Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Marketers Lesson in Changing Demographics

As a marketer I have always been hyper-observant -- I tend to notice EVERYTHING and anything taking little mental notes about people, culture, change, influences, and on and on. While I may be a bit over the top on this I am rewarded with incredible moments that others might miss. Today my moment taught me a ton about how much technology is reaching ALL generations.

I was sitting on a porch in an older neighborhood of craftsman homes on a tree-lined street. Sitting there, soaking up the sun on a crisp, beautiful morning I watched an older woman shuffle around the corner of the block heading up my street.

She looked like the stereotypical "old woman" -- short, hunched over and walking slowly like age and arthritis were taking their toll. She wore a long overcoat, dark boots, bright red scarf wrapped around her neck, matching knit cap, and a large shopping bag clutched under her arm (she had probably already journeyed a mile to go to the store and back again).

And as she shuffled along I was rewarded with my moment of the day....

She was gabbing away on a cell phone! Yup. Barely moving along at 0 miles per hour she was talking away with the phone held tight to her right ear. Wow! Technology totally messed with my perceptions!

The lesson is that I should never expect anything to remain the same. Old or young, people change with time, and with the times. As a marketer I should never assume anything except that only this moment matters... Have I done a good job of learning about my audience?