When Heather Preston’s mother and grandmother stopped by our office one day to join her for lunch, we grabbed their “three-generation” photo, kidded around a bit about the roses in the background (who would be the “thorn” in this shot? we asked ourselves; or, was there more than one thorn?), sent the image off by e-mail to the ladies, and, in our attention-deficit-disordered world, we moved rapidly on to some other matter, entirely forgetting about their visit.

Staring at the shot days later, though, got us thinking. Do communicators always fully weigh the generation of their target audience? Advertisers are often concerned almost exclusively with the 18-34 age demographic. And yet, we know ours is an aging society, with the 50+ audience possessing much more disposable income than younger folks. Importantly, the different generations consume their media content in different ways, often responding to different messages than their elders (or their juniors, as the case may be). What’s more, some products and services require a multi-generational marketing approach. (Think higher education, first credit cards, weddings, long-term care, just to name a few.)

As for gender, does your communications plan take into account that women are the primary influence on 83% of all consumer purchases!!!

For more on how to think through both generation and gender of your target audience, go to: “Changing Times are Redefining the ‘Right’ Demographics


Peter Cronk, Managing Partner