Using life stages instead of ages for marketing campaigns quadruples their effectiveness

It used to be that marketing targeted campaigns by age groups and generations (boomers, millennials, etc.), but according to the report “Beyond Age” of TGI de Kantar, a global marketing data and analytics company, targeting them by life stage is up to four times more effective.

According to the report, age-based approaches to consumers aren’t enough to understand their behavior anymore, and they should be used as a starting point, since two thirds of the 22 vital events occur between 25 and 54 years old, which means it covers too many ages, on average.

In Spain, Kantar points out that, even though Generation X has the highest incomes, up to 8% more than the national average, this group of 42 to 57 year olds is really heterogeneous, so it wouldn’t make sense to “target” them as a group, but rather individually.

A lot of different consumer categories are analyzed in the report, like baby products. He’s verified that a campaign in Western Europe for people aged 25 to 34 doubled the chance of buying diapers above the average. If the segmentation changed to people of any age who had a child in the last year, that probability was multiplied by 10.

This is why Kantar proposes revising some marketing and advertising hypotheses, since segmenting by generation leads to stereotypes and preconceived ideas that aren’t reflective of people’s lives.

The same goes for its evolution. The relationship between technology and the elderly is distant, but those over 65 today aren’t like the ones they were a decade or two ago, so they’re active on Facebook and Instagram, and they use YouTube and WhatsApp as well.

A Kantar’s Media Division general manager for southern Europe says, “Although age-targeted segmentation makes sense for baby products due to expectations about when people usually start a family, people in 2022 are making very different decisions compared to 20 or even 10 years ago.” By shifting this perspective, marketers can drastically improve the effectiveness of their campaigns.”