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The Importance of Understanding Your Demographic


by Lewis Robinson


When you are running a small business, few things are as important as understanding your target demographic. You need to know what will make them interested in your product or service and what you need to do in order to convince them to make a purchase. This is not as easy as it sounds. There is a wealth of data out there about potential consumers. The challenging part is knowing what kinds of information are important and how you can leverage it for better sales.

In this post, we will describe five things to know about your demographic and explain why they matter.

1. Income.

This one is simple. If you don’t know the income of your potential customer base, then it is hard to decide how much to charge. You can never obtain perfect information about people’s incomes, but you can get pretty close by looking at Census data for your area. People with more money have more disposable income for your product. Keep in mind, though, that you need to account for the cost of living. A household making $60,000 in the city is not as rich as one making the same amount in the country.

2. Past Preferences.

Try to learn if your customers have expressed interest in a business like yours in the past. There might be old polls where they talked about what they wanted to see in their area, or there could be business similar to your own that were present in the area in the past. If you see that they do have interest in your product, this is an encouraging sign- they will know more about it and be more willing to buy it. You will need to do less work to convince them to buy from you.

3. Limitations.

There might be limitations that prevent people from engaging with your brand via traditional means. For example, the deaf might need closed captioning services on advertisements on TV to know what the content of the ad is. People without smartphones won’t benefit from a mobile app. Learn how you might need to adjust your marketing strategy based on the specific characteristics of the demographic you intend to serve. You want your message to be as widely seen as possible, so knowing what obstacles exist between your customers and your message is the first step to overcoming those obstacles.

4. Age.

Age matters a lot in marketing as well as sales. Older persons are less likely to use technology and experiment with unfamiliar brands. Younger people have less money to spend on new things and might be more willing to wait for sales. Think carefully about your product and the age group that it appeals to the most. Then target your marketing at that age group. Understand how age affects how willing a potential customer is in buying your product. You might find that your product has a broader appeal than you first expected.

5. Openness.

Learn how open your target demo is to trying new things. This is also related to age and income. If your demo is very open to experimentation, then position your product as something brand new and exotic. If not, then try to advertise your product in familiar terms and describe it as similar to existing products. You might want to appeal to their sense of adventure or make it easy for them to accept your as legitimate based on their openness. That also affects the design of new products. A demo with more openness will want more novelty, while one with less openness will prefer less variation from model to model.

This should give you some ideas about how to think about your demo and why that matters for your business. Keep these in mind as you craft new products and new marketing campaigns.


lewis robinson

Lewis Robinson is a business consultant specializing in social media marketing, CRM, and sales.  He’s begun multiple corporations and currently freelances as a writer and business consultant.