The end of demographics

I think demographic segmentation should be added to the bundle of tools from yesteryear. The redundant list. Note just because it is a cold and dehumanizing concept, but because we no longer have to use economic and social indicators to guess who cares about something. In a connected world, where we opt in to tracking our own behaviour guessing is no longer required. Instead we can know precisely who cares, and what matters to them.

Age, Location, Income, Education levels, Employment, Race and Gender are all proxies. Estimating by proxy is very quickly being circumvented by knowing through tracking and connecting. In the old world we’d imagine a potential target audience or we’d research a target audience if we could afford it. The good news today is that none of us have to guess anymore, and all of us can afford the price (very often zero) to find out who they are. And most importantly we should remember our people are not some statistical cohort we attack, but a group of individuals that we should be bending over backwards to help out.


Grandparents circa 2010

Here’s some surprising statistics about those over 65 in Australia.

  • 75% are online
  • 70% use search engines
  • 63% shop online
  • 30% instant message
  • 56% share photo’s online
  • 46% bank online
  • 45% are on social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Yahoo! Groups

Yep, the former young male demographic bias we love talking about on the web is now truly busted. The web is everywhere and everyone.

Web startups, you’re market may not be tech savvy, mac fan boys after all!


(stats provided by Eye of Australia 2010)