Consumer survey companies hate me – they just don’t know it.
I just received another consumer survey to fill out. I receive quite a few these days, having bought a new van within the last year, which immediately put me on ten different automobile surveys, with a computer purchase, catalog ordering, and a subscription to Consumer Reports all adding another dozen surveys to my mailbox.
But, as a guy with a disability, I know that I completely skew the ultimate accuracy of their target marketing toward me, where my on-paper demographic doesn’t account for my true wants and needs. To the survey data collectors, I’m a 36-year-old married home owner, with one child, white-collar income, with interests in “outdoor recreation” and “family activities” – characteristics that, based on the junk mail I receive, paint me as the type of guy captivated by SUVs, lawn tractors, and treadmills. I even receive a bi-weekly flier from the high-end outdoor retailer, REI, listing specials on bicycles and kayaks.
The fact is, as a result of my having cerebral palsy and using a wheelchair, the consumer survey demographic generated about me goes out the window, where unless they show me a powerchair on a lawn tractor or tread mill, they’re wasting their advertising dollars.
Nevertheless, I confess that when filling out the surveys, I purposely check the box that states that I have an interest in “fitness,” which explains the REI bicycle and kayak fliers – and, more importantly, the Victoria’s Secret bikini catalogs that I happily receive in the mail, too.