November 5, 2015 Nik Livadas

Marketing to Americans? Studies Reveal Rochester’s Edge

Ever wonder why most Hollywood dialogue and B2B content marketing is detached from our average American lives? Consumers are flooded with poor communications that use tropes, forced racial and gender diversities, stale slang, and me-too bandwagoning. These communications are ineffective at best and offensive at worst. Why do they keep going there?

Diverse Team

“Look. Over there. Our middle-aged Latina manager is arriving.”

A contributing factor for the perpetuation of fake American landscapes and conversations is that most writers don’t live and work in the average American neighborhood. Content marketers in America generally bunker in waspy suburban office parks, work remotely in isolation, or are clustered in major coastal cities outside the averages of actual American demographic breakdowns. These high-priced agencies spend much of their time (and all of your money) trying to predict how average Americans like you talk, think, search, and hopefully buy.

So who has the best insight into the mind of “Joe Sixpack”, the average American buyer persona? I was proud and a partially unsurprised to learn where the demographics data led me.

Marketing God, Seth Godin mentioned Rochester, NY in his #Inbound15 keynote around the 10 minute mark:

“It turns out Rochester, NY is demographically perfect, just like the United States overall.” – Seth Godin

Godin refers to Fame Junkies by Jake Halpern which cites Acxiom‘s Mirror on America study of the top 150 cities in the United States. The demographics of these cities were compared to U.S. averages including age, marital status, home ownership, number of children, estimated income, net worth, and rural/urban preference. It was found that Rochester, NY is a perfect mirror of the demographics of the U.S. overall.

This nod to Rochester is a source of regional pride on it’s own, but resonates deeper for me personally for this reason: I recently learned from a Rochester official that my particular neighborhood, (Park/Meigs) most closely mirrors US averages in terms of income, age, gender, and race compared to all other neighborhoods in Rochester, NY.

It turns out my house is smack dab in the middle of a cross-section of an apple pie-chart. How’s that for ego-centric patriotism? Is the “Joe Plumber” of the 2016 election now a digital marketer in Rochester, NY? Maybe not.

The point is that our love of data analysis combined with our realistic point of view is uniquely useful to business who need to relate to the actual average American. Because of our more accurate perception of reality, Rochesterians have the best insight on how Americans really look like, act, talk, and make purchases online.

Livadas Consulting has been creating engaging content for American and international audiences alike since 2004. We never left or even considered leaving Rochester, the Image Capital of the World. I’m inspired by the rebirth of high-tech industries in our region which may not begin and end with the Photonics Manufacturing site selection announcement.

If you’d like to discuss how we use market insight to connect your business with more leads leads, get in touch. If you can prove why this research is bunk, leave a comment!

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