Jolina Pettice

MomentGraphics More Important than Demographics?

Jan Leth at MIMA Event
Monday night, Jessica and I represented TopRank at a Minnesota Interactive Marketing Association (MIMA) Event in Minneapolis.

In the first of a series entitled ‘Conversations About the Future of Advertising’, Jan Leth from Ogilvy & Mather gave a presentation entitled ‘Dada, Data, Alpha and Beta’ in which he highlighted how marketers can take advantage of the digital age.

In particular I found interesting, the idea of momentgraphics versus demographics. Marketing of years past would have concluded that we need to know the age, race, income and interests of each of our prospects.

Momentgraphics focuses on the periods of time in which we need to target prospects. For example, someone searching for the phrase ‘cold medicine that works in less time’ is the prime target for a company producing cold medicine. The demographics of that person are irrelevant because we know they are in a ‘target moment’ making them the target market.

To take advantage of momentgraphics, keyword lists must incorporate pain point keyword phrases. Pain point keyword phrases are those that a prospect thinks of in the moment, such as ‘cold medicine that works in less time’ but also keyword phrases that they think of after having experienced a pain.

For example a company that experiences data loss due to a power outage, may hone their search after experiencing such an event. The keyword phrases may then include phrases such as ‘preventing data loss’ or ‘recovering from data loss’.

Including such may very well bring you into contact with a new set of prospects.

If you’re local and interested in joining in on the fun, visit the MIMA website and attend the next event featuring Valeria Maltoni of

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  1. I also think the idea of “Momentgraphics” is very interesting, although the word itself seems a little clunky.

    In essence, it is merging what traditionally has been called needs based marketing with the immediate response of SEM.

    People are rarely motivated by who they are (demographics), since consumer behavior is almost always dictated by basic needs and wants.

    Thanks also for the link to the MIMA website.

  2. Avatar Chris Wexler says

    Intersecting message with mindset has always been the key to great creative. That is why search is so powerful — marketers get to give information when people are actively looling for information. Google is the ultimate “momentgraphics” play.

    This type of thinking is what any great media planner has been thinking about. In 2005 Special K did a campaign focusing on the weight loss properties of their cereal and put the ads in dressing rooms at malls. Talk about the right message at the right time…

    Demographics have always been a poor way to target anything. Just how monolithic is Males, 25-54? Media targeting shifted to “Psychographics” 20+ years ago — targeting people who have similar attitudes vs. attributes. Harley-Davidson is a prime example of such an product. Their rider base is as likely to be a dentist as a construction worker — and their marketing reflects that insight. If you followed their “demographic” they should be advertising on CNNMoney — and really, would that be right for their brand?

    True insight into what motivates people to engage with your product which leads to finding a common mindset and then trigger points where they are more open to the message that you have to deliver. I don’t think it needs a title other than “SmartMarketing”.

  3. Avatar Tim Brunelle says


    Thanks for the great post! We deeply appreciate your reactions and insights to Conversations About the Future of Advertising. There will be more good stuff coming.


  4. Great post Jolina. You’ve attracted some smart comments as well. Let’s keep posting on this MCAD-MIMA series.

  5. Avatar Paul Acosta says

    Thank you Jolina. Although I understand the irrelevance of the aging demographics element as a stand-alone metric, I still think that targeting still needs to follow not a singular but a group of factors for a project to succeed.

    Using your case as an example, we can very well target a group of consumers during the flu season with a new cold medicine (the moment) but we can’t forget their proximity and resources (ie. buying power) to select our product. But thank you for your perspective (and I agree with Paul that the word seems a little clunky).

    Great things and have a terrific 2008!

  6. Momentgraphics is a very good concept but it puts limitation. If we refer the example than we have to wait for the favorable conditions which is uncertain. In case of demographics we know many things before hand or can make nearly accurate prediction before hand so targeting the audience is much more easy.

    This is a very good concept and very few are aware of this.

  7. I’ve been referring to this as behaviorgraphics for some time – what is it the people do that would tip them as an ideal prospect