When you are a small business owner, answering the question of what are important customer demographic can make or break your marketing efforts.
In a previous post I wrote about Small Business Customer Demographics in a more general way, this one will help you to laser target the customers you should be targeting.
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.
Here are some examples of how small business demographics can segment your marketing and some channels that you might consider:
- 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.
We 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. Here are the categories to look for:
- home ownership
- employment status
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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