Blog, April 2012

The General Market Myth

When the Majority Becomes the Minority

A version of this post originally appeared on Advertising Age’s blog, “The Big Tent.” It has been updated to reflect current Census data.

In most enlightened companies these days, marketing resources are allocated to different target populations. Some of the more common groups are tied to ethnicity and culture: Hispanic, African American, and Asian American. The bulk of the marketing (and other) resources, however are firmly allocated to the so-called “General Market,” even at companies that have been leaders in marketing to minority populations.

For example, a marketer can take the latest Census data and learn that about 16% of the U.S. population is Hispanic, and thus strive to budget an equivalent share of resources to that population. Some companies go further and factor in the population trends in the appropriate age groups for their product or service and other future-looking data to make a determination of the relative importance of these groups to their business. Then they use these figures to determine the “right spend” for each group.

What We’re Reading This Week

With so many great articles and posts being written every day, we seem to be in a constant state of “so much to read, so little time.” We all rely on recommendations from sources we trust to find those insightful pieces that keep us up-to-date on our industry and the world. We thought we'd give you a little glimpse of what we've found interesting and relevant to our business recently. Happy reading!

Has Corporate Responsibility Become Corporate Identity?

Another Chance for Agencies to Practice What We Preach

Everywhere I turn lately, people are talking about fundamental shifts in our society and how those play out in consumer behavior. In a recent Fast Co.Exist piece “The Age of Uprisings, Brand Movements, and Ad Backlashes” (based on his book, Uprising), Scott Goodson wrote of the fact that marketers can no longer just be concerned with the product they’re selling; they need to consider what their client’s brand stands for. On this blog, our own Jaime Dávila wrote “Consumers Coming Out…of the Pocket,” exploring how the recession has all of us, consumers and brands, thinking about more than just the bottom line. Earlier this week, Wolff Olins’s Sam Wilson wrote an article on Fast Co.Design entitled, “The New Strategic Edge: Tapping Your Customers’ Personal Passions,” about the increasing connection between social purpose and business. And last week on Advertising Age, Jeff Rosenblum wrote insightfully about “The Revolution Our Industry Needs,” a revolution in which advertising recognizes that “great modern brands will be built on behavior, not messages—on being great, not just looking great.”