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Surveys back CBS demo slant

CBS hopes the results of two research surveys will dispel “popular misconceptions” about the older demographic the network attracts.

The studies by Nielsen Marketing Research and J.D. Power & Associates compared purchasing habits of adults in the 18-49 and 18-34 age groups — usually the most-sought-after demos among advertisers — with the older 25-54 and 35-64 brackets.

CBS referred to this target group in a press release as “middle of the market consumers.”

Nielsen focused on packaged goods, J.D. Power on buying new cars.

Changing styles

According to CBS, results contradicted three commonly held views among marketers: that middle-aged consumers buy in less quantity because they tend to live in smaller households (i.e., their kids have flown the coop); that older consumers are more “set in their ways” and brand-loyal; and that middle-age buyers are less likely to purchase new cars.

More adventurous

Instead, the studies found that disposable income, as opposed to household size, makes middle-age viewers heavier consumers; that women 35-64 and 25-54 are more likely to sample new products than those 18-34; and that adults 25-54 account for 60% of all new passenger-car sales and buy as many different makes and models as younger counterparts.

CBS has labored for several years to sell advertisers on the value of older demographics due to the web’s older-skewing program lineup.

Although CBS ranked first in overall primetime household ratings last season, the web finished behind ABC among adults 18-49.

The same holds true for their respective daytime lineups.

The Nielsen Marketing Research study was conducted with 15,000 consumers during the spring, while the J.D. Power survey was taken last year.

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