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Understanding Your Audience Through Segmentation

May 17, 2011

Understanding your target audience is crucial to building a successful marketing plan, and thus translating that plan into effective action. Whether the campaign is in Phoenix advertising, Scottsdale public relations, or online media, appreciating your audience and what they’re capable of is key to unlocking success. However, in order to appreciate your audience, you and your advertising firm must truly understand every detail about them.


Who Is Your Target Audience?


This is an extremely broad question, and yet one that should be taken into extreme consideration. But let’s break this one down a bit. When going big with advertising campaigns, you have to focus on the small details, and this is a perfect marketing example. Don’t overlook things like age, gender, ethnicity, location, even interests and hobbies, likes and dislikes.


What is Segmentation?


Segmenting your audience is simply a term used to describe categorizing. Taken as a whole, your target audience should ideally share similar interests, be of similar age, etc. However, within your target audience there should be categories based on gender, ethnicity, age, interests, and more. These categories are segmented out to be easily targeted for marketing and advertising campaigns. Segmenting your already targeted audience allows for greater opportunities in advertising.


Why Segment Your Audience?


A lot of work, analysis, market research, and data go into determining who your target audience will be based on your brand and advertising campaign. The audience is not chosen at random, but selected to be specifically targeted based on market research that shows this will be the most effective and responsive audience for your campaign. However, by segmenting the audience you can break them down even more into categories and thus create a greater possibility for more targeted advertising campaigns.


Segmenting By Generation


One aspect that is often overlooked by many advertising firms is segmenting by generation. While most Phoenix advertising firms will segment by age, they often neglect ‘generational’ segmentation. Segmenting by age is extremely important because it allows you to target specific ‘age appropriate’ topics. However, segmenting by generation is huge because each generation has its own set of morals and ethics, priorities, and, most importantly, spending power.


For example, segmenting based on today’s population across the nation would include Baby Boomers (76.5 million of them), Generation X (50 million of them), and Millennials (77.2 million of them). While most advertisers prefer to target the Generation X’ers, as you can plainly see there are far more Baby Boomers who actually have far greater spending power. Baby Boomers spend more and actually watch more hours of television throughout the day than any other generation. Understanding the generational gaps and how each generation communicates with their favorite brands is crucial to segmenting your target audience.


How To Segment Your Audience


As with every small detail for big advertising campaigns, segmenting your audience involves a great deal of time and even more research. Use the tools available, or rely on your Phoenix advertising firm, to generate a multitude of categories for effective marketing. The U.S. Census Bureau is a great place to start gathering information regarding your target audience’s location, gender, age and ethnicity, but you can go so much farther with it. Use social media tools to segment your audience based on what they “Like” on Facebook and dislike, what they ReTweet on Twitter and what they ignore, what brands they follow, what celebrities they listen to, and much, much more.