Customer Demographics – Age Ranges, Generational Names and Numbers

Today’s post is a reader question: What are the age ranges for the different customer demographics including ages, how many are there and what are they called. Thanks to Don Zale for asking!

Currently there are about 319,000,000 people in the United States (Population Clock)

There are basically 6 generations alive today:

The Greatest Generation

Born between 1901-1926
Age 88-113 (in 2014)
1.09% of population
3,434,625

The Silent Generation

Born between 1927 and 1945
Age 69-87 (in 2014)
9.21% of population
29,102,074

The Baby Boomers

Born between 1946 and 1964
Age 50-68 (in 2014)
23.40% of population
73,975,685

Gen X

Born between 1965 and 1980
Age 34-49 (in 2014)
20.79% of population
65,736,155

Gen Y or the Millennials

Born between 1981 and 2000
Age 14-33 (in 2014)
27.48% of population
86,871,269

Gen Z

Born between 2001 and 2014
age 0-13 (in 2014)
18.01% of population
56,941,684

Generational Chart based on Ages and Percentages Of Population

Population number come from Annual Estimates of the Resident Population by Single Year of Age and Sex: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013. The numbers and charts provided are for marketing purposes only and should not be taken as gospel!

Customer Demographics Versus The Perfect Customer Profile

Customer Demographics Versus The Perfect Customer Profile 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.

Customer Demographics

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:

  • sex
  • age
  • income
  • occupation
  • race
  • marital status
  • kids
  • car
  • 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!)

Facebook

Customer Demographics From Facebook

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!)

Twitter

Customer Demographics Twitter

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.

Alexa

Alexa Customer Demographics

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!

Google Analytics

Customer Demographics - Google Analytics

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!

perfect-customer-profile-ebook-coverWhat this is a book and worksheet that we use every time we are launching a new product, be it a book, course, website or any other thing that would need marketing.

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.

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!

Customer Demographics – Creating Your Perfect Customer Profile

Customer Demographics - Creating Your Perfect Customer ProfileYears ago, when I started looking how to pick the right customer demographics for my marketing, I only knew about the basics like age, marital status, income and the like. As I got a little more sophisticated (maybe a little obsessed) I started spreading that out to more and more areas of my perfect client’s life and was able to better write sales copy and develop courses that would help my target market.

Today I want to let you in on how we figure out our perfect target customer. We do this process:

  1. When we are developing a new product or service
  2. When we are writing a sales page to sell something that we already have in house
  3. When we are working with our clients to get them on track
  4. When we are trying to develop an advertising campaign and write ads that convert

The reason it is so important is it stops us from talking about our features and makes it focus on “what is in it for them”. By having a super clear vision of who we are looking for, all the subsequent marketing, posting, branding and everything else just cascades down from there!

Lets Get Started Working Up Your Perfect Customer Profile….

Sales and Marketing Success: Targeting Your Perfect Customer Who Will Buy & Buy1. Get our ebook, Sales and Marketing Success: Targeting Your Perfect Customer Who Will Buy & Buy

As you go though it, I will try to give you a quick overview of each section and item. That said, it is A LOT of info and if you need some help, please check out our Small Business Marketing Consults where we will walk through it with you!

2. Selling – what you are trying to promote

3. Name – now this is where we lose A LOT of people. They think it is stupid to give their profile a “name” and ask, “Why not just say that it is a woman or a man? Why do I have to pick something? This is stupid!” The harder you fight against it, the more I know that you are not selling to a person, you are selling to “people” – a nameless, amorphous blob who you consider to be customers, not individuals to cater to. Just stop arguing and give them a name!

4. Age, income, occupation, marital status – these are pretty self explanatory and considered “normal” customer demographics.

5. Kids – it is important to know about their home life. A single mother juggling three kids is going to have a very different level of time than a single man with no kids.

6. Car – now this one seems silly too, but knowing that someone drives a crunchy granola 1984 Cherokee versus a brand new leased Lexus is huge difference!

7. Neighborhood – goes along with lifestyle and is a good indicator of where to network and advertise to reach them!

8. Hobbies – can include things like do they golf, volunteer at a food bank, spend time with girlfriends, knit, go to the gun range…all sorts of interesting things that can hook to their political affiliations and other fun stuff.

