What are important customer demographics?

When you are a small business owner, answering the question of what are important customer demographic can make or break your marketing efforts.

updated October 16, 2014

Customer Demographics are defined by Wikipedia as including “gender, race, age, income, disabilities, mobility (in terms of travel time to work or number of vehicles available), educational attainment, home ownership, employment status, and even location.” These types of classifications can help us to target the right kind of marketing to the customers we are trying to target.

Top customer demographic categories to look for:

  • gender
  • race (ethnicity)
  • age (date of birth)
  • household income
  • home ownership (length of residence, home size, mortgage)
  • disabilities
  • education
  • employment status
  • children
  • location
  • type of car(s)
  • marital status (head of household, spouse)
  • savings, cd, 401k

Demographic Resources

  • Census Bureau data – free to use and a wealth of information.
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics Demographic categories used by the BLS include sex, age, race and ethnic origin.
  • Social Security Fact Sheet – Misc high level data about African Americans, American Indians, Hispanics, Asians, Women and Young People.
  • Tax Records – Tax records can generally be found by searching “tax assessor’s office” for the county that you are are researching. This data is a goldmine for length of residency, mortgage information, tax exemptions and deferrals.

Additional Customer Demographic Resources:

Customer Demographics – Age Ranges, Generational Names and Numbers. Really good post breaking down generational demographic data.

Customer Demographics Versus The Perfect Customer Profile If you are trying to figure out your “Customer Avatar” by using demographic data, this is a great post to show the difference between demographic data and finding your perfect customer.

Small Business Customer Demographics A more general overview of Customer Demographics, this one will help you to laser focus on the customers you should be targeting.

Examples small business demographics market segmentation:

What are important customer demographicsAll this customer demographic data is great but if you don’t know to use and implement it in the real world, it is not actually all that helpful!

Here are a few examples of how you can use demographics in practice for your marketing efforts.

  • Hairdresser and Salon Customer Demographics – if you are selling haircuts, you could have a number of different types of clients. You could cater to young, african american males who are looking for edgy cuts OR you could target middle aged women who need a cut and color every six weeks or so. BELIEVE ME, the marketing to attract these two groups are going to be VERY different and trying to hit both of them would be impossible. For both the younger crowd and the ladies, Facebook is a good answer. You will want to target people in your geographic location (another demographic).
  • Financial Services Customer Demographics – this is a little easier. While everyone can afford a haircut, financial services people need to target consumers and business owners who are in a higher income range and who are interested in increasing their wealth. This customer will generally be older than 40, have a higher level of education and are probably currently employed. You can start relationships on Facebook, but you will grow a level of trust more easily with an email newsletters or videos of your service offerings.
  • Real Estate Customer Demographics – I have to say, as an industry I think that some Realtors are a little bit more focused on customer demographics than other small business owners are. OBVIOUSLY a first time homebuyer couple in their early 20’s or 30’s will need to have a different marketing message than empty nesters looking for a second home. While most Realtors will work with anyone who will fog a mirror, I KNOW that they would be more successful if they at least had different campaigns for the different target groups they serve.

I could go on and on, but hopefully you can start to get an idea of how to pick some demographics that could represent your ideal customer.

NOW, choosing your target customer demographics can seem like profiling rather than simply targeting demographics. While profiling is hurtful and unfair, demographics are used so that you can get your message out to a group of people who will be receptive to hearing your message. It will also allow you to save marketing dollars, as you will not be spending money with ads in places where your ideal customer does not frequent.

Fun exercise – One thing I have heard people do is to pick your important customer demographics and then make up a person who matches them. You could find a stock photo of someone who epitomizes your marketing criteria and then name him or her. That way, instead of trying to imagine what a made up person thinks or would buy, you can “sell” to someone you get to know!

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Buy The Book

Perfect customer profile - targeting your perfect customers who will buy and buyAs you can tell, I am a pretty rabid fan of working with customer demographics and how they can help with product development, sales copy and content.

With all that in mind, we wrote a book detailing the “magic system” we had developed for figuring out EXACTLY who we were selling our products or services. If you have ever read sales copy and thought, “dang that sounds just like me”, someone probably used a system like this to figure out what would make you buy and buy!

The uber cool thing is that it is not a high price, two week long course! In fact it is a $2.99 ebook that will walk you right through the whole process so you can figure out your perfect customer yourself!

If you got anything out of this post at all, you will LOVE the Sales and Marketing Success Book that details how to do a Perfect Customer ProfileTMget it today!

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Important customer demographics

Comments

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