Demographics are an important part of any marketer’s life. When you finally establish your target market, you have found your niche and taken a huge step forward towards creating a…

Demographics are an important part of any marketer’s life. When you finally establish your target market, you have found your niche and taken a huge step forward towards creating a brand. All companies, however, will go through periods, especially in the beginning, where they cast a wide net. This is integral (especially if you have a tool likeSales Force) into getting some sort of intelligence on who wants to purchase your product or service. You have to figure out who is primarily interested in or searching for your particular service or product. Then you can create a sales and marketing campaign that will have an impact, as well as, tailor your products and services to meet the demands of those who have invested their time or money in your company.

The Argument For Fine Tuning

There is a belief that by fine-tuning your campaigns to a particular demographic you will lose money. Many business owners will say, “But don’t I want as many customers as possible?” There is this idea that if you focus on one group of customers that you’ll lose the “billions and billions” of other people out there that would potentially buy your product or service. On one level that does seem to make sense, but in reality it actually plays out pretty differently.

Humans Are Tribal.

They prefer to be in smaller, identifiable groups. Samsung users versus iPhone users. Playstation versus Xbox. Coke versus Pepsi. Would an iPhone user be beguiled by a Samsung ad and give up their brand loyalty? Chances are rather slim. Why? Because their marketing people spent years trying to figure out who the target market would be and then cater directly to them. As a result, the iPhone fans will clamor to the store on every new release of their products.

Consider The Failures Of Companies Like Xbox Or Vudu To Compete With Netflix.

Why? Netflix understood their demographic and has consistently supplied them with what they want, when they wanted it. Netflix is a brand now and one that is demonstrably different than their competitors. Despite Microsoft’s money, despite it’s reach, no one was buying movies using their Xbox. Xbox’s demographic was males of a certain age, and trying to move into a larger circumference like “movies” that has a largely female demographic, didn’t work because women, by and large, were not the main purchasers of their game system. Another example from gaming would be HD DVD and its failure to launch. Blu-Ray won precisely because the other HD company did not understand the target market and tried to gobble everything up. Imagine if HD DVD had combined with Nintendo or even Xbox the way that Blue-Ray did with Playstation?

Monster And Red Bull, Same Product, Different Demographics.

Instead of trying to capture the entire market of energy drinks, Monster branded itself an “extreme energy drink” and targeted the 20-something and high school aged consumers who not only can drink high sugar substances with impunity, but also enjoy the anarchistic, chaotic feel of the drink. As a result, it succeeded where other brands failed against Red Bull.

There can be many more examples cited of brands establishing themselves using demographics and getting ahead by narrowing the scope versus casting a wide net. Again, this is a tribal world as much as states would love to centralize it. People love their cliques and groups and knowing those will help you to create your brand, but better yet, your brand loyalty.

Staying focused on your target demographics means having the right marketing intelligence , tools to define the audience and refine the message. With a clearly defined target audience, it is much easier to determine where and how to market your business. Here are our tips for helping you define your target market:

Study Your Current Customer Base

Do yourself a favor and take stock of your current customers. Categorize them into groups while trying to find out why they have chosen your company and product/service. Look for common characteristics and interests. Which client demographic group brings in the most business? The goal here is to understand your customers so that you can create a marketing strategy to attract other similar customers in the future.

Evaluate Your Competition

This cannot be repeated enough. You’d be surprised how may businesses have no awareness of who their main competitor is, or that it’s important enough to even know. It’s supremely valuable to find out who your competitors are targeting. And once you do have a sense of their target audience, it’s in your best interest to create a strategy that avoids targeting the same general market altogether. This may sound counter-intuitive but your approach should be to find a niche market your competitors are overlooking.

Analyze Your Product/Service

Sit down and write out a list of each feature of your product or service. Then, next to each feature, write out a list of the benefits each feature generates (as well as the benefits of those benefits).

For example, an expert web platform programmer offers high-quality programming services. The benefit is an easy-to-use sturdy platform that doesn’t crash and lacks bugs. With the right features, the web platform will attract users who find the platform to be user-friendly and useful. So ultimately, the benefit of top-tier website programming is gaining more customers and generating profits.

Once you have spelled out your benefits, make a list of consumers who have a need for your features and benefits. For example, a web programmer could opt to pitch her services to businesses interested in expanding their client base. Just settle for general target groups – the idea here is to define a base to start from.

Choose Your Demographics

Your job now is to figure out who not only has a need for your product or service, but who is most likely to buy it. Take into account the following:


What age group do you think would be more connectfully (It’s not a word, but it makes sense. Trish Everett of @connectfully thinks so, so there.) in-tune with the voice and tone of your marketing strategy? Take a look at her service. Can you do a demographic profile on her target age group?


Where are you located? Don’t market everywhere..for now at least. What are the places you most frequent that would make you easily accessible to your potential client base?


Will your message most ideally appeal to, women? Men? Transgender? All? This is a real question. If you’re selling hello kitty tampon holders…gender is going to pay a role here.

Education Level:

Is your ideal demo fresh out of college.? Studying Music Therapy as their PhD at Baylor? Looking to go down as the mustiest individual alive ever to consume 60 flights of mad dog in one hour while earning a degree in unrefined arts behind the finest city garbage bin?

Income Level:

Simply put, what group of people can afford your product? If you’re not speaking that income level group’s language, there’s really no point.

Marital or Family Status:

Sometimes it may not occur to you that you have a very specific marital status demo. You may be so confident in your product’s ability to work best that you try to out best the large competition. Well, Tandem Cycle Works of Colorado realized, that married couples that want to do more things together would prefer a tandem bike versus each of them owning the best bike of all.


Are you trying to connect with business owners? Real estate buyers? Sellers? Magicians? What does your ideal customer do for a living that makes them need your product or service?

Ethnic Background:

Be careful with this one. There’s a fine line between racial demographics and blatant assumptive racism and/or stereotyping. We’ll just say…really , really do your research here.

Delve Into Psychographics

Find out the psychographics of random people in your audience, that is the more personal characteristics of a person, such as: personality, attitudes, values, lifestyles, interests/hobbies, and behavior. This will make it easier for you to imagine how your product or service will fit into Customer A’s lifestyle. How and when will she use the product? What features would appeal to her? What media does she turn to for information?

Contemplate your Decision

Once you’ve settled on a target audience, be sure to ask yourself the following:

  • Is my target audience large enough?
  • Will my target customers really benefit from the product/service? Will they feel the need for it?
  • Do I understand what motivates my target customer to make decisions?
  • Can they afford my product/service?
  • Can I reach them? Are they easily accessible?

Remember, your business can cater to more than one niche market. Once you know who you are targeting, it is much easier to figure out a media strategy that reaches them as well as a marketing message that captivates them.

Defining your target audience not only saves you money but gets you a significant return on your marketing investment – it’s well worth it to roll up your sleeves and do your demographics research right so that your marketing strategy sings.