9. Reason for working – are they the sole support of their families or doing it for pin money for extras? This comes into play when writing sales copy!

10. Financial focus – someone who is 63 and saving for retirement may be much more motivated than someone who is just trying to get a few extras like a trip to Disney World. (I feel like this needs a little explanation…think of MLM or Direct Sales people. Many stay at home Moms go into Direct Sales to get a little of their own folding money. When marketing to them you may need to talk more about getting out of the house or affording a trip. If they are the sole breadwinner and saving for college, their triggers will be very different!)

11. General – anything that you can think of to help describe your person! These are some of the bits that will make them seem more real!

12. Social sites, Internet and Search – where are they hanging out online? How will you try to reach them? Depends a lot on whether you are selling a B2B or B2C service!

13. What style of learning? This will help tell you whether you need to talk about “see how you can make more money” or “have you heard about…” We tend to like people who are like us so I like visual people (heck I named my site Marketing Artfully – I like everything to be pretty!)

14. DISC Personality – Huge for me! I don’t have a ton of this floating around publicly but did write a post years ago that might help with understanding this…Using The DISC Personality Profile For Marketing and Selling

15. Generational Beliefs are WICKED cool – these are things that we generally don’t even think about having an impact on us but which are very important. I am a Gen X-er and I KNOW that “if it is to be it is up to me”. Part of the latchkey kids, I was responsible for my younger sibling at a very young age and am still willing to jump right into the leadership role. Compare that to a Gen Y-er who would probably be more comfortable with having a friend along to share and help with the work. These generational forces are strong and need to be considered!

16. Worldview – probably the most important part for your marketing message! My worldview is that it is best to spend my business money at the end the end of the year so I don’t have to pay taxes on it. I am wide-open to marketing messages that come in during the holiday. Compare that with a single mom who has just spent every penny to put a great Christmas together for her family…the same message sent to each of us would be received very differently!

these next four come from Perry Marshall and his Swiss Army Knife course….gotta say I LOVE that Perry and am pleased to be an affiliate for this product!

17-18. What Your Customer Loves or Hates – this is personal to your customers. Could be something like singing in bars, making money, impressing their friends or the Tea Party. These are all very different things but they add to the framework that we can use to develop a strong marketing message.

19-20. Your Customers Heroes or Enemies – I find this to be very telling. If your gal’s hero is Oprah, there are hundreds of touch points that you can use…what Oprah says like “When you know better, you do better”. Having compassion for everyone, not just people you like. If her enemy is Sarah Palin, you can use sayings like “Can’t put lipstick on THIS pig” and the meaning is very clear. Now, you don’t want to be too polarizing and you might want to stick to general enemies like “working for the man” or “the people who don’t understand single girls and give them stupid advice”.

21. Positive Beliefs About Your Product Or Service – this is important. If you are selling a product that is known to do what it says (like the Dyson vacuum that is a best of class product) you have a much easier time than if you are selling a weight loss supplement. These are also sometimes beliefs that are not realistic but are still positive like, “I can set up a Facebook page and all my marketing woes will be gone”.

22. Negative Beliefs About Your Product Or Service – this is where you can get down to the nitty gritty and start making an impact! If you are a business coach and KNOW that people think, “I tried that before and wasted my money” then you can address that right up from in your marketing, setting yourself apart from those “others” who don’t have systems or a plan or satisfied clients.

23. Why They Buy - if you haven’t sold anything, guess. If you have a track record of sales, reverse engineer what it was that made them take out their wallets. Was it the fact that you have a great track record, was it your autoresponder series that primed them…basically just look at what got them over the tipping point and made them sign up or buy.

24. Albums, Actors, Movies, TV, and Books – These are all great cultural references. I always use the example of Twisted Sister. Saying that to one of my friends who was a teen in the 80s induces feelings of “we’re not going to take it”, big hair and Dee Snider in addition to the general term of endearment among my set. Calling someone a twisted sister is a compliment and if you are not of that age, you wouldn’t know that.

25. Other Experts – this is your competition. These are other experts in your field that you are going head to head with! While it is tempting to stick you head in the sand, looking them full in the marketing and figuring out how you differ can be a very productive process.

