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Back To Basics: How To Identify Your Target Markets

Identifying Marketing Demographics

One of the most important aspects of successfully marketing your business is knowing where your business comes from. Though most company managers or owners probably have a vague notion of their target market (i.e., the people who are most likely to buy a good or service), pinpointing precise marketing demographics can help boost the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, increase returns on investment (ROI), and avoid wasting marketing resources on people who don’t want or need your product.

Not sure how to develop valuable marketing demographics for your business? Read on.

What Are Marketing Demographics?

In simple terms, marketing demographics are the customers who might need or want a particular business’s products or services. Because most companies cannot afford to market to teenage girls and middle-aged housewives and on-the-go businessmen all at the same time, identifying groups of people who are the most likely to become customers (called “warm markets”) will help dictate where marketing resources will be most effective.

Marketing Demographics May Include A Client’s:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Marital status
  • Occupation
  • Political leanings
  • Family status
  • Hobbies
  • Interests

If Your Client Happens To Be Another Business, They May Also Include:

  • Size (measured in number of employees, number of locations, or both)
  • Annual sales
  • Market competition
  • Geographic location (if applicable)
  • Number of years in operation

How To Identify Your Marketing Demographics

There are a number of ways to effectively identify a company’s target demographics, and compiling data from the various methods available to you will help paint the most complete picture of the people who are patronizing your business.

#1: Ask The Right Questions

Determining your business’s Unique Selling Point (i.e., what you offer customers that no other company can) is a great place to start when first formulating marketing demographics. Once you define what about your products or services makes your business special, ask yourself: Who is most likely to buy this product or service? What people will benefit the most? Will selling to this group help our company achieve the goals we set for ourselves?

#2: Collect Data Whenever Possible

There are mountains of data to be gleaned from your customers. Sometimes all you have to do is ask for it. Adding a form to your website or sending out a simple questionnaire or survey to customers is an easy, non-intrusive way to collect information from clients.

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#3: Pay Attention To Website Activity

If you know where to look, your company’s website can reveal a lot of information about the priorities of perspective clients. Through a website’s Google Analytics, tech-savvy business owners can now identify the path someone took to get to your website, what pages they visited once on the site, how long they spent on each page, and (surprise!) the demographic breakdown of visitors.

#4: Mine Social Media For Demographic Data

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While most social media platforms don’t volunteer demographic information to users, third-party programs like Sprout Social can help account managers see exactly who is subscribing, following, liking, or commenting on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.Digging Deeper: Marketing Psychographics

While identifying marketing demographics is vital to your business’s marketing efforts, learning about your customers’ interests, fears, ambitions, and goals (called a “marketing psychographic”) can increase the efficacy of marketing campaigns by helping companies appealing to clients on an emotional level. Once both demographics and psychographics are identified, companies can take the next step in their marketing efforts: creating personas.

But that’s a lesson for another day.