Every Business Should Understand Market Demographics, Here’s Why
Business owners looking for an edge in marketing must pay attention to market demographics. This is because the more focused your demographic is, the better you can speak to and address your audience’s needs and emotions to encourage them to buy.
Most people willingly assign themselves to categories. In fact, people prefer to be categorised and will proudly proclaim that they are Brisbane Bronco fans, book-lovers, or terrified of spiders. Categories are a way for people to find others most like themselves and assign certain traits and characteristics to their own behaviour. Here’s what you need to know.
Demographics for marketing.
For marketers, understanding demographics is the ultimate categorisation tool, and grouping your consumers according to their characteristics allows you to serve their needs better. Get to know a person’s ‘category’, and you can tap into their unique needs, preferences and preferred buying habits.
When you truly understand market demographics, you can:
1. Create marketing campaigns that target the customer you want
2. Lower your marketing costs by focusing your budget on a target audience
3. Identify new opportunities for products and features
4. Create and define scenarios to which your customers can relate
5. Know what your customers really want.
But keep in mind that using demographics for market segmentation doesn’t pigeonhole your efforts to just one subset of the population, it also helps you get to know past, present and future customers better.
Marketing to generational groups.
Generational marketing involves segmenting the market into groups of people born in the same period of time who share similar life experiences and are shaped by that particular time period. This ‘shaping’ greatly affects content consumption, time spent online and content preferences.
Generational groups are a relatively easy categorisation to understand and use. Baby boomers have very different buying habits compared to the X-generation or millennials, for example. Broadly speaking, Baby Boomers like:
- Eye-catching sponsored ads
- High-quality blog articles, reviews, ebooks, and comments
- Videos slow in pace and offering detailed information
- Discount coupons.
If Millenials are your target, your marketing efforts should broadly involve:
- All the contemporary social media sites and apps (not just Facebook)
- Mobile and SMS
- Videos in real-time
- User-generated content such as blogs, chats, tweets, digital images, and audio.
- Marketing to age groups
Marketing to age ranges might first appear the same as marketing to generational groups, but using age goes into more detail.
For example, a life insurance agent can focus on married couples having their first baby by targeting couples between the ages of 20 and 40. The age range spans several generations and is contingent on the common thread of having a baby.
According to the Seniors and Technology report, 3 in 5 seniors see themselves as “tech-savvy,” and 84 percent of Australian seniors are willing to consider adopting new technology.
So, what does this really mean? Well, in terms of marketing operations for most companies are not aware that Australian seniors spend an average of 3.3 billion hours on social media across Australia every year—which presents a huge and often overlooked opportunity for both small businesses, and enterprise, to tap into different age groups through various social media channels.
Marketing to family structure.
Knowing whether a person is married, single or divorced is an important demographic to understand. Additionally, it’s important to understand who the decision maker is in the family. For example, if the husband is the decision maker and you’re speaking to the wife, your message isn’t going to be worthwhile. Or, if you are marketing to students, you could try running an essay contest.
Generally, being part of a family is about enjoying shared experiences, and it benefits brands to think about this dynamic.
The essence of the family today is about sharing choices, decisions and time together so your marketing efforts can be boosted by tapping into the emotional benefits of togetherness.
Marketing to ethnic backgrounds.
People from different cultures have different tastes and buying habits, and multicultural marketing places emphasis on connecting these diverse audiences.
Multicultural marketing requires you to understand the effect of language, traditions, and other concepts passed down from previous generations and experiences, and then use this knowledge to communicate with the target customer.
Be careful, however, to never make assumptions about a person’s ethnic background. Topics centred around culture tend to be sensitive, so tread lightly.
Final remarks on researching market demographics.
Market research statistics are available for all states and territories in Australia via, but your research needs to go beyond this if you really want to get to know your audience. Remember, without the right customers, you don’t have a business, so market research really should be a priority.
To get an intimate understanding of your customer, try:
- Surveys: Direct market research in the form of talking to prospective customers about their wants and needs is a great way to get to know your past, present, and future customers. Use surveys to ask direct questions about their pain points, motivations, buying behaviours, price point, and lifestyle. Take note especially of negative responses and customer complaints – this is usually where the most significant insights for growth are.
- Ethnography: Ethnography focuses on observation of the customer and is the anthropological study of people, cultures, and patterns. What you get from ethnography is a deeper understanding of your customers based on their lifestyle and habits, rather than their perceived wants and needs. It’s getting to know your customer in a natural setting rather than a forced survey situation.
- Social media: Social media helps you to engage and interact with your customers on a personalised level, and this builds customer loyalty and repeat purchases. Moreover, social media lets you analyse your followers’ information to understand your brand fans and brand “challengers”. You can see the type of content your customers like, what they don’t like, and what your customers are sharing. This helps you to envision what it is they need to suit their lifestyle.
Businesses don’t start with a product and then look for a market that will purchase it – they start by acknowledging the pain point of a specific target demographic, and then they create a product or service to fill that need. These businesses tend to be the most successful. So ask yourself, have you got your demographics, right?
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