What Is Demographic Segmentation?

Posted on December 17, 2019 | Updated on December 18, 2020

Today’s data tools allow marketers to segment audiences into categories. Demographic segmentation allows for more targeted advertising and prevents wasted views. Your campaigns will reach the people most likely to buy your product or service. As a result, you save time and money. Plus, you get your message in front of the right people.

In the U.S., you can find more than 240,000 marketing managers. The majority use sites such as Facebook because they can hone in on the exact audience they’d like to reach. This type of demographic segmentation works for social media, emails and sites such as Google.

If you want marketing efforts to be successful, you have to determine who your audience is. Then, break them down into different segments. Campaigns are geared to fit each type of audience. Of course, there’s a lot more detail to the process.

What Exactly Is Demographic Segmentation?

Demographic segmentation breaks your audience into specific groups based on gender, age, location, career, interests and psychological factors. Grouping people into similar lots allow you to figure out how each portion views your brand. You can then make adjustments as needed to ensure your message is clear.

Marketing segmentation merely separates users into smaller groups. You can reach out to them with a specific message rather than a generic one. Campaigns are almost always more effective if geared toward the needs of the individual.

Goals for Dividing Your Audience

Demographic segmentation isn’t an easy task. Fortunately, you can take some steps to reap the benefits, such as:

  • Set a goal: What is your goal for dividing the audience? Do you want to introduce different types of products to different age groups? Once you know your purpose, you can divvy everyone up.
  • Look at like features: You might start by isolating two groups by age ranges. Then, look at each segment for further divisions, such as male and female or geographic location. Continue in this vein until you have the audience you want.
  • Test your content: Send out an email targeting a group and see what the response is. If you aren’t happy with the conversion rate, try refining parameters and rearranging segments.

Segment your audience in smart ways. You can use many different methods to divide up subscribers. Look at past ordering behavior, open rates on emails and other factors. From a demographic standpoint, look at factors such as age, location, gender and interests.

Ways to Break Down Demographic Data

With demographic segmentation, there are several ways to break down the data, including:

  • Income Level
  • Marital status
  • Years of Education
  • Number of Children
  • Geographic Location

You can also delve into psychographic factors to further refine your audience. These factors include occupation, interests and social status.

How to Collect Demographic Data

Completing demographic segmentation requires collecting the data. There are a number of ways you can do this, including:

  • Public records through the Census give you general information about age groups. Discover how much of the population is in that segment.
  • Research studies are available online and can give you information on the preferences of a select group, such as millennials.
  • Conduct your own surveys to gather information and ensure you’re serving the needs of your select segmentation.
  • If you create a mailing list, add a form that requests gender, location or other pertinent details. Keep in mind that people don’t like long forms, so keep it short and to the point.

The more details you have about your audience, the better able you’ll be able to market to them individually.

How to Develop Buyer Personas

You’ve collected data and created demographic segmentation. Now, take this information and create a mock person, also called a buyer persona. For example, say your average user is a middle-aged woman who works, cares for the kids and runs the home. She’s always busy and desperately needs a helping hand. She’s Wanda the Working Mom.

Create your content with Wanda in mind. Everything you create should run through this buyer persona, making it more personal and powerful. As such a busy woman, Wanda wants content that’s concise and to the point. With kids, she’s used to a mess. Offer a site with clean design and intuitive navigation.

Ready to Try Segmentation? Move Toward Targeting

What should you do with this divided portion of customers? Once you’ve developed your demographic segmentation, it’s time to target audiences in a specific manner. Start with your mailing list. Test out open rates and click-throughs on different offers.

Take those same deals and create ads for social media. Since you know the specific demographics of your groups, you can refine each ad. The goal is to put your content in front of the exact users you want to reach. Track the success of the ads based on the target audience. You may wind up further refining your segments.

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