In small market radio we were thrilled to have research that told us how many men listened to our station compared to how many women. And, of course, the demos: 12+, 18-24, 35-54… I think I missed one but that’s not the point. From 8 or 10 “diaries” in a county we were supposed to extrapolate useful information for out programmers and advertisers. Uh huh.
This article illustrates how much things are changing.
“The rise of mass-produced consumer goods also brought the rise of mass-market advertising. In the 1950s and 1960s, the goal of television was to aggregate the most possible eyeballs for advertisers. In order to convince consumers that an advertising message was relevant to them, consumers had to buy the idea that they were just like everyone else. The year that someone was born will not tell you how likely he is to buy your product.”