How to Use Demographic Information to Target New Customers for Your Business

Samir Sampat

Demographics are just one aspect of a company’s customer data, but they are perhaps one of the most valuable to some industries. When it comes to targeting customers, there are a few different methods or aspects of data that you can use, including demographics. In this guide, we’ll talk about what demographics are and how they can help you target new audiences, as well as which demographics matter most (or how to determine that for yourself). 

What are demographics?

Demographics is a term that refers to a particular segment, or section, of the population. The factors here are generally identifying elements like age, income, gender, etc. We’ll take a closer look at each below, but these are the basic elements on which you’ll build your target audience(s). 

Age

Some products or services are designed for audiences of a specific age range. Bear in mind that you should define as many (or as few) of these ranges as you need to fully market all of your products. Learn more about what we mean in our example using LEGO below. 

Gender

Victoria’s Secret markets to women, but they also market to men looking for gifts for women, and they know both audiences are valuable. Although this is becoming less common in modern marketing, there is still a place for using gender to define audiences and markets. 

Location

Some products or services are location-specific, such as in the case of local car dealerships or service businesses. It’s also a demographic used for things like selling winter gear (year-round in mountain climates but seasonally elsewhere, for example). If the location doesn’t play a role in your target audience, that’s fine too. 

Family or marital status

This demographic is used to make sure that the right audience(s) are targeted based on their familial lifestyle. This one is an easy example: minivans are marketed to moms and families, while sports cars are marketed to single men with disposable income. 

Education level

Education is another factor in defining a target market for a lot of businesses. For example, you wouldn’t market a high-level doctoral research journal as a read for someone who barely finished high school. It could also pertain to education-based products, but that’s not always the case. 

Income level

This is a huge factor in marketing and segmenting audiences. Income affects everything from the ability to afford the product to the problems that are created by not having the product in the first place. The further you can define your audience’s income range, the better you can target the people more likely to buy. 

Occupation

In addition to their income, the occupation of your audience may play a role in defining your target market. For example, companies that make PPE for plumbers and HVAC techs would want to market primarily to those audiences. It’s also a matter of income, discussed above, as well as what education or experience level someone has. 

The importance of targeting audiences 

In business, you can’t just start selling and hope that people will buy. You have to know which people are interested in your product or service, or at least which ones should be. Targeting audiences is critical. Research shows that targeted advertising can be nearly two times as effective as ads that are not targeted. When your market is clearly defined, you’ll be able to tailor every detail of your product or service. 

You will also be able to identify all of the possible audiences for your product or service. Take the building toy giant LEGO, for one example. Their products all say “Ages 0-99” and they truly embrace that people are never too old to play. However, they still take the time to segment their audience into smaller age and interest groups, income levels, and so forth. For example, they have the Duplo collection for toddlers and small children, the Architecture series collection for the more realistic LEGO enthusiast, and the various branded collections for just about every cartoon and movie out there today, catering to the audiences of those shows. 

By doing this, LEGO can market several different products to several different audiences, even though their general product and age range has never changed. Take notes, because, in most businesses, you’ll be able to refine your audiences a lot further than you expect with demographics and other segmentation details. And, if you do it right, that can help you improve your growth and even find new audiences that you may not have anticipated. 

Two other elements are typically used to classify audiences: firmographic and psychographic data. And in doing so, it’s important to remain objective in making those classifications, as well as with demographic information. 

Firmographic data is primarily for B2B businesses and refers to traits like the company’s size and type, annual revenue, and so forth. Psychographic factors can be applied to businesses and consumers alike and include things like values, lifestyle, attitudes, behaviors, and so forth. By combining these with demographics, companies are better able to create the ideal target market and audience for each and every product and/or service that they offer. 

Speaking of growth, are you ready?

Once you’ve got new leads coming in, you want to be sure that you’ve got a system in place to manage all those leads, starting with a 24/7 answering service so that you never miss a single opportunity. When you partner with the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai, you’ll get all the support you need for that, along with solutions for lead intake and qualification, appointment scheduling, and other admin tasks. 

Plus, we can even handle your outreach campaigns or assist with outbound sales in the first place, saving you the effort from the start. Then, you can focus on finding and refining your audiences while we take care of the rest. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss what the 24/7 virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can do for your business. You can also reach us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484. 

Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing and Events Associate with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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