GLOBAL: Targeting may have become increasingly sophisticated thanks to digital, but marketers are still fixated on age when they ought to be concentrating on attitudes and behaviours, an industry figure argues.

Writing in the current issue of Admap, Guy Abrahams, Global Strategy Lead at media agency Zenith, observes that the cultural shifts of the past decade and the concomitant changes in attitudes to brands have not stopped marketers thinking in terms of groups like Millennials and Generation Z.

“We still continue with the twentieth-century tradition of focusing on the twenty-something demographic, renamed with a catchy title to make it sound cool.”

But in developed markets like the US and Japan, those over 55 are expected to represent anywhere between 50% and 86% of consumer spending growth in coming years, as a generation of Boomers, now empty nesters, rediscovers the joys of youth.

“Rather than talk of demographic generations, we should be thinking about how to maximise the appeal of our brands based on what makes them appealing,” says Abrahams.

“The interesting thing about successful ‘Millennial marketing’,” he adds, “has not been the reach of the demographic, but rather the appeal of the modern marketing approaches to a broader consumer base.”

And, citing Gina Pell, he argues that the broader base is made up of “Perennials” who are defined by mindset rather than how old they are. (For more, read the full article: Forget Millennials, target Perennials.)

Brands like Gucci, he suggests, are turning the old marketing approach upside down. Its creative director never set out to appeal exclusively to the under-35s, even though half of Gucci sales are to this demographic, Abrahams points out.

“Appeal to Millennials is the by-product of good Perennial targeting.”

Gucci, he says, “is simply doing it right from every angle”, whether that is public relations, accessibility or endorsement.

The brand may be “a twenty-first century statement of contemporary coolness”, but that doesn’t mean that Millennials are the only ones who ‘get it’.

Sourced from Admap