldwide (total brand experience), McCann Health (professional/dtc communications), CRAFT (global adaptation and production), UM (media management), Weber Shandwick (public relations), FutureBrand (consulting/design), ChaseDesign (shopper marketing) and PMK-BNC.
SOURCE McCann Worldgroup