Sometimes language seems more complicated than it really is. Words that have a simple meaning or definition can be hijacked and be defined in a way that makes them seem untouchable to people who aren’t “experts.” Demographics has become one of those stolen words.
You often hear the term when pundits and professors are talking about political and economic theory. They use it as they point at studies and published papers on television. It’s easy to forget that it’s a tool that even small business owners can use to increase their growth. So what are demographics and how can they help you?
Demographics measure people. That’s it - people. How do they find the people? These people have responded to surveys that ask them about their life and shopping habits. These surveys are collected and the information is indexed to create a database full of consumers. These databases are just raw information that are used to measure what type of people can be found in a specific area.
Previously, we looked at targeting, and how it’s the term for finding the perfect type of customer for your business. You create that customer you want to attract by studying demographics and seeing how they apply to your consumers. The trick in using these statistics while targeting an audience, is to not be too broad or too focused. Finding that balance that will give you the opportunity to reach as many consumers as possible.
For example, you are going to receive 100 pieces of sports merchandise autographed by local athletes. Take a few minutes to write out a brief description of the type of person you think would be interested in this product.
You know that these collectibles are highly sought after by adult men who have children. They probably go to the games, so they are willing to drive a certain distance to get there. The games aren’t cheap, so they have to pay for parking, tickets, souvenirs, and concessions. Maybe they already have other sports memorabilia as well.
Now, break down what you just wrote in that customer description. You want to find:
- Men in their late 20’s to mid 50’s
- Who are married or single
- With children
- Who owns/leases a car
- Willing to drive to reach a destination
- Has disposable income
- Owns similar items
Congratulations, you’ve just mastered sorting through demographics. Now, by working with your digital advertising representative you can work on finding consumers that meet that description.
Demographics aren’t a scary thing once you break them down into what they are, people. You know people. You deal with people every day. And not just anybody, the people who want to do business with you. Use what you know about these people to attract more people like them. The customers who live 5 miles from your business aren’t that unique. That same type of customer who lives 15, 20, or 30 miles away would also be interested in what you offer.
Nick Pizzolato is the Marketing Content Manager at Wicked Local Media Solutions. For questions, topics for future blogs, or to share your favorite moment from the film “Back to the Future,” email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.