Marketers targeting youth, seniors and Hispanics all make the same crucial mistake: They try to hit the bull’s eye, but tend to alienate their audience because they miss the target.
Overuse of youth cues—whether it’s language, music or imagery—can be counter-effective to achieving relevance, Ola Mobolade, director, Greenfield Consulting Group, Chicago, said yesterday.
“Subtly including these elements in the background may suggest that you are one of us, but showcasing them as a means of entry proves you are not,” Mobolade said.
She added that if you ask today’s youth what marketers are doing wrong, it’s that they are trying to hit what is currently hip and new.
“If it’s already on MTV, it’s already been played out,” Mobolade said. “I call it the Tom Brokaw rule—once he says something on the nightly news, it’s not edgy anymore.”
Marketers trying to reach seniors tend to forget that two key senses—sight and hearing—are in decline with that audience.
“The worst thing you can do is target seniors with a flier that is on a glossy piece of paper,” said Kurt Medina, president, Medina Associates, Rose Valley, PA. “Seniors have a higher sensitivity to glare.”
Medina added that the yellowing of the human lens also makes it harder for seniors to see blue, green and purple, and that less light gets to the eye as well.
“And never put copy over an illustration,” she said. “That message is not going to be seen.”
Medina added that for audio messages, a male voice should be used, since higher pitches are the first to go.
And in targeting a Hispanic audience, you can make use of, but not abuse, Hispanic cultural references in creative, said Irma Gonzalez Clark, VP-multicultural practice, MilwardBrown, Naperville, IL.
“Make the brand an integral part of the storyline,” Clark said. “But remember to use the same fundamentals of marketing that you would use in traditional campaigns.”
Clark added that campaigns done in Spanish should educate the audience as well, since the target could be brand new to the U.S. “Tell a simple story that is easy to understand and that can be familiar to the audience,” Clark said. “This will help someone new to the U.S. create their brand identity.”