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We’re Still Broke

October 8, 2015

Two years ago, Research Director, Inc. Partner Charlie Sislen posted his self-proclaimed “old man rant,” 55 and Still Going Strong. Now it’s my turn.

A few months ago I turned 25 years old. I made it to the highly desirable 25-54 target demographic. Beginning this summer, advertisers will be hyper-focused on driving my purchasing decisions. Don’t get me wrong, there is ROI proven in targeting 25-54, but I often think to myself “I’m ALREADY highly desired?” Since my 25th birthday, I’ve been to six weddings and have had one free weekend. I couldn’t spend my money if I tried!

Contrary to Charlie turning 55, here’s what the immediate future looks like for me. In the next year:

  • I will NOT buy a new car, because I don’t want the monthly payment.
  • I will NOT travel, because I’m still paying off my wedding.
  • I will NOT eat out frequently, unless Charlie’s buying.

I want to make sure that I’m painting a clear picture. I’ve always had a source of income since age 15, have two college degrees, and my household income is nearly double the U.S. median. At 25, I’d say that I’m on the right track. But that doesn’t mean I’m the ideal target.

Advertisers: At some point (hopefully soon) I will be a highly desired target … but not today. Millennials move quickly, and often times at the expense of discretionary spending power. Also, don’t forget about Charlie. His spending power is still strong and shouldn’t be overlooked. In fact, household income for these Alpha Boomers (55-64) is only behind the 35-44 demographic. (Source: The Media Audit – 2010 80 Market Data Base)

Broadcasters: If you have a young 25-54 audience, use it to your advantage! But certainly don’t regret having 55+ listeners. Showcase their spending power.
Charlie said it first, 60 is the new 40, and there’s plenty of opportunity with that audience.

Us 25-year-olds will get there soon enough. But until then, I can confidently say, “We’re still broke.”

-Tyler Plahanski, Sales & Marketing Associate

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