What age profiling doesn’t tell you about your buyers

Published July 17, 2019

Often, we only have 30 seconds to get a message across, and the quicker we can attract attention, help the buyer connect the dots – the quicker the desired action is taken. A deep understanding of the target audience profile is key, however, with so many attributes to consider: how important is their age and is it relevant today?

In the post-digital era, we need to be smarter at understanding the relevance of defining target audiences by age. In 2019, age doesn’t define user behaviours as much as it did pre-digital, what’s important today is understanding how users interact with your brand, not how old they are. This level of understanding is particularly crucial for technology brands but not exclusively. 

Technology designed to solve and or enhance user experience do not discriminate by age, ethnicity, gender or geography, therefore understanding how consumers use all the tech that is integral to their lifestyle is more important than it has ever been. 

Moving forward rather than asking prospective buyers how old they are, or using tech like facial recognition to determine age – perhaps we should be asking how they use their preferred social media channel or their banking app.

Why? Just because certain age groups are defined as digital native’s does not make them more digitally savvy than a 50+ year old. Not all new mums are below 40 years old and not all millennials value experiences over material goods. Technology connects all the generations, so whilst certain cohorts might be early adopters of new tech it is only a matter of months and sometimes weeks (not decades) before other generational cohorts catch up. Whether it’s 75-year-old using a money app like Monzo, a 48-year-old on Snapchat or a 13-year-old on Facebook – the objective is to understand how and why they are using the product or service. 

Today age is indeed just a number and the sooner more brands understand this, the better the chance to grab attention and strengthen the brand’s appeal. Because in 2019, a brand that understands user needs better than you do is just a click and a download away.

Shirley Whyte is the Marketing Director at mad4digital the tech marketing company that focuses on helping tech brands speak human. To learn more, get in touch.