Once upon a time, advertisers could target consumers based on several fundamental criteria, such as age, gender, income, education, and/or race and ethnicity. One thing we’re learning as the 2011 Census rolls out is more people consider themselves to belong to more than one race or ethnic group. We live in an age where mixed marriages are common (and mixed relationships are even more common).
For more on this issue, visit this recent story from The New York Times (click to link). Also, see this story from Marketing Daily, which also focuses on the issue of multi-racial family demographics.
Implications: These days, understanding your target consumers might involve sitting down to talk with them, and transcribing their life stages, careers, hobbies, family composition and other lifestyle attributes… rather than sorting to the pre-existing terms that might be found in the traditional vocabulary of advertising.