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Marketing Matters: Getting to Know Millennium Mom

By: Donna C. Barson
Posted: September 5, 2008, from the September 2008 issue of GCI Magazine.

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To increase market share, considering the current economic softness, marketers need to target multiple demographics. Where or 60-year-old consumer using shampoo or brushing his or her teeth?

As marketers, we need to connect with aging boomers on a more personal level. Even young people are changing. The same soccer moms who scheduled every second of their kids’ free time during the 1990s have been replaced by what some are calling “millennium mom.” This is a different type of mom than existed a decade ago, so showing her in an ad applying skin lotion while frantically driving the kids all over is an outdated concept. Like the attempt to show elderly boomers deep sea-diving and then taking a certain brand of painkiller, it misses the point and applies to maybe one out of thousands of consumers.

What personal care marketers need to do is look at their parents or their neighbors and ask: How do we reach them? An older consumer is harder to convince to try a new product because of pre-conceived attitudes. Showing someone using that product while about to parachute jump is not effective, because most consumers can’t relate and probably figure the only way they would jump out of a plane is if they were forced to at gunpoint, which is, to say the least, not the best advertising concept. By the same token, marketers can’t ignore the changing face of the younger consumer. Old attitudes have to be replaced by new realities.

So is this the end of youth culture? Probably not, but it is the start of a greater emphasis on diversity—a world with aging boomers and millennium moms. And like the heading on this column says, “Marketing matters!”

Donna C. Barson, MBA heads Barson Marketing, Inc., a marketing strategy, research and business consultancy in the personal care industry. For information about Barson Marketing and its proprietary tracking methods for the industry, e-mail barson@barsonmarketing.com or call 1-732-446-3662.