Branding Blog

Marketing Demographics: covering the basics

Written by Dale Berkebile | Tue, Apr 23, 2013


Marketing demographics pinpoints and defines the prospective buyers (customers).

You've probably heard the term marketing demographics. It's a common term in the marketing & sales arena. Demographics can be extremely involved or very simple: It just depends on the item being sold, how advanced the product/service is or how long the sales cycle is. Not everything requires intense research a book, music, or shoes are very basic and tangible. Where as a million dollar software or business consulting package is more advanced and potentially an intangible service.

Marketing demographics are used by companies to get that most bang for their buck and to better understand who their customers are. Numbers are crunched and sorted out depending upon a lot of data that is received during research. Research may include census numbers and facts from public records. So what is a company's marketing team (consultant) looking for?

What are Demographics: example

One industry that uses demographics is radio. The radio stations need to know their audience in order to sell advertising and deliver the proper daily programming (songs, talkshows, etc.). Their sponsors won’t advertise a hip new drink to a Geritol audience.

Just to give you an idea of what marketing companies look for in demographics, here is an incomplete list:

  • Geographic territory – People on the west coast are not always interested in the same things as those in the south.
  • Age – Teens are not interested in the same things as those in their golden years.
  • Income – Nobody wants to advertise a Mercedes to a group of people in the lower middle class.
  • Education – College graduates have different interests than high school graduates.
  • Nationality – Different ethnic backgrounds also have different interests.

Are you getting the idea? To answer the question, "What are demographics," it comes down to what a sales company or a business needs to know about you in order to sell you the right product, or even whether it should offer you its product.

It’s a waste of money for a company to pitch its product to the wrong audience. Marketing demographics pinpoints the buyers and places the product in front of them. In some ways, this helps everyone. When a company is not wasting money, it is not charging us as much for the goods.