I KNOW that you are probably thinking, bloody hell, how much do I have to know about this person to sell them a toothbrush! That said, all of these touch points will help you to craft a message that will resonante with them and will make your job of crafting a message MUCH easier than if you are just sitting there with a blank piece of paper trying to figure out how to talk ONE MORE TIME about what you are selling

Want some help? I KNOW this can be overwhelming but it is vital to your sales and marketing success. Knowing your customer demographics could mean the difference between selling the heck out of your product and heading back to the cube farm in disgrace (see how I threw in that reference to your enemies!) Stop trying to go it alone and check out our Small Business Marketing Consults TODAY!

Customer Demographics, the DISC Personality Profile and Commercials

Customer Demographics, DISC Personality Type and CommercialsI had such a neat ephiphany this morning about how to explain merging of DISC Personality Types (extrapolate to your favorite personality profile!) and customer demographics using national advertising commercials.

If you are not familiar with customer demographics, they are the categories that people fall into, making them easier to market to as a group! For example, men who are 45-65 years old and working in industry have very different needs than a 25 year old woman hipster. Check out more about customer demographics

The DISC Personality Profile is super interesting to me as it helps us understand the TYPES of people out there. A “D” driver type person is go, go, go, an “I” is friendly and likes being around people, “S” people are stable and steady and “C” types are like CPAs, interested in all the details. Check out more about DISC Personality Types and marketing

So how do you tell what types of demographics and personalities commercials are trying to reach? Here are some great examples and my take on them!

D Type Personality, National Car Rental – Business Pro

First off we start with framing the commercial so that the watcher knows it is for him (using demographics). There is powerful man speaking in the background telling our business pro that he “knows how to mix business with business”. There are some really powerful “old boy network” images like the guys doing deals on the golf course. Our hero in this story looks to be a 30-40 year old white male (the “boss” in the story is his late 50’s, early 60’s).

Then we switch over to the personality type of D for driver (ha, in this case an ACTUAL driver!) Our hero can choose any car and GO. No stopping, no hassle at the counter with talking to a person, just grab your car and go. While this is great for a dominant driver type, it would not work with our other personality types who would want to interact, have some structure or details about how all that is accomplish, but for our business pro, it is perfect!

I Type Personality, Chinet – Rediscover the Lost Art of Getting Together

In this one our hero is a young woman, probably in her late 20s or early 30s. She seems somewhat affluent, the fixtures in the house are not opulent but are definitely designed well. There are a majority of white people in the shot although there is a bit of diversity and they are appealing to the moms with happy children playing.

All that said, the hero shot is when she gets to enter the party and join in the fun. And come to find out, all those happy people are using Chinet plates. I’s like to be around people, having parties. They want to be the one getting to spend time with neighbors and friends and the promise is, if they pick up Chinet at the grocery store, they will be able to produce fun times. The other personality types who aren’t as social will not “get” this commercial, but I’s will love it!

S Type Personality, Ancestry.com – Boxes

I pulled the Australian version of this one to show that these ideas are universal. It is interesting that each commercial has a voice over with the country’s accent, although they are all women.

The shot starts with a cozy family home and flows through how family and ancestors are there for you and will help. Love the “and I saw you, coming home” – not only are we hitting the stable, steadys BUT also the visual people (42% of all people are visual learners!) Old family pictures bring humans into the shot and remind the S’s that family comes first.

C Type Personality, Apple – Introducing Siri

WOW, they cover a lot of demographic types, young white businessman, young successful white husband (nice car!), young successful african american woman (she is going on a trip), older white mom (or grandma) type, young white blind reader (with a dog – dogs are always good!)

That said, this commercial is a C’s dream! You can find out any fact or detail instantly. You can know about important things like the weather and measurements. If you are a C (like my husband) this seems to be basic – OF COURSE you want to know all of that. For the rest of us, many times we have no idea of what the weather is until we walk out the door!

Wrapup – Customer Demographics, the DICS Personality Profile and Commercials

Sometimes seeing how these play out help our small business marketing efforts. Selling a high end business product, you probably want to make sure your graphics and ads appeal to older white males who are still at this point running much of industry (they are stereotypes because they are true!) Want to sell to young, hipsters? Have images of people getting together and having fun!

The national brands have amazing teams of marketing agencies, focus groups and deep pockets to test these things…as a small business owner you can leverage all that researching goodness to make sure you are targeting your best prospects!

