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The Changing Faces of American Consumers
By: Aaron Whitaker
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With the election last week, there’s been a lot of talk from conservative pundits about what went wrong. While the excuses and reasons are diverse, there is one reason for losing that many pundits have come to agree on and that is that America is changing. A presidential candidate cannot rely on only white males to win an election. They must reach out to women, young adults, and social and ethnic minorities, because together these Americans make up the majority of America today and especially tomorrow. So while the Republicans may be behind in targeting and appealing to this group, are some businesses also missing out by not attracting people from this group?
 
I tend to think most businesses are ahead of the curve when it comes to targeting their demographics and reaching out to potential new groups of customers. But I would have also thought that the GOP would have known that in order to win the presidential election they would need more support from women and Hispanics and other social and ethnic groups. So perhaps now is a good time to take a look at your marketing and advertising plan and determine whether it is effective in reaching your targeted consumers.

This can be done by looking at your consumers over the past year or so and seeing if they line up with who you targeted. If your targeted demographics were single males age 18–26, did the majority of your consumers fall into this group? If this isn’t the case, then your targeted demographics may be wrong or slightly off and you need to refocus on discovering who your targeted audience is. If the majority of your consumers fall into your targeted demographics, then you’re probably doing a good job, but could you do better? What marketing and advertising channels are you using? Are there other channels and opportunities out there to expand and grow your consumer base?
 
The other thing you want to look at is your consumers who didn’t fall into your targeted demographics. You may want to follow up with them and determine whether they make up a potential new group that you could target or if they are just an outlier. Perhaps they bought your product to give to someone who is in your targeted demographics or maybe they identify more with that targeted demographic in their buying patterns or maybe, if you’re lucky, that consumer is part of a new group of consumers that you haven’t previously reached out to.
 
The other thing you need to be aware of when targeting new groups and demographics is that you not only may need to change the marketing and advertising channels you use but also your overall message. This proved especially true in the recent presidential elections. The Democrats seemed to have a more attractive message for women and minorities. While the Republicans may have been a better choice for women and minorities, they weren’t able to communicate that effectively to them and as a result did not receive most of their votes.
 
So take some time and examine your marketing and advertising plans. Ask your customers, your friends, and your colleagues for insight and ideas on reaching new customers and/or keeping your current customers. What is important to your current customers and what is important for your potential new customers? Could a simple message increase business or could a new advertising channel perhaps reach new customers? If this election has taught us anything, it’s that America is changing and as a business you need to be on top of the changes to reap the most rewards.


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About the Author
Aaron Whitaker is a copywriter, blogger, and social media aficionado who likes watching the TV commercials more than the actual shows. He prefers reading the magazine ads over the articles. And you can learn more about him online right here.
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