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Demographics in the Age of Real-Time Media (Part I)

July 13, 2011

If you’ve been following the Quaintise blog (which you can easily do by Liking our Facebook Page), you’ve probably noticed that we spend a lot of time discussing brand building in real-time, creating unique brand experiences, and the importance of cultivating Fan relationships. These are not things easily done, which is why many turn to Scottsdale advertisers and marketers to do the work for them. However, it’s always good to understand what ‘best practices’ they should be using when building your brand. The overused term ‘demographics’ is no longer suitable to describe the audience your marketers are advertising. You should be hearing things like Market Segmentation and Fragmentation, and here’s why.


Demographics, Market Segmentation, and Social Media

Technically speaking, demographics are “the statistical characteristics of a population” such as “gender, race, age disabilities, mobility, home ownership, employment status, location, and more. Market segmentation is “a sub-set of a market made up of people or organizations with one of more characteristics that cause them to demand similar product and/or services.” And social media is “social interaction using highly accessible and scalable communication techniques.”

Now that we got the technical definitions out of the way, what in the world are these things and how in the world will they help you to grow your business by engaging your customers on a more personalized level? Because, ultimately, your goal is to create a unique brand experience that will not only keep your customers coming back, but convert them into Fans who will sell your brand for you.


Targeting an audience based on their gender or generation is no longer affective. Take, for example, the Baby Boomers. These are individuals who were born between 1946 and 1964. That’s a difference of 18 years! Many, many corporations target this audience, and for good reason (Boomers are responsible for more than half of all consumer spending), however with 18 years of age differences you absolutely must ‘fragment’ or ‘segment’ out this demographic. You can run a broadly targeted advertising campaign aimed at Baby Boomers, all 80 million of them, and play the numbers game. This will work, and you will increase brand awareness. However, at what cost?


Consider the following; as a small business you can target every individual in the East Valley that is within your demographic. You will spend A LOT Of money targeting this enormous group. It will take time for the brand to resonate with a specific audience because you’ve created the brand to be broad and appeal to everyone. Finally, you start to get some brand growth and awareness after some time.


Or, you create a brand that was developed strategically, targeting a segmented demographic of individuals who you know will find your product useful. The advertising begins, aimed directly at your segmented audience. They respond quickly, follow your social feeds, return to your shop again and again, and tell friends. You have spent less in advertising costs and have created a greater impact on your consumers, who are now Fans.


Jump to Part II - Psychographic Profiling