I have been fascinated with customer demographics for years. The idea that there are large groups of people out there who would want to buy what we are selling was very tempting to consider. Just find the sweet spot in the marketplace and advertise to them…what could go wrong.
Well, there isn’t one person on the planet who will match your entire customer demographics profile for one. There is an old saying, “if you are selling to everyone, you are selling to no one”. Especially these days when buyers are exposed to so much media, trying to craft a sales message that will appeal to a single woman in college AND a stay at home mom AND a boomerage kid home again (all could be a 25 year old woman) is impossible. There is not enough sales copy in the world to do that!
Customer Demographics and The Perfect Customer Profile At 40,000 Feet
Customer Demographics are the generalized character traits of the people who you sell to and who you would want to become your customers in the future. They are broad and somewhat interesting to know about for certain kinds of marketing.
The Perfect Customer Profile is almost the exact opposite of that. It is picking (developing a profile) for one single person that you will be selling to and developing a sales funnel and copy that centers around that person.
In marketing, Customer Demographics are specific characteristics and shared traits of a group of people that can be used to help target marketing materials. Wikipedia says, “Demographics are the quantifiable statistics of a given population.”
Some useful Customer Demographics include things like:
- marital status
- country, state, city
- political party
All of these categories share some common traits that you can use to target marketing campaigns. Baby Boomers have a world view that is formed by the times that they grew up in. Parent have many different buying habits than young hipsters.
How Can You Find Your Customer Demographics?
There are many places that you can reverse engineer your customer demographics (these are the a few I find helpful, almost any site you have a presence on can increase your customer demographics knowledge!)
On your business page, click “insights” and then the people tab. Some customer demographics I can discern from this data are:
- 58% Women, all Facebook is 46% female so I have a higher than average number of women following me
- 41% Men, all Facebook is 54% male so I have a significantly fewer number of men on average
- My highest age group is 45-54, with 35-44 in second and 55-64 in third
- The United States is my highest country and Denver is my highest city (113), followed by Tampa (52) – this makes sense as I live in Denver now and before that lived in Tampa for 17 years
So how does this help for advertising. For this one, lets just look at geography. Say we were running a Google Adwords ad targeted to a local area. By clicking “see more” I get a longer list of cities that are “Tara friendly”. Using this data, I could set up my “colorado focused” ad to run in Denver, Westminster, Lakewood, Arvada, Boulder, Littleton, Colorado Springs. Centennial, Golden, Longmont, Fort Collins, Aurora, and Broomfield.
Now, I could have probably guessed that, but why guess. Some notable areas missing in this list are Thornton, Lafayette, and the mountain towns. Based on this data, I would be wasting marketing dollars to include them (which I would have because I find them charming!)
You find your analytics for Twitter in https://ads.twitter.com > analytics > followers.
So interesting things in Twitter:
- 78% men and 22% women – that seems a little shocking as it flys in the face of every other customer demographics I chart for me, but it is a fact none the less
- The United States is my top country, California is my top state and Denver is my top city – whoa, where did California come from…interesting
- The most unique interests my Twitter peeps have are leadership, alternative care, SEO, real estate, divorce support – I get the SEO and real estate and leadership is hot in business now, but divorce support? that might be our professional services people?
I use this data to market on Twitter (I especially like the areas of “your followers also follow”) to target ads to. But also knowing that my audience on Twitter is so weighted heavily male makes how I present my ads very different than if I was marketing to my usual smart women demographic.
Once your website gets some traffic, you can usually find a listing for it in Alexa.com.
Some key insights here include:
- MarketingArtfully.com is super off-the-charts for women, being well above the average (the green shows a positive number)
- My peeps are mostly college or graduate school level
- They visit from work (this is VERY plain as my traffic craters every weekend!)
- They are from the United States and India, with a dash of England represented (LOVE those Brits!)
The biggest thing I got from this is that even though EVERYONE in the world tells you to talk down to your readers, writing like they have no higher than a fifth grade education, my peeps are SMART! And by the amount of traffic I get to my website, they are not offended that I write as though they have a brain in their heads!
To get this data, you need to have a website and analytics installed. The age and gender come from Audience, interests are Audience > interests > overview
Some key insights are:
- 25-34 is my highest age group according to this data, with 35-44 coming in second and 45-54 third
- 53% of my readers are women and 46% are men
- They are news junkies, TV and Movie Lovers, and pretty darn techy
- They like online communities, social networks and news and weather
- They are interested in real estate, phones and home improvement
This is interesting because of how high the real estate numbers are. Over 29.04% of my readers are interested in real estate in some fashion. That does not mean they are all Realtors, but it does show a huge bias to that kind of thing.
Analyzing The Data
So in general, looking across all of these data, I can safely predict that I should be marketing to:
1. A woman
2. Who is college educated
3. Who works
4. Is mid-thirties or forties
5. Likes marketing
While that is helpful, writing sales copy for this demographic would be terribly hard which is why we recommend doing this AND…
The Perfect Customer Profile
I have known this about my customers for a while, but was frustrated about how to use it to actually sell stuff. We would write sales copy that tried to appeal to a business woman who liked marketing and worked. Come to find out all working ladies do not like marketing, they just know it is a necessary evil. Also, the professional services people like doctors, lawyers and accountants, were not interested when I lumped them into the real estate agents or the marketing people.
So, we have spent four years and hundreds of hours figuring out how to write a perfect customer profile! Wah wah!
Functionally what you do is take the customer demographics that you DO know about your perfect customer and make them a real person. So say I was trying to sell a real estate book…I would take the data I know about from all the different sites and say that our Perfect Customer for a real estate book would be:
A woman, so I will name her Mary. Now I am not trying to sell to everyone, I am just trying to figure out how to help “Mary” grow her business and improve her life. Next I will put that Mary is 40, a real estate agent and that her kids are in middle or high school. Old enough that they are not babies anymore and she can focus on her career more.
Also, she drive a Lexus, lives in an upper middle class suburb and likes to have lunch with the girls at least once a week and dinner out with her husband every Friday. She is 40-ish so she likes some new music and mostly hits from the 8o’s and 90’s. She loves her kids and admires Oprah Winfrey and Sarah Palin. She thinks the term “soccer mom” is derogatory and is not ready to just be put out to pasture.
Because we “know” Mary and that she is serious about her career, we wrote in the sales copy for the book…
“who is this for? Top real estate agents who love to hone their craft and who are looking to get a couple nuggets they can use today”.
This speaks directly to Mary. She feels like a top agent and CAN use some additional tips to take herself to the next level!
We also used intriguing “come ons” to make her think a bit about why she would want buy…
“Why all that “about us” and brokerage information is hurting your credibility”
Because we spent so much time fleshing out Mary and her life, writing sales copy that would convert her to book buyer was really easy.