We cannot afford to cut off half our potential market with half-arsed market segmentation.
[dropcap]Y[/dropcap]ou can’t please everyone, which is why you have to segment the market. Building a user profile is not difficult, it’s right there in marketing 101, so why do so many people make a complete cat’s-arse of it?
Many established marketers seem to be segmenting their market with outdated metrics. The simplistic methods that we used in college to get to grips with profiling have little relevance in the real world. You need to get inside the head of your audience, know their motives, values and turn-ons.
Not enough, not anymore, today’s society has too few class barriers and glass ceilings to rely on these. Many adverts are still using lazy stereotypes though, if the creators would only remove their blinkers, they would see a world far detached from their Disney version.
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Ryvita’s “for ladies that crunch” has to be the worst slogan we’ve seen in a long time. They may have done their research and found that most of their purchasers are women, but do they not think that men eat them as well?
Ryvita is one of many products that a person will buy, and then their flatmate/ husband/ boyfriend will steal. The ratio of men using programs such as Weight Watchers, and buying cereal bars, rice cakes etc, is growing every year. Yet Ryvita decided to alienate this growing market with this shoddy strapline.
Coca-Cola and Pepsi figured out twenty years ago that men wanted low-fat and low sugar products, they just didn’t like the feminine image they had, hence Coke Zero and Pepsi Max. It’s been a couple of years since crunching ladies first hit our screens, and we’re yet to see Ultra-Hardcore-Spartan-Mancrackers readdressing the balance.
Sticking with old gender stereotypes doesn’t just cost you money, it offends people to boot. Asda’s Christmas campaign featuring the good little hardworking housewife drew over 600 complaints. An attempt to offer pride to the doting mothers, and motivate the lazy fathers of this world, just made them look like they were stuck in the 50s.
One little statistic to take home, of all the baking supplies on eBay, half are bought by men. If you think you know your audience, think again.