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Are You Suffering from Marketing-Assumption-itis?

When you design your next direct mail or email campaign, how are you determining how to target your messaging? Are you using data on what your customers look like and how they behave? Or are you making assumptions about them? Too often, we do the latter without realizing it.

Here's an example: According to a study from Pew Research, Millennials spend twice as much on self-care as their older counterparts ("The Millennial Obsession with Self-Care"). The study finds that Millennials, both men and women, are looking to take better care of themselves physically and emotionally. This is a massive opportunity for the self-care industry, yet the imagery, messaging, and experience of self-care marketing focus primarily on one market segment: women. In doing so, brands miss the potential offered by men.

Another example comes from the gaming industry. We tend to think of the best audience for gaming as younger male consumers squirreled away in their parent's basement. In reality, more than one-quarter of all gamers are over 45 years old, and half are women.

The lesson is clear. When it comes to messaging and audience selection, your marketing efforts should be based on research, not "common knowledge."

When sending out data-driven messaging, businesses can get great results. For inspiration, we can look to AngelSoft. Historically, most children were raised in traditional two-parent homes. Today, however, nearly one-quarter of children are raised in single-parent homes, and a growing percentage are fathers. In response, AngelSoft has released a heart-warming commercial about a single father raising his daughter — from standing in line for the women's room cradling his infant daughter because there is no changing table in the men's room to, years later, teaching his now teenage daughter to shave her legs by shaving his own. AngelSoft's customer base is changing, and the company's marketing efforts reflect that.

Are you missing marketing opportunities due to stereotyping? Before deploying your next print or digital campaign, analyze your messaging and challenge any stereotypes you might uncover. Don't leave opportunities — or assumptions — on the table!

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