The Changing Face Of Today's Buyer

BYU Marketing Professor Leads Session At Power Summit

Gary RhoadsChanging demographics in the United States are leading to a sea-change for buyers of promotional products, according to Gary Rhoads, professor of marketing and entrepreneurship at Brigham Young University. "There's a new face of buyer in America – not just consumers but business-to-business buyers, as well," Rhoads said during a session this week at the ASI Power Summit. "African Americans, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans represent all of the population growth that the United States will experience in the foreseeable future. Those are demographics that marketers will need to appeal to."

Noting that Hispanic-Americans are the fastest-growing demographic in the country, Rhoads told his Power Summit audience that they should be devising ways today – in both who they hire and the companies they target – to capitalize on this sector. "There's a huge opportunity for marketers here, but you need to be able to communicate effectively with buyers in this market," Rhoads said. "You need to hire right to be able to do it."

Rhoads also focused his talk on buyer shifts as the Millennial Generation gains in influence. To target this group, Rhoads said, companies need marketing efforts that are compelling, fun, and community-driven. "If you're just using traditional media with this group, you can't be successful," he said. "Buyers today are tired of the ordinary; they want an experience and to be entertained," he said. "And, you have to appeal to them quickly, because they're making purchasing decisions in seconds, not hours or days or weeks."

It's something industry companies know that they need to focus on. "As an industry, we need to better match the needs of buyers today," said BIC Group's Edgar Hernandez during another Power Summit session. "We need to position our offerings better, so we increase the visibility of the market and really sell against other media."

Counselor spoke to Rhoads after his speech to see how demographic shifts should impact the strategies of industry companies. Click here to see the video.