Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Are Demographics Dead?

I don't know about you, but I find TED talks to be some of the most fascinating videos and ideas I've ever watched. I absolutely love browsing through their themes and speakers and watching a variety of speakers talk about their ideas for global change, ideas for new companies and everything else you can find in there. This weekend, I was browsing through anything social media related and Johanna Blakely's Social Media and the End of Gender video really caught my eye.

If you haven't had a chance to hear her talk, her basic idea is that not only is social media going to end the age/gender/etc demographics, but it's going to call for the rise of women's input in entertainment and commercials. She argues that because old media companies are starting to realize that age/race/gender demographics aren't extremely relevant, they're turning to monitoring customers on social media. Because of this, they're realizing it's much easier to discover what their customers are interested in than finding out their age and more information about them.

She argues that old media companies and advertisers need to start searching through taste communities and aggregate WHAT people like and talk about in order to better cater to their needs. She thinks that social media will have a huge impact on the way old media companies once created movies, commercials and TV shows.

In a way, I completely agree with her in that I think as more media companies and advertisers continue to flock to social media sites, once they understand WHO their customers are by monitoring their interests, likes and even blog posts, then they'll be able to better cater to their customers every need and customers will respond positively as well.

There's nothing like feeling respected and appreciated, and I think eventually that's what companies are going to do.  I don't know about you but I loathe most commercials, and maybe if more companies monitored what I liked, they would realize what I'm interested in, and I would start paying more attention to what they're trying to sell me. Once this "gender revolution/social media revolution" begins, it's going to help both companies and customers create long-lasting, respectful relationships.