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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!

Tara Jacobsen

Tuesday 4th of December 2012

Thanks @Barbara Grassey!!! I KNOW for a fact most biz owners spend too much time worrying about LOTS of things that have no bearing on getting customers! Great additions to the post in your comment!!!

Barbara Grassey

Monday 3rd of December 2012

Insightful blog post (as usual!) Tara. Not enough business people think about their target market. I tell people to analyze their best customers -- repeat buyers, people who refer business, people they ENJOY working with, etc. -- and look for the commonalities. Then work on finding more like them.

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