Technology makes it easier to pinpoint your target audience. TRUE. That's the end game. FALSE.

According to Google's recently published report on The New Multi-screen World, in any given household, the average person spends as much as 8.5 hours in front of as many as 8 different screens in an average day. In fact, over 90% of all media interactions are screen-based, and 98% of those cross at least three screens to complete a transaction. The trick is in identifying who is watching actively and who is passively being activated into engagement or purchase. To be successful in marketing to the "average" household of today is no easy task. In the latest Gallup poll, 14% of college graduates are opting to move back home with their parents, and AARP reports that 11% of all households have at least one grandparent living with them. According to the most recent Census data, one in six Americans live in a multigenerational household, up 33% since 2008. This new multigen household is the new normal. And, they are using multiple screens in the same household at the same time, every day.

While our aging population is no secret, advertisers need to take note of the staggering statistics for the growth in our upcoming senior population base. Just looking at Texas alone, currently about 2.4 million individuals are 65+, but by 2020 (three short years from now), the number is projected to be close to 10 million. Understanding how to market in a multidimensional, mutigenerational way is the conundrum of this digitally centric world. It goes beyond multiple screens, cross channel messaging, and target segmentation. Marketers need to be adept in how to shift their messaging strategies to address these changing household demographics. Targeting the decision maker (and now multiple decision makers) within the household has become just as important as targeting the influencers of the household purchases. From vacations, to groceries, to healthcare and insurance, to technology, even the family vehicles, household marketing has become as complex as a business unit within a large company with a C-suite of multiple decision makers and a host of influencers who are responsible for their own departments.

When it comes to setting message strategy to be relevant for today's household, advertisers not only have to invest in the due diligence of understanding the demographic composition of their product, consideration must also be given to defining the composition of the households they are trying to reach. It's all about targeted message execution, but more importantly it's all about interpreting the Big Data research to know what message will generate the desired response. And that is what makes the difference between a good advertising campaign and great marketing plan. It's time for the next year planning season, do you have the right message, the right media mix, and the right pathway?