Last week’s Factfile (MW March 30) entitled “The new age of media analysis” fell into the old traps of media analysis. By looking simply at indexes you can hide or distort all the statistics you like. Was it really that surprising that those with pre-school age children were over four times more likely to be shopping at Mothercare?
The system (TGI) used to find these above figures also reports that those in the A quintile (upper echelon of society) are indexing at 151 against a salary bracket of £25,000 to £35,000, and those in the D quintile (lower society) index at 47 against the salary bracket of £25,000 to £35,000. Sounds right doesn’t it? But in reality, there are twice as many Ds at that income level than As.
It has always been recognised that a typical 16- to 24-year-old does not exist, but we should also be recognising that there is not a classic ABC1 45- to 55-year-old any more, or any other stereotypical target audience. Did you know that more 45-year-olds watch South Park than 16- to 24-year-olds?
The majority of my time is spent working on and with packaged goods clients. The rise of discount supermarket chains, grocery shopping online, supermarket own brands, and policies such as “everyday low pricing” are key factors that are driving the marketing mix. If we relied solely on the information that TGI gives us, we would no doubt end up without a real direction as to who we are targeting and why.
So where lies the solution? For a start, at MediaCom we plan all of our activity around a platform called Real World Planning, which allows us to take a brand’s brief and objectives and move it away from the stereotypes to deliver a media strategy that hits the right people in the right way, facilitated by flexible and effective bespoke media research solutions.