LOS ANGELES: When CBS released findings two weeks ago that showed that the 25-54 age demographic is the most important to media buyers, it seemed like a deft PR move.
But the network's poll of more than 1,000 media buyers and planners did more than just show that the network's famously older-skewing audience is a valuable one. To marketing pros who study demographics, the poll was a public acknowledgment of what they've known for a long time: older people are worth targeting.
"This validates the conventional wisdom that's been out there for a couple of years,"
said Jennifer Scott, GM at StrategyOne, Edelman's market-research arm.
This wisdom holds that the aging baby-boom generation (often regarded as people between the ages of 42 and 57) is at least as eager to spend its disposable income as the younger generations. The poll, conducted by CBS and MediaPost, found that two-thirds of the respondents find boomers to be "an extremely valuable target market," while only 47% found that to be true of Generation X (often regarded as people between the ages of 21 and 36)
CBS hopes that its findings help end the notion that its ad time isn't as valuable as that of its competitors with younger-skewing demographics. This perception contributed to the network's lagging position in this year's so-called up-front ad sales.
"We, as an industry, have been prey to this fallacy that all advertisers care about it is reaching the 18-49 demographic," said David Poltrack, EVP for research and planning at CBS. "The impetus is now on the media and those who cover us to correct the misperception."
Kelley Skoloda, director of Ketchum's global brand marketing practice, said that the challenge for PR is finding and communicating with subsets within a broad age range.
"The most successful marketers are being really smart about finding niches with volume opportunity within these very broad segments," she said.