The Golden Rule of Marketing: Advertise unto the consumer as you would have a brand advertise unto you.

I think everyone wants to be unique and different to a certain extent. Not “weird” different, just individualistic. I think its human nature to want to be perceived as an individual and not just another person in the crowd. It’s the reason we all make the choices we do. From the clothes we wear to the way we speak to the career path we choose. We’re stickin’ it to the world by saying, “Hey, I’ll do what I want, thank you very much.”

It seems that this sometimes falls on deaf ears. Brands can forget that their target audiences are made up of real people – people who go deeper than demographic categories. It is one of those inherent Ad 101 principles we all learn, but somehow forget in the midst of briefs, proposals, and campaigns.

I almost feel foolish even writing about this. It seems like such a given that everyone knows the importance and value of understanding psychographics. But the fact is that everyone doesn’t. They weigh demographics (Women, 25-54, with a household income of $75k, living in urban areas), but do they weigh what makes their target audience who they are? The demo listed above could include crunchy moms that are outdoorsy, family oriented, bargain hunters, interested in green products and like to buy from brands that they believe in… OR… it could be single working professionals that are on-the-go and career focused, with a lot of disposable income looking for status brands and products that offer convenience. The way you approach the demographic group might be the same. But the way you approach the psychographic groups is entirely different.

I, for one, want to be marketed to for who I am; not my age, sex, marital status, and household income. Let’s make it the marketing golden rule: Advertise unto the consumer as you would have a brand advertise unto you.

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