Goodbye Joe Consumer, Hello New Media Opportunity
According to an October 12th AdAge.com article, the 2010 Census is expected to find that 309 million people live in the United States. But one person will be missing: the average American. There is no more Joe Consumer. There is no more clear culture lead. There is, however, a huge opportunity for new media marketing. In a 2004 Wired Magazine article Chris Anderson introduced us to the concept of "The Long Tail". The Long Tail, or selling less of more, revolutionized the way we market to individuals and broke open consumer centric behavior in marketing. Consumers, as it turned out, have preferences and like to act on them.
Fast forward to the release of the 2010 census. We have 14 choices to describe household relationships and there is no clear cut culture lead. Iconic American families, married with children, make up less then 1/4 of the population and no single household type encompasses more then 1/3 the population. The new American dream? Be you.
So here’s the question: are we really more diverse then we used to be, or are we simply accepting our diversity at a time when technology and the speed of information allows us to act on it. Do we really like a different kind of music then we did in 1970, or has there always been a part of us that yearned for something different? Have we always known just what we wanted but not known just how to get it or have we actually wanted to keep up with the Joneses?
Now is an era of preference and we have the ability to act on that preference. Consumers know it, and it’s about time marketers knew it too. It’s time we understand consumer behavior first, and use that information to market responsibly and effectively, and new media is the way to do it.