Welcome to the Dove Direct Print and Marketing Blog. Today's post, "Marketing Should Avoid Using Anecdotal Stereotypes," uncovers new facts about consumer responses and how generational anecdotal stereotypes may cause brands and marketers to miss their targets. How marketing messages speak to various demographic groups is of primary importance. We've all learned that via the art of personalization, messaging is better received, and response rates increase. That said, new consumer response polls in the age of the coronavirus are telling a very different story.
Our Quote of the Day:
"The best marketing strategy ever: "CARE." –Gary Vaynerchuk, Entrepreneur, Marketer and Speaker
Before we dive in, we would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to all of the frontline responders putting their lives on the line each day to protect us. We also offer our condolences to the families who have lost love ones during this pandemic.
Data is changing by the minute and day, and therefore it is challenging to keep abreast of the amount of information available. Social Media is ablaze with people weighing in with opinions that range from the bizarre to the conspiracy theory and everything in between. There are data-driven, fact-based reports, fostered by real news organizations that follow constitutional guidelines regarding FCC news and broadcast rules. To that end, it is now vital for brands and marketers to identify facts from fiction. To distinguish between verified news and online sources that follow broadcast rules and those that don't.
Anecdotal Versus Evidence
Around mid-March, two trains of thought began to appear in social media circles and reliable news organizations. On the one hand, the narrative pointed to millennials not being troubled by COVID-19 concerns. Then, depending on the social media platform and age, other notions, such as the idea that seniors were the least apprehensive, also began to gain traction.
As time marched forward and as more rapid-response polls were conducted, a new set of data points indicated that fear, anxiety, and finance issues ranged across age groups.
The Fear Evidence
Under the fear banner, the concerns range from fear of a financial loss, or fear of becoming infected, or fear of no activity during the shutdown.
A good example comes from the ABC News/Ipsos poll taken on March 18th and 19th. The respondent pool consisted of 512 US adults, responding to the statement of
Indicated they were worried about catching the coronavirus.
18-29-Year-Olds - 83% were worried
30-49-Year-Olds - 75% were worried
50-64-Year-Olds - 79% were worried
65 & Up - 82% were worried
Conclusion? On average, 80% of adults from 18 years old+ are worried about getting infected.
Therefore, according to this poll, ad campaigns could be designed to bolster faith and positivity and promote that the brand cares about lives first. In this way, marketers can market while addressing fears that adults may be experiencing.
There will no doubt be several similar polls with similar results. Polling methodology varies, which is why it's a good idea to look at a few.
The Financial Health Evidence
Financial fears as a result of the pandemic vary among age groups concerned about finances than those who are fearful of catching the virus.
The younger generation appears to be a bit more concerned about financial situations according to several surveys. One of the surveys conducted by Elon University on March 16th and 17th skewed as follows:
Indicated they were worried about their personal financial situation:
80% - 25-54
78% - 18-24
74% - 45-64
62% - 65+
This data suggests that financial marketing should focus on the 18-to-54 demographic, in general, with an emphasis on the 25-54-year-old segment. As well, there is room for a secondary campaign that addresses an older demographic that is less concerned than the 25-54 group.
The financial market is sufficiently diverse and capable of crafting several financial programs. From a marketing perspective, there are multiple opportunities, as each demographic has a unique set of needs that will need servicing.
The personal finance app, Tally, ran a survey from March 11-13 by the Harris poll. It's an excellent example of real-time polling among the demographics who reflect the afore financial concerns.
Indicates those planning to seek methods of preserving cash due to economic challenges caused by the effects of the pandemic:
59% of Millennials
47% of Gen X
44% of Gen Z
35% of Boomers
Marketing is Not Stereotypical
As the pandemic runs its course, the economy will change, and new opportunities will emerge. While it will take some time to work through this period, nevertheless, consumers will remain, businesses will adapt, priorities will change, and challenges will be resolved.
During this time, marketers will need to present a careful approach to content and timing. The timing is critical. Marketers will have to stay abreast of breaking news and trends. Simultaneously, marketers cannot get ahead of the news. Now, more than ever, we will need to avoid using anecdotal stereotypes heretofore used to stimulate and engage.
During a pandemic, it could be easier for marketers and brands to run the risk of creating messaging that is a result of imperfect or misleading information. Marketing from anecdotal commentary, i.e., commentary that is not proven, nor is there the existence of any substantive data that backs up an opinion, should be avoided.
Undoubtedly, this may require a different approach to marketing, one that requires facts and data points, and in the long term, it may mean that we have to develop a new strategy to marketing post the pandemic. We hope you enjoyed this article, and thanks for reading "Marketing Should Avoid Using Anecdotal Stereotypes"!
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