Customer Demographics – Age Demographics for Advertising

Customer demographics are about how old your customers are. It may surprise you to know HOW much age demographics for advertising effects your marketing efforts in this always on world.

Let’s start our talk with the age ranges that advertising execs look at when planning marketing campaigns:

12 – 17
18 – 24
25 – 34
35 – 44
45 – 54
55 – 64
65+

So how do those age demographics effect your marketing campaigns?

A pop quiz, which group uses email least, young people (12-17) or the old dears in the 65+ category? If I had to guess, I would have thought that older people who can struggle with technology and who did not grow up with it are less likely to be reading their gmail. Come to find out, the young people almost never use email! They like the immediacy of instant messaging or texting!

a great post from the New York Times about how time spent on e-mail rose 15 percent for people 55 to 64, and was up 17 percent for people 65 and older.

GREAT information about age distribution on social networks from Royal Pingdom…there is some great age demographic as well as gender information there…go ahead…take a peek, I will be here waiting!

Social network average age chart

Some telling data for social media marketing….

  • The average Facebook user is 40.5 years old
  • The average Twitter user is 37.3 years old
  • The age trend for Facebook and Twitter. Compared to a previous survey we did 2.5 years ago, the age of the average Facebook user has gone up two years, while the age of the average Twitter user has gone down two years. In other words, Twitter’s user base is getting younger, while Facebook’s is getting older (social pingdom data)

Targeting your marketing message and platform to the right age demographic

So what does that mean for you, my reader who are mostly college educated, women between the ages of 35-54 (site statistic data from alexa.com).

Alexa age demographics for marketingartfully.com

First off, I have men readers (I know because they make comments!) and I have readers who are a little older or a little younger than that, BUT primarily I attract people who are like me! Marketing nuts who are similar in age demographics to me (workaholic woman, college educated, 46 years old).

So if we take a peek at the age demographic data, my best social media response would come from WordPress (my blog), Pinterest, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Pretty on the money although Twitter does alright by me too!

Picking an advertising agency or social media marketing company

So, if you are considering hiring a social media marketing company to help with your marketing, you need to make sure their target market and what they do is congruent with your demographic and who hires you!

We met a really nice young man last month at our Marketing and Media Monsters event in Denver. He was in the hip-hop, party all night, rave scene and was doing great with some of the clothing lines, helping musicians getting started and appealing to youngsters. His preferred platform was mobile marketing and he was very excited to tell me how “going mobile” would change my life.

Now, I am not that old, but I am getting to where I need some glasses…sigh. The thought of using my cell phone to consume the majority of my media gives me a headache just thinking about. I find text messaging from anyone other than friends an intrusion and would not be interested in knowing where the hot, hot, hot parties are.

My target demographic is very different than his AND my customers’ demographics are too!

Very few of our clients are interested in reaching the 12-17 year old gang and while we do have some that are looking for young adults, mainly we work with small business owners and entrepreneurs who need to reach people with a little bit deeper pockets than most of these demographics.


GO BEYOND CUSTOMER DEMOGRAPHIC DATA AND BUILD A TRUE SALES AND MARKETING PLAN!

Marketing Strategy Workbook - Marketing ArtfullyFor years I have made videos, written blog posts and taught different classes about how to do this or that in marketing. Maybe hitting on how to do Video Marketing or teaching about Social Media. I have spoken about speaking for fun and profit, SEO, blogging and goal setting, but nowhere did I ever help to bring it all together in one big, cohesive package wrapped up in a bow.

This marketing planning and strategy guide takes everything that I have taught over the years and makes the process of doing your marketing easy. After talking with nearly 1,000 small business owners, I have found that there are some universal problems they face that have easy solutions once they know exactly what to do. Once you have a handle on the basics, making all the moving parts work together is simple!

>> Find out more!

Using Customer Demographics To Target The Right Customers

Using customer demographics to target the right customers for your business could be one of the most powerful techniques I can recommend!

