The Gates Story Got Me Thinking About Our Industry

So let’s just get this out of the way. It’s wrong for police to abuse, be biggoted, racist or to racially profie.

And let’s get this out of the way too. It’s wrong to verbally abuse and attempt to humiliate someone who’s job it is to protect your community.

Not that either of those things happened. I don’t know, I wasn’t there. It is not the point of this post to judge them.

I’m writing today about what this brings up about our industry. Our reliance on demographics, which at times simply amounts to profiling for the sake of making money for our clients. Just because we’re not doing this to harm anyone does this make it OK? There are ad agencies that make it their business to only speak to one race or another. Usually they are run and staffed by minorities. Does that make it OK for them to single out other minorities?

With the rise of the social web, we’re learning better ways to target consumers based on tracking behavior rather then the generalities of age, sex, income and race. At Kilgannon, most of our clients are B to B and considered purchases brands, so we’re usually more concerned about purchase behavior and market conditions than race or sex. We also use a unique planning model that allows us to target engagement. This allows us to talk to people with the right message at the right time.

With the rise of the social web, customers and potential customers are telling us more about them and even opting to engage with our clients. The smarter we get about consumers, the less we should rely on old-time demographics and the more we can target behavior.

What do you think?

Posted on: July 26, 2009, by :