Mark Ritson in MarketingWeek

7 December 2019

Segmentation Vs. Stereotypes: Why All Marketers Should Read (And Relish) Ritson’s Latest Rant

by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango + Guy Who Resists Stereotypes; above image and bio from MarketingWeek…

I’ve long railed against the lazy stereotype “millennials” (see my post about the L.A. Rams’ misguided marketing).

In fact, I recently barred my students from using the word “millennials” —  along with “Gen X/Y/Z” and “Baby Boomers” — in class assignments. (I also banned “authentic” for various reasons.) My censorship appears to have improved their analytical work, so I’m now considering other words to prohibit.

Naturally, I relished this rant by Mark Ritson on generational stereotyping by marketers at even the highest levels…

“…the whole myth of the millennial segment makes a mockery of just about every principle of basic segmentation. Clearly millennials as a generational cohort do exist – they are the two billion people on the planet born between 1981 and 2000. But the idea that this giant army all want similar stuff or think in similar ways is clearly horseshit…”

The article is a five-minute read that should be printed out and posted in every conference room. We need to save future generations of marketers — just not stereotype them.

P.S. If you’re seeking a way to segment your audience without pissing anyone off (especially Mark Ritson), I have a few tips for you right here.

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Freddy is the Founder & Creative Strategist of Atomic Tango. He also teaches graduate-level marketing communication courses at the University of Southern California (go Trojans!), shoots pool somewhat adequately, and herds cats. Freddy received his BA from Harvard and his MBA from USC.

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