Here’s a thought experiment for you. Picture a 20-year-old in today’s marketing communications. What do you see? You’re most likely to recall a maverick, an iconoclast, a rebel without a cause, and/ or into fast mo-bikes, faster cars, girls, and parties, right? This can be a picture of a few 20-year-olds maybe, but for the majority, you couldn’t be further away from reality. The young, or any other age group for that matter, are not as homogenous as marketing communications show them to be. There is inherent heterogeneity within the apparent homogeneity. This heterogeneity may reduce overage, but understanding it remains very pertinent for marketers. When young, your personality is more heterogeneous; as you get older, your personality settles, and your behavior becomes more predictable. Marketers, therefore, must adopt strategies for different age groups. For products targeted at younger segments, advertisers must tap into multiple archetypes and vary their cues as per their audience’s varying online preferences. However, for older segments, it’s best to target specific archetypes.
‘Mind the (age) gap’ is a study by Zirca Digital Solutions that seeks to understand this heterogeneity within the forced homogeneity of age groups and to understand the implications of marketing communications.
What are these archetypes? Based on Jungian philosophy, archetypes represent human characteristics that evoke deep emotions and are universal. These form the basis of our behavioral patterns deeply rooted in our unconscious and subconscious. ContentiQ, a proprietary tool by Zirca, provides insights on digital content consumption by archetypes. The ContentiQ Archetype Indicator Test classifies users by content consumption, which enables brands to map their personas to the archetypes. Understanding these archetypes helps gain personal insight into behaviors and motivations and allows for better interaction.
Most of us have more than one archetype at play in our personality construct. Normally, one archetype tends to dominate the personality in general and there are a few that come close defining the subconscious elements in response to unique triggers. Pertinent to note is that digital audiences between 15 – 24 years of age tend to have more than one archetype and as we look at older age groups, audiences tend to be defined by fewer archetypes.
The majority of online audiences – even in the younger and millennials generation – are realists. A realist can also have shades of Go-getters and Mavericks. However, the dominant persona will still be that of a realist. Which means the decisions will mostly be based on realistic aspiration, wants, and desires. The Realists are followed by Go-getters. So, despite the hype of the impulsive young generation, our research proves that while there may be elements of a Maverick in one persona, most decisions will be based on the persona and habits of a Realist or a Go-getter. And as you grow older, the basket of your archetypes reduces in number. Hence, while 23-year-olds may have four to six archetypes in their digital persona, chances of a 47-year-old displaying only one to three digital archetypal behavior are very high.
Thus, depending upon their needs, brands need to choose what they want to appeal to – emotional, intuitive or rational. But remember Indian audiences are more than their age or sundry demographics signify. So, choose and shape your content to trigger these archetypes in the persona of your target audience. For products targeted at younger segments, advertisers must tap into multiple archetypes and vary their cues as per their audience’s varying online preferences. However, for older segments, it’s best to target specific archetypes.
The archetype indicator test is crucial for brands to target more effectively. It gives them a better understanding of their audience’s demographic distribution and helps improve marketing by adapting advertising strategies based on psychographic and demographic variables. Attached are key insights of the eight archetypes of today’s digital audience.
Authored by Rupin Nanani, Head – ContentiQ, Research & Analytics at Zirca Digital Solutions.