Understanding the specific details of your target market is one of the foundations of 101 marketing strategies. Using demographics (as well as psychographics) to clearly identify your target market is absolutely essential to small business and entrepreneurial success.
Demographics include: age, gender, income level, occupation, education level, family circumstances and make-up, race and ethnicity
3 Steps to Determine Your Target Market’s Demographics:
- If you already have some customers: one of the best ways to determine demographics is to get the actual information from your current customer base. Do a survey, call them up on the phone and talk with them, write down everything you know. If you do not currently have customers: take some time to talk with people who you think could become your customers, ask them if they would be interested in your product or service and then get the demographic information about them.
- Work your way back to them: If you have information about your ideal target market that would be considered ‘psychographics’ – like TV shows they like, you can watch the types of commercials shown during the shows and assess specific demographic information. For example, during day-time game shows there are often pain-relief commercials, or during sports events there are frequent car commercials. In the first instance it is because a large portion of the audience is seniors and retirees. In the second instance it is because sports events often have a larger male audience.
- Make it up: What? Make it up? Yes. Marketing is much more an art than a science, and when in doubt, when you don’t know where else to begin, make it up. Who do you think your product or service will appeal to? How old are they? Are they men or women? How much money do they make? And so on. You can use the internet to do research, look at competing products and services and see who uses them; use census data that you can find on the web. If you go with this method, be careful to check it and update it frequently. A client of mine recently discovered that the demographic she thought was perfect for her product wasn’t at all who she expected – a few tweaks to her message and medium and her marketing efforts have become much more effective.
Take the time to figure out the details of the demographic information of your target market. Ask around, do some research and think about who that specific person is that would consume your product or service.
Bonus Tip – a few hours spent doing research like this when you are just starting out (or even better, before you make final decisions on products and services), and a willingness to review it once on a regular basis, can be the difference between thousands of wasted marketing dollars and a significant income for your business.