First off, let’s talk about what are customer demographics? They are different categories that your prospects and clients can be divided into. Here are some of the most popular:

  • Age
  • Race
  • Republican or Democrat
  • Men or women
  • Geographic location
  • Education
  • Generation (Gen X, Gen Y, etc.)
  • Income
  • Married or single

What is the most interesting to me is how the internet has blurred the lines between these groups. When I was growing up there was no internet (I KNOW, that makes me a dinasour!) and we were limited to “knowing” people who were in close proximity to our houses or our college. There were not a lot opportunities to encounter other types of people so…growing up in Northwestern Pennsylvania my life was full of Caucasian, Republican, Middle Class, mostly High School or College Educated people. Had I stayed there, my world view (and shopping preferences) would have DEFINITELY been different than they are now.

Using Customer Demographics To Target The Right CustomersWith this in mind, I think that we need to take a new look at customer demographics and what our customers REALLY look like!

My customers fall into two different categories: entrepreneurs with small to medium sized companies and entrepreneurs who are just starting out. They are NOT all men or all women. They are generally aged from 35-65. They are from all walks of life and different incomes (although most are middle class-ish). Some have high school educations and some have advanced degrees.

Hmmmmm….regular customer demographics seem to be failing me….what to do, what to do? I KNOW! I have spent a good amount of time thinking about this and my REAL customer demographics look something like this:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Bold with an aggressive need to grow their business
  • Interested in some kind of marketing
  • In a number of different industries including real estate, professional services, hospitality, business services, direct sales, etc.
  • Want to learn something (otherwise they for sure would not be reading my 1,200 word posts!)
  • At least a little techy

Now those are some customer demographics that I can really use to get info to my peeps (both through my email list AND by writing interesting blog posts!)

With this in mind, I am working next year to target the industries that I like to work with, write marketing copy that attracts aggressive marketing types and working to provide great training and product opportunities to help my readers and clients.

That looks MUCH different than looking to satisfy typical customer demographics!

So what should you do? Think about the CHARACTERISTICS your customers and prospects share. Are they generally happy or sad. Do they want a DIY system or do they want you to do it for them. Are they worried about getting old (LOTS of opportunities in the baby boomer space). Are they successful or failing, in a particular industry or religious group. Do they dress funny or wear suits. THESE are demographics that will help you shape your marketing message in today’s day and age!

Customer Demographics and Advertising

So I was talking with a client the other day about customer demographics and advertising…it was really enlightening saying it out loud and I thought that you might be interested too!

Customer Demographics and AdvertisingLet’s start with what Customer Demographics mean to small business owners (for huge companies they may mean something totally different). In my business, I am trying to reach entrepreneurs, small business owners and realtors. ALL my clients tend to be between 35 and 60 and trend toward women (although we have our fair share of male clients). Additionally we do a lot of social media for technology companies, local businesses (doctors, lawyers, retail) and the hospitality industry (restaurants, spas and salons and resorts).

With that in mind, I have to remember that techy is not a first language and that I need to make things comprehensible to them, not dazzle them with all my technical knowledge and industry buzzwords. If I was trying to attract partners like other designers and internet gurus I would need to use more technical talk. AND if I was trying to show my marketing chops I would have to make sure to be WAY more specific in Madison Avenue marketing terms.

So now we have that out of the way, let’s take a peek at your market! Here are some things to look at (I would start with my current client base to see if you can spot any trends!)

  • Are they men or women? – How you market to a man is MUCH different than how you would talk to a woman. Think about commercials on the television! Women generally wear a lot of hats, they could be businesswomen, mothers, caregivers for their parents, pet owners, single or married. Men generally associate their self worth with their business success and then move on to father, spouse or friend (I KNOW! This is not for everyone, but for customer demographics I am playing the odds and trying to get the most bang for my buck!)
  • Are they in a particular industry? I do a lot of real estate marketing since that is an industry I came from and do more hospitality because one of my bases is Florida which has a lot of service industry. Serving an industry is sometimes called having a “niche” and many business owners are terrified to be “buttonholed” into a niche, thinking that it limits them. What it does is to make it easier to market to specific group of people!
  • Are they just starting out or are they an established business? A LOT of my compatriots like to work with “newbies” or startups who are just getting going in their industry. I have to say that I fall on the other end, enjoying teaching advanced concepts and working with more established businesses (except for my one hour consults which benefit everyone).
  • What is their age? Boy this one gets me into trouble! I like to work with people who have a little age and experience. The youngsters who need the latest and greatest thing are NOT my target market and my Alexa.com demographic info bears that out with the majority of my readers being “females who are in the age range 45-54, are college educated and browse this site from work.” If your site gets enough traffic to record data on Alexa it is a GREAT place to find out who is following you (just know that your social media audience may be WAY different than your website audience).
  • What is their income range? Because I have a couple of different types of products (info products costing from $3-$250, coaching that is a little more and social media marketing services that have a higher monthly cost) I need a wide range of people financially! If you are selling something costing thousands, you need to know that you are in a luxury demographic and there are different ways to approach these folks.

