New mar­ket­ing method dis­misses de­mo­graph­ics

Con­sul­tant pitches ‘value-graph­ics,’ in which prod­ucts, ser­vices are mar­keted based on shared values rather than age

The Daily Courier - - OKANAGAN - By STEVE MacNAULL

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.

STEVE MacNAULL/The Daily Courier

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.

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