Marketers are beginning to take notice of a new customer demographic in town: The Perennial. It’s really not a new group, its a new way of looking at customers. The term, coined by Gina Pell of the TheWhatList.com, was because she felt that the traditional  approach of marketing towards generational sterotypes was outdated and irrelevant.

For example, not all people over 60 have a Baby Boomer mindset where they are anti-technology and long to go back to the Good Old Days.  Not all Millenials are living in their parents basement .

Gina believes that, like Amazon and Apple, its time for marketers to look at the individual interests of customers, not how old they are.

By some measures, I am a Baby Boomer. So I am supposed to be anti-technology, have stayed with the same company for 30 years and be thinking about moving to Florida to maximize my retirement. Not one of those sterotypes applies to me. In fact, my Millenial daughter who has never lived in my basement, has had a job since she graduated from college and now is employed overseas, says that I know more about social media and technology than she does.

Businesses who are continuing to sterotype customers by the same old age-based personnas  may be missing opportunities to market their products to the right customer. By focusing on the interests of customers, rather than age, you can effectively market to the largest customer based who will be interesed in your product.

According to Wikipedia, one of the meanings of the word perennial means lasting or remaining active all year or all the time. Gina Pell desribes Perennials as people of all ages who stay up on technology, know what’s happening in the world and have friends of all ages.

As an example, she points to Netflix which divides its shows by interests rather than age brackets. It does not designate TV shows for Millenials. Although there may be categories  which Millenials are more interested,  Netflix designates categories as Mystery or Comedy and offers suggestions based on previously watched shows.

How could this change in advertising prespective change the way you market? It’s possible you might change your visuals to a more generic image or use social media even if your target demographic is older. You could even experiment with multiple images to see which ones actually speak to your target audience.

As the confines of traditional generational marketing begin break down, business owners will realize that a more interest based approach will expand market reach and attract more customers.