January 16, 2023 (Updated: May 4, 2023)
Not every customer reacts equally to the marketing campaigns you put out. What could amuse one individual may frustrate another. Accommodating customers’ tastes on a personalized level starts with effective demographic segmentation. In this article, we’ll take you through everything you should know about demographic segmentation, touching on the following:
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Demographic segmentation is splitting your target marketing into specific groups of people. To do this, you’ll collect data on defining characteristics, like someone’s age, level of education, occupation, income, location, and gender.
Using demographics for audience segmentation, you can create highly personalized marketing campaigns, creating content specifically for certain groups of your target market. This form of marketing helps your brand connect to more people and increase engagement. But the right demographic segments for your business might not be the same as others. That said, there are a few segments that are more common to target in a marketing campaign:
Geographic location influences everything from the language your audiences use to the cultures they identify with. And understanding how location impacts your customers’ wants, needs, and preferences influences the success of your brand’s content marketing campaigns.
A very common example of using location to influence marketing is clothing brands. If an audience primarily lives in a very warm region, advertising winter gear isn’t going to generate interest. This could even annoy customers since they’re seeing irrelevant content in relation to their needs.
Some businesses even edit their home pages based on geographic data. Language is a common point of change, adapting to the customer’s native language. Similarly, change the products that you place in prominent spots across your site to reflect what your customers are more likely to use based on their location.
Segmenting your audience based on education could relate to their final graduating level, knowledge area of study, or school choice. Some brands even build connections to past alumni of a specific college and use that loyalty to boost awareness and authority.
Beyond loyalty, the level of education can have a fairly sizable impact on many aspects of a person’s interests. For example, an individual with a Ph.D. might prefer academic content while someone still in high school might be looking for entertainment online.
Understanding the level of education of your audience can help you create marketing materials that align with the core of who they are. From their interests to aspirations, education can have a huge impact on what types of content users consume online.
Age is the most common demographic and is usually readily available online, making it a go-to option. But even though it’s accessible, age isn’t always the best demographic segment to rely on.
Of course, there’s some advantage to building segments based on age. Someone between 18 and 24 years old might be more interested in academic materials than someone in an older age range. Creating demographic segments on age works best when you cross-reference the group with other factors.
For example, comparing age with income can create specific user groups. Alternatively, using age and occupation can signal the person’s interests, as well as their rough position on the career ladder. Age is also a good indicator of what social media channels your audience frequently uses.
Demographic segments based on income split your target market and target audience based on the amount they earn. Understanding someone’s general location and income can give you a good idea about how much disposable income they earn. From there, you can work out who could potentially afford your service or product.
You can also use the income, age, and location of your ideal buyer to then construct your prices. Working backward like this ensures that you charge an amount that would be justifiable for your ideal customers. If you’re a SaaS business, for example, or one that offers services, using income to help set different tiers for your company can help bring in more customers.
Occupation is often overlooked in the world of demographic segmentation. Of course, not every doctor has the same interests, nor does every lawyer. However, a lot of professionals in similar career fields gravitate to similar interests. Occupation can even fall under audience psychographics, as it often leads to information about audiences’ interests, skills, hobbies, and career choices.
Equally, if you’re a B2B brand, you’ll often want to target a specific sector. Making demographic segments based on occupation can help you do this. You’ll be able to target certain types of professionals and find the right people that have the decision-making power.
Gender is a method of dividing your audience, which is quickly falling out of favor. However, there are some exceptions to this, including in the beauty and cosmetics industry, as well as the retail and clothing industry. In most cases, though, using gender demographics can be challenging, so going this route is best combined with other forms of data you can find about your audience.
Related reading: Using Psychographics for Audience Segmentation
Even though demographic segmentation and demographic targeting seem interchangeable, they’re not the same. Still, the segmentation leads to the targeting. In demographic segmentation, your marketing teams create groups of individuals based on different characteristics. So instead of marketing to one primary audience, this lets you connect to people more personally.
Demographic targeting uses the groups you form to decide which are the most valuable for your business to market to. So this second stage allows your business to test different audiences and decide which to focus on. For example, you might see more sales with an older audience (demographic segmentation). Using this insight, you can improve on marketing tactics with this segment or even position your brand in front of younger customers (demographic targeting).
Ultimately, both demographic segmentation and targeting help your brand’s value positioning. By identifying your business’s most valuable audience groups, you’ll be better equipped to develop highly personalized marketing materials.
Related reading: Demographics vs Psychographics in Content Marketing
Data-driven content marketing is vital for the success of a marketing team. In fact, research from Forbes shows companies with a data-driven strategy are six times more likely to produce revenue than those that don’t make the most of their data. So it’s safe to say demographic segmentation is often the first port of call for marketing teams, and here’s why:
Demographic segmentation is a great tool for content marketing because it’s one of the most accessible forms of data. You can’t sign up for a social media platform without giving demographic information. Across your name, age, and even location, your data is instantly up for grabs.
Companies are spoiled for choice when it comes to finding and using demographic data. While psychographic data takes a bit of planning to come into contact with, demographics are readily available within your web and social analytics. And much of this information is free to access, giving your team what they need to plan high-quality, personalized campaigns.
When you split your audience into demographic segments, you get a clear picture of which groups make up your customer base. From there, you’ll be able to customize your content marketing to match these demographics. For instance, if your audience primarily includes professionals, you could opt for a more refined writing tone to support your brand voice.
On the other hand, if your demographics show more casual users, your team might adjust the tone for more conversational language. Switching up the tone to reflect your audience can go a long way to establishing a credible brand image.
Customer retention is one of the most important metrics for a brand in the long run. Customers cost significantly more to acquire than to keep. If you want to boost overall revenue, focus on maintaining the customers that you already have. Demographic segmentation is a fantastic way of doing this, as using this data to create targeted messaging often makes customers feel more connected to the brands they engage with.
By focusing on what customers want to see, you’re able to connect directly with their interests. Instead of launching campaigns that may or may not succeed, you’re able to create targeted marketing content that directly fulfills your audience’s needs. And when your brand meets customer expectations, it’ll be more likely to be the first place audiences look to when making purchases. The outcome? Direct support to your marketing goals. With demographic segmentation, your brand stands a better chance of increasing conversions and adding to its bottom line.
Related reading: Using Psychographics for Audience Segmentation
Using demographic segmentation is an effective step toward personalizing your brand messages, connecting with audiences, and boosting engagement. Plus, using these demographic segments can help your team:
First of all, you want to establish which demographic segments are the most important to your business. Most businesses already have an ideal persona or audience profile to guide marketing and promotional materials. On the other hand, if your brand’s customer personas don’t reflect who really makes up your audience, this is the first place to start. And using demographics can help you do it.
You might identify your target market as adults between 30 and 50 years old who earn over $50,000 per year. Although this helps narrow things down, it’s still a large number of people. If you tried to put these demographics to work at this point, your campaign would be too broad. Instead, you could break this target market down into smaller audience segments. Approaching your strategies using demographics to create smaller audience segments ensures your team distributes content that your customers want to see.
But how small do you go? You might segment your audience until you reach the equilibrium point:
The equilibrium point is the point in demographic segmentation where the audience is small enough for personalized content but still large enough to be worth budgeting for.
When creating a strategy using data-driven marketing, it’s easy to get bogged down. The truth is, finding segments that benefit your company can take time. If you’re looking for a way to simplify the process and make the most out of the data, schedule a strategy call with CopyPress. Our team can help you develop a content marketing plan that supports your business goals for 2023 and beyond.
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