Overzealous Demographers

iStock_000005894033XSmallby Mike O’Mary

Whenever a company comes out with a new product, they usually do a lot of market research first. I recently read the findings of a company that identified several market segments it wanted to reach. I won’t go into all the demographic details. Instead I’ll skip right to the interesting part: the sweeping generalizations made about each segment.

One market segment is called the “Metro Mix.” This group is the most likely to eat at donut shops, have a window air conditioner and make purchases from the Home Shopping Network.

Next is the “Urban Up and Comers.” They are the most likely to bank by ATM card and drink imported beer and wine.

Then there are the “Rustic Homesteaders.” They are the most likely to own a rifle or shotgun, an outboard motor and shop at Wal-Mart.

I also heard about a segment that tends to eat at fast-food chicken restaurants, pays utility bills in person and likes to watch television shows about cops. Oh, this group is also more likely than average to have someone in the household change the oil on their car.

Another segment likes to purchase home furniture by mail or phone, read health magazines and listen to NPR. Yet another group was characterized as ranking first for eating at Red Lobster and watching soap operas.

I don’t know if I got much out of all that research, but I was able to identify another market segment. I’ll call this group the “Overzealous Demographers.” They spend too much time on the phone, haven’t seen sunlight in years and tend to make sweeping generalizations that are of little use to anybody. If you run into one of these people, take your window air conditioner and outboard motor and run!

Mike O’Mary is founding dreamer of Dream of Things, a book publisher currently accepting creative nonfiction stories for anthologies on 14 topics, including an anthology titled “Cubicle Stories: Life in the Modern Workplace.”