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Improve Your Targeted Marketing with Better Demographics Data

By Derek Franks  •  September 11, 2017

Social intelligence helps us dig deeper in demographics data than ever before

Improve Your Targeted Marketing with Better Demographics Data

Posted by: Derek Franks on September 11, 2017

The digital world is a whirlwind place. Marketers and advertisers know this all too well.

With 211 million pieces of content being made every minute, how do you even begin to know who your customers are, where they are or what they’re up to? It’s like putting a net up into a tornado and hoping to catch a butterfly. So, are you ready to catch the elusive information that will help your team’s marketing strategy?

It’s easy to get lost in the sea of data about consumer behavior and how people make purchase decisions in this crazy, screen-obsessed, short-attention span, selfie-driven world.

Enter demographics. The good ole statistic that has been a hot-button topic since advertisers on Madison Avenue first started marketing to the masses. But it’s more relevant now than ever. You need that vital information about your target customers so you can find them and they can find you.

Today’s demographic insights are different. They’re better. More precise. And more robust. The information we now have access to gives us opportunities to better target our brand messages and reach the right audiences.

Strategists, analysts and other researchers can fall in love all over again with demographics, thanks to the insights provided by marketing technology, social listening and intelligence.

Here’s how to make the most out of these resources to get more out of demographic data and improve your targeting:

Demographics helps you analyze your customers better

You can’t call every possible customer and ask them who they are, how old they are and if they might be interested in your product. But thanks to technology and modern consumer behavior, you can learn so many valuable insights about your audience than ever before.

It’s important to know what kind of people make up your customer base because that gives you important insights into things like what your brand messages should say, who they should target, what products are reviewed positively and with which types of people, etc.

So, you’ll want to get precise data about demographic information to help answer all of those burning questions about your audience.


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What kind of information should you be looking for? For decades, demographic data has been limited to age and gender. For example, in the media realm, it seems television and advertising execs have primarily seeked viewership with demos such as “younger adults between ages 18-34”.

With today’s technology, that data barely scratches the surface. What you need is information that really gets to the heart of what your customers and potential customers are thinking. Let’s take a look at how deep we can get with demographic data:

Get the right demographic data (and learn how to use it)

What’s important is not only that you analyze demographic information, but you also apply other learnings and knowledge about your audience to create context for that information. What we want is to identify data that can help us reach customers better.

For instance, it’s nice to know that your most vocal advocates online are between the age of 25-34. But, what would be even better is if you knew if those age 25-34 have an interest in your product or have a problem that your solution can answer.

To get this kind of data, it requires deeper research.

For things like paid social and paid search, you can zero in on specific segments of people and their online behavior to distribute your messaging to people you’re trying to reach. But that’s not enough.

The analytics tools within social channels are great for discovering user data about people who follow you and for enhanced ad targeting. But they miss out on a key group of people: those who talk about you, are interested in you or interacting with you, but who don’t follow you.

Think about all the other ways conversation exists online: forums, blogs, review sites, career networking sites, article comments and so on.

In all, there are billions of conversations online. How can you find out demographic information about the people talking with you, about you and the other topics they care about? How will you know who’s saying what about your products, competitors, events, ad campaigns, etc.?

That’s where we need to go further with our demo data, and look at behavior and mindset of the audience.

Go beyond the basic demographic data

If we want to get more out of demographical details, we need to understand the people we’re researching and discovering. For this, we use psychographics, a more effective measurement of our audiences.

Psychographics isn’t just an analysis of who people are. It measures the attitudes of those people. How do people feel?

If Netflix wanted to see how well their new series Ozark was received by audiences, they could look at the demographics data about who’s talking about it online:

Ozark Netflix series demographics.png

This is key information not just about the viewers, but whose discussing the series. This can be valuable for Netflix in gauging the reaction.

A deeper look at demographics shows us what kinds of people were most vocal about the show.

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 9.57.27 AM.png

This is good to know info. Then, we can take this information a big step further by analyzing psychographics.

Using the social listening data within Infegy Atlas, you can see the varying emotions that exist within the online conversation about Ozark:

Netflix Ozarks Emotion.png

Better yet, it would help to know what kind of reactions people had to the series:

Screen Shot 2017-08-18 at 11.32.57 AM.png

Compiling this information, Netflix can see that people are anticipating the continuation of the series, excited to watch it, and have pretty high expectations.

If 24-35 year old males are reacting with anticipation and surprise, it stands to reason that they want an intriguing, winding mystery in their their streaming and network viewing. These are the people they should target and how they should frame their series in advertising.

Netflix could combine this data with the demographic information to understand more about their audience and customize their messages to target the right audiences in the right places. They could even use it to guide their production and advertising distribution strategy.

It’s all about turning demographic information into real, actionable insight. That’s how you make this data do more for you.

Find your customers better

When it comes to demographics, you need to be armed with the right data and use it the right way. It’s not just about discovery; it’s also about understanding. You can get more out of the demographic data you dig up through customer research if you’re able to apply context.

After you’ve identified the right demographic targets, it’s key to apply this data to your buyer personas research and segmentation. By documenting what demographics you’re marketing and sales teams are trying to reach, your entire team can be aligned and is better equipped to construct the right messaging to bring in more customers.

This is all about painting a picture of your ideal customer. Find out who is most likely to want your product or service, who would benefit the most from it, and why specific people should be interested in you. You’ll need to go further than just the typical social media data about your fans and followers. The info provided by social listening tools can help you discover demographical information about people who are much more difficult to find.

Once you’ve discovered the right consumer insights, answer the key questions about demographics and psychographics that get to the heart of who you are as a business and why you exist. Then work your way back to discover who you should target.

Do so, and you’ll get far more bang for the buck with demographic data and reach your customers more effectively.


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