So what do all these customer demographics look like in person? Here are some ad that target a specific demographic which by definitition means that they are NOT for other people…

Motorola Ad – If you are are a reader of my blog, trending a little higher age wise, trending towards women and trending towards business, this ad is NOT for you. It is nice, a little love story, an anti iPhone theme (those little white headphones) and the “break out of the pack” and be different with your technology. Most business women (and men) that I see every day want a phone that does some simple function (take pictures, work with social media and answer calls). A phone IS NOT geared to providing an identity, they have well established identities already and are not looking to technology to build self esteem!

Sears Appliance Ad – WOW do I think that Sears misses the mark on all levels here. First off it starts with a young couple traipsing through the sand, hugging and kissing. Then they run into the Sears appliances. Some ways I think this DOES NOT WORK!…first off, the couple is too young to appeal to baby boomers or Gen X buyers who are the ones with money to replace their appliances. A LOT of younger people are under-employed and are not buying houses (or shopping for appliances). Second off, the slapstick humor requires you watch the commercial end to end to understand the concept – if you are a woman (who make EIGHTY FIVE percent of brand purchases according to female marketing site she-conomy.com) the chances of you having time to scrutinize a commercial for 30 whole seconds!

This ad for the Discovery Channel is great! It is happy, has a great soundtrack and snappy graphics. ALL great and I LOVE it, but I WATCH the discovery channel a lot (I know, NERD, guilty as charged) so it is not appropriate for everyone in my demographic.

The sad thing I found when researching this article was that there were so few ads that did not depict women as secretaries, support people, mommies or ditzes. There were few ads that didn’t make men look like ignorant dunces unable to change their shoes or brilliant 1950’s style businessmen with a little women hanging on his every word.

As a small business person you CAN take over big time competitors with big time national ad budgets if you are very cognizant of who your target customer is and target your marketing to reach them.

If you have favorite commercials that are missing here, please leave your demographic details, a small synopsis and a link to the ad and we will add it to the list!!!!

Customer Demographics – Super Bowl Ads 2012

2012 Super Bowl Ads Customer DemographicsThese customer demographics are about targeting the correct people and crafting ads with purpose to elicit a response to that particular demographic. If you are looking for numbers, please move along OR if you have numbers you would like to share, please leave a comment below!

The 2012 Super Bowl Ads Winner (according to my highly biased opinion) is…..

For the second year in a row, I have to give a HUGE shoutout to the motor city! Featuring Clint Eastwood and a GO AMERICA theme, this a great followup to last years Eminem commercial.

Having been raised in the heartland, these kinds of commercials definitely give me a warm fuzzy! The demographics for this ad are GREAT! Heartland people who have watched their livelyhoods dwindle, men over 40 who love Clint Eastwood, Gen X and older who knew a time when we had manufacturing and everything did not come from China PLUS it is targeting a demographic with money to spend on a car (more about that later).

It is a Buy American, sentimental piece that will sell more cars! YAY!

some more info about this ad:

My Customer Demographics loser ad this year is….drumroll please…

The Audi vampire ad…argg… I took a peek at the Audi website and the starting price for vehicles was $27,270. SERIOUSLY? The teeny bopping, vampire loving, buying my first car crowd is NOT a good target customer demographic for Audi. I have not seen anyone under 30 step out of a Audi and here they have vampires climbing trees and dying in the light (not being a vampire watcher myself, it took me a little bit to get that they were dying because of the headlights).

This one has the feel of trying to convince young people that this is not your Dad’s sedan…never a good play.

Some house favorites:

The dog versus the cute darth vadar guy plus one that was missing that we wanted to see…star wars barking dogs…I HATE the new policy of releasing them on the internet to build “buzz” before hand…Net takes surprise out of Super Bowl ad blitz

The coke bears…Johnny liked this one because it was football and bears! Since a good portion of the TV audience is football watching men, making the cuddly bears play football seemed like a good thing to do!

