What are demographics?
Demographics are statistical data about the socioeconomic characteristics of a population. A demographic study researches different variables within a group of people, such as age, gender, income, education, and occupation.
Demographic studies are usually conducted by businesses in order to identify target markets. They are also conducted by governments, mostly through periodic censuses to gather data concerning the nation’s population.
History of demographics
Demographics have been used in marketing since the early 20th century, but the term itself originated in the mid-19th century as a scientific study of human populations. As marketing became more consumer-oriented, demographic data became a crucial tool for identifying and targeting specific groups of consumers.
What are the key components of demographic studies?
· Education level
· Marital status
· Geographic location
How demographics can help your business with examples
Demographic research can help businesses form a better understanding of their market and customer base, and recognize consumer spending patterns. For instance: a demographic study might show which suburb will have the most kids in two years time, and this data can in turn serve a children’s clothing store in deciding the location for their new shop.
Another example is a ride-sharing company which might decide to concentrate their marketing campaign in cities where the population is young and can’t afford their own car. Demographic data will help them to refrain from marketing their product in smaller cities with wealthier residents, who are car owners and less likely to use a ride sharing service. In this way demographics may influence the marketing strategies a business employs.
In a nutshell the main benefits of using demographics in your marketing efforts include:
· Allows you to understand your target market better
· Helps you create more effective marketing campaigns based on data
· Increases the chances of reaching potential consumers who are more likely to
engage with the product or service being offered
· Helps to identify potential areas for market and brand growth and helps
companies stay on top of changing demographics and audiences
· Can assist with developing a brand identity that resonates with the target
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Main demographic characteristics
Your marketing strategy should take into account factors like your audience’s age, income level, gender, and in some cases even religion and political alignment might play a role. Here are some key factors to consider:
Purchasing power: The degree of disposable income within a community affects which products are bought there. A high-end luxurious product would appeal to a richer demographic, while a reliable and affordable product would appeal to a lower-income demographic.
Geographic regions: Where your customer lives can say a lot about them. For instance, a chain of sporting goods stores would offer more NY Yankees merchandise in the Bronx, while they’d offer more NY Mets merchandise in Queens.
Age range: Different age groups are more likely to purchase different items. Younger people under 35 are often the first to buy tech products like phones, tablets and video game consoles, while middle-aged people are more likely to invest in household items.
Family status: If there lots of families in your area, you might want to open a family friendly restaurant in the neighborhood. Maybe there’s mostly singles in your area? In this case a bar might be more popular.
Demographic data online
Detailed demographic information can be obtained online. Here are a few recommended sources:
The Census Bureau: The U.S. Census Bureau’s official website allows you to browse through data by category or by geographic location.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics: This website collects economic statistics in the U.S., such as employment and unemployment, consumer spending and more.
UNdata: Provides data by country name (in alphabetical order), on topics such as population, literacy and income.
Best practices when using demographics in marketing
If used properly demographics can be an impactful part of any marketing efforts. However paying attention to some basic best practices can help ensure you maximize their potential for your brand.
01. Work with an experienced market research team to gather reliable and accurate demographic data.
02. Understand that demographics are just one part of a larger marketing strategy.
03. Use segmentation to break the target demographic down into subsets with shared characteristics and preferences. This will ensure better targeting for separate audiences.
04. Be flexible and willing to adjust marketing strategies based on changing demographics. The same goes for your product differentiation strategy.
05. Regularly monitor and analyze the effectiveness of demographic targeting.
Challenges of using demographics
When working with demographic data, one specific challenge is that the data can be too broad or too narrow, making it difficult to identify and target the right audience. For example, not everyone over the age of 75 necessarily behaves the same as consumers. To be effective, demographics should be as specific as possible and be made up of many different components - age, location, income, for example.
Another challenge is that demographic data can change rapidly, which may require businesses to adjust their marketing strategies quickly, which is not always easy depending on the scale of your marketing efforts. It may prove time consuming and expensive to keep updating demographic data collection and analysis as well.