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The American Customer Journey: Demographic Data and Human Needs

2 min read
keep calm and brand on

Photo by Jo San Diego on Unsplash

This is the first in a 3-part series, a study of our uniquely American journey from birth to death.  We believe this to be foundational work setting the stage for every marketing decision. The life journey shapes every consumer journey. Or more to the point: we are all humans before we are consumers.

This series considers American demographic trends, universal human needs, childhood, life preparation, work, adulting, parenting and aging. Throughout our findings we compare and contrast the impact of multiculturalism on both lifestage and lifestyle.

Demographic data and the human condition

Years ago while working in Los Angeles, I was blessed to work with Chuck Haselhorst, a Management Director at Abert Newhoff Burr. Chuck had spent his career at NW Ayer, one of the great old names of Madison Avenue (although they started in Philadelphia). Chuck and his team had crafted the “Be all that you can be” campaign for the U.S Army, perhaps the best representation of Ayer’s emphasis on connecting with the human condition.

Years later I was studying how other agencies have evolved their approach to the development of a brand. One I find especially insightful is captured in this statement from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners: “We create experiences that reach millions, but seem to speak only to you.” (Wish I'd said that.)

Those two imperatives – being empathetic to the human condition, and then speaking as if giving one individual your undivided attention – underly this study.  

Throughout the series we will share marketing considerations drawn from the data we have curated. Eventually we land on eight core marketing learnings. Those findings are important. But perhaps the greater impact of this work is that it may help your team reconnect with the people that inhabit the data.  

l'd love to hear back from you about what resonated with you within this study, and if there are areas where you would be interested in additional discussion.

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