BEST Corporation Helping Someone – Budweiser We Go Ad

Okay, the “we go” got old fast but we got a chuckle out of the keg PLUS they had a message about adopting rescue dogs. While I am not huge a “plain” beer drinker, I am a HUGE supporter of corporations that try to do good…helping homeless pets got Bud on the list and could sell some more beer!

If you would like to see all the Super Bowl 2012 commercials, visit AdBlitz

Customer Demographics and Super Bowl Commercials

Customer demographics almost ASSURES that you did not like all of the Super Bowl commercials this year! If a company truly tried to make something for everyone it would be a colossal failure. So how does this translate to small business marketing?

Super Bowl Commerials and Customer DemographicsAs small biz marketers, sometimes we just want to do one commercial (or one ad or one website) that will appeal to everyone. This rarely works as the same thing that a 24 year old male would like is generally not something that a 50 year old female would find funny or endearing. If you are marketing to a certain age group, socio-economic status or sex, you are targeting a specific customer demographic.

Easy Peasy Customer Demographics Superbowl Commercial

While we were watching the Stella Artois (beer) commercial featuring Adrian Brody crooning in a night club, men across America were rolling their eyes and women were saying, “now that is a beer commercial that I can get behind!” Nothing fancy, just selling a romantic evening with a nice piece of eye candy. Some of the great twitter comments I found was were:

Stella Artois just effectively marketed a beer to a woman. WIN. | We all certainly paid attention! AND In a world where @namechanged didn’t exist, Adrien Brody could serenade me in Parisian nightclubs whenever he waaaaants

If you had to make a guess, which demographic is this one playing to – Teenage boys? Nah, probably 35-55 year old women who are not huge beer drinkers but who account for a huge percentage of the viewing audience. Last year’s Super Bowl had 106.5 million viewers, and near as I can tell the viewing audience is about 60 percent male, 40 percent female (there were not great statistics about this online). That means that by ignoring almost 40 MILLION women, most beer companies miss the mark and wind up showing us stupid slapstick, boy humor or muscle car chase ads.

Buy American Customer Demographics

One of my favorite ads this Superbowl was for the Chrysler 200. Now the car featured in a just a couple of seconds of the spot, what the ad agency was selling was a “buy american”, support the home team kind of vibe. Having grown up in the rust belt of Northwestern Pennsylvania, I can tell you there is a large part of the country that is Pro-America and whose heartstrings got tugged last night.

Additionally, these people are in the 40-plus customer demographic which places them squarely in the socio-economic class that can buy a luxury vehicle. Some Twitter comments included:

We are loving the Detroit shout out by Chrysler and Eminem Best storytelling of the night. | Chrysler. Imported from Detroit. THAT was a badass commercial. | I really like seeing Chrysler use the Detroit/America angle for a tug at the American pride and heart.

Compare that with some of the quotes about the snarky, controversial ads that Groupon was running which were intended to be a, “parody of a celebrity-narrated, PSA-style commercial that you think is about some noble cause (such as “Save the Whales”), but then it’s revealed to actually be a passionate call to action to help yourself (as in “Save the Money”)?”

While they thought it was cute, the comments that I saw included, “Groupon Tibet is most tasteless ad I have ever seen. Unbelievably exploitative. Stunned. | Did Groupon just make light of the political struggle in Tibet? Who wrote the ad, Kenneth Cole?”.

While one bad series of commercials will not sink Groupon, did they actually think that this kind of publicity would help their squeaky clean, take my money and I get a deal public persona? If the commercials WERE made for certain customer demographic, I cannot pick it out easily. To me it seems like they were more of a vanity piece for Groupon who said on their blog, “The trouble was figuring out what to do and with whom to work. We had tried working with creative agencies before and had never been that impressed. Our peculiar taste in humor made it really hard for outside agencies to come up with concepts we liked.”

Small biz marketers – remember this when making your commercials or YouTube videos! While it okay to have personality when making videos, it is equally important to focus on WHO you are trying to reach and what that message should be!

Well there you have it, my top two Super Bowl commercials targeting customer demographics! If you have a favorite and want to include a reason why I will add it to the post, just leave a comment!!!

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