When putting together an advertising plan, many of us have learned that developing and defining our target demographic is essential. But is it?
The term “demographic” generally refers to categories of persons grouped by age, gender, income, geography, or other qualities. “Demo” means people, and “graphic” means details. We tend to “target” a demographic based upon their use or likelihood of using our product or service. Media demographics are mostly created by media researchers to quantify viewership, listenership, or readership. Advertisers tend to use these categories to profile the customer, but media demographics can be woefully incomplete and maybe even detrimental to helping us reach the right customers.
It’s been said (by someone other than me originally) that the Nielsen demographic “Adults 25 to 54” isn’t a demographic, it’s a family reunion. When was the last time you met a 54-year-old who thought, acted, and purchased things like a 25-year-old? Demographics like this are very soft and undefined, making it difficult to create relevant messages or narrow your media choices.
Take a minute and “profile” your ideal customer. Male or female? What age? What income level? Where do they live? Whom do they know? How did they find you? What do they buy? How often? How much do they typically spend? What do they talk about? Who is with them when you see them? What else do they buy? Why do they buy it? All good questions and there are many more.
Your “ideal customers” are the ones who cost you the least and make you the most. Once you have that profile, look for others like them. Advertise where they are. Build your message around them. Ask them to bring a friend. Think about their faces when you write your next ad, script, or digital content.
You may be surprised at how easy it is to advertise when you know to whom you are talking.