Stereotypes and Marketing Don’t Mix: Assumptions and the facts that prove them wrong

September  27,  2011 / By Taylor Blog

“You know what happens when you assume…” (if you don’t, let me know and I’ll fill you in).

But as marketers, we don’t just risk looking dumb when we make assumptions. Stereotyping consumers can lead to ill-fated decisions… strategies, messaging and tactics that can range from ineffective to completely offensive.

Here are some light-hearted stereotypes and the facts that shatter them.

Women talk more than men. They just looove telling others what they know.

Fact: On average, male cell phone users place 13.8 calls per day, compared to only 10.8 for women. And, women account for less than 15% of Wikipedia’s contributors; men are the ones doing most of the informing. (Source:
Pew Internet, Wikipedia)

Parenthood is misery. When you become a parent, you have to give up all fun.

Fact: Not only is a parent more likely to consider himself or herself “a happy person,” parents are also more likely to be able to down a shot of whiskey in 5 seconds without gagging! (Source: Hunch)

Girls don’t even know how to turn on a Playstation. Gamers are most likely to be young guys.

Fact: 75% of women have at least one gaming app, compared to 67% of men. And, 38% of console gamers and 43% of PC gamers are women. (Sources: NBCUniversal, IBM)

Teenagers are the worst offenders when it comes to texting while driving.

In fact, almost half (47%) of adults ages 18+ admit to texting while driving, but only 34% of teens do so. (Source: Pew Research Center)

Liberals and conservatives can’t agree on anything these days.

Fact: Liberals and conservatives who drink beer both prefer a brew that’s pale and refreshing. Both prefer their sandwich to be cut diagonally, and both love lasagna. (Source: Hunch)

So when targeting a certain consumer, make sure you aren’t making false assumptions. Learn the facts, get to know the target, and then create your campaign!

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