New marketing method dismisses demographics
Consultant pitches ‘value-graphics,’ in which products, services are marketed based on shared values rather than age
Ageism is this society’s dirty little secret, according to consultant and “valuegraphics” expert David Allison.
“Ageism is rampant and sanctioned,” he told a lunch meeting of the Okanagan chapter of the Urban Development Institute last week.
“If you’re not discriminated against because you are too old, you are discriminated against because you are too young.”
Allison, who heads up his own Vancouver-based firm called David Allison Inc., urges people to throw out their reliance on demographics, the statistical characteristics of people based on age, and instead embrace value-graphics.
“Value-graphics are the missing link of modern marketing,” he told the crowd of 200 developers, urban planners, real estate agents, bankers and local politicians.
“Use shared values rather than demographics to market any development, product, service, brand or idea.”
So, instead of marketing to the traditional demographic age groups of 18-24, 25-36, 27-45, etc., Allison insisted 10 valuegraphic archetypes be used. They are: 1. The creativity club 2. The technology fellowship 3. The adventure club 4. Royal order of the overdrawn 5. League of workaholics 6. The Savers Society 7. Loyalist Lodge 8. The anti-materialists 9. The environmental assembly 10. The home hunters union Because he was speaking to a group of developers, Allison honed in on the home hunters union.
“They represent the 37 per cent of the population that is unsettled and may move sometime in the next two years,” he said.
“They can be any age, any gender, any income, so traditional demographics are irrelevant. Developers should be marketing to their basic value needs of wanting to live close to work, be safe and comfortable and being able to keep their family, which could be their actual family or their friends or co-workers, as their top priority.”
The home hunters union also tends to be an apolitical bunch. Half of them have never voted and they care little about politics.
As such, their interests tend to be selfish — no world view. They also tend to be sports fans and a touch anxious or insecure about moving.
“It’s all about defining your target market and what they value most, and marketing to them using value-graphics instead of demographics,” said Allison.
Allison worked with social scientists at the University of Auckland in New Zealand to survey 60,000 people in Canada and the United States to come up with value-graphics and the 10 archetypes.
Allison is also putting the finishing touches on his first book, We Are All the Same Age Now, which will be released next year.
Attending last week’s meeting of the Okanagan chapter of the Urban Development Institute were, from left, Vernon Mayor Akbal Mund, guest speaker and value-graphics expert David Allison and chapter president Kevin Edgecombe of Edgecombe Builders.