What Is Demographic Segmentation, & How Do You Do It?

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March 15, 2019 11:00 am Published by

Before you dive into this blog post, I want you to watch this video.

If you laughed at this ad because Danny Tanner’s obsession with cleanliness ruined Uncle Jesse’s romantic moment, then this commercial is just for you. But if you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you’re not in Dannon’s target audience.

To explain further, Danny Tanner and Uncle Jesse were two of the main characters in Full House, a hugely popular family sitcom that aired from the late 1980s to the mid 1990s. When its reruns were syndicated during the mid-to-late 2000s, the show gained even more popularity.

In 2014, Dannon bought a Super Bowl ad spot to promote their Oikos Greek Yogurt commercial, and they knew it had to resonate with as much of their their target market as possible, which was most likely young-to-middle aged adults.

So, to avoid bombing on the biggest advertising stage of the year, they decided to sneak a bit into their commercial from one of the most beloved TV shows that their target market watched as kids — Full House.

Now, if Dannon’s target market consisted of young kids or older adults, they probably wouldn’t have went this direction. But since their target market was packed full of Full House fanatics, Dannon was able to craft one of the best Super Bowl commercials in 2014.

Dannon’s Oikos Greek Yogurt ad was such a hit because they were able to figure out which age groups comprised most of their target market. In order to uncover this information, though, they had to do a lot of market research. Fortunately, they had a powerful tool at their disposal — demographic segmentation.

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Demographic segmentation can also optimize your resources and time because distributing personalized marketing messages to each slice of your target market will resonate with more people and lead to more conversions than spraying a generic message to your entire target market.

To learn how most brands segment their target market, check out the five main demographic attributes they use.

1. Geography

Geographic segmentation slices up your target market based on their geographic location. Since people have different needs and interests across geographies, like the need for cold weather outerwear in Minnesota or the demand for swimwear in South Florida during the winter, it’s important to understand exactly how your target market’s different climates, landscapes, and cityscapes impact their preferences.

2. Age

Age segmentation slices up your target market by specific age ranges or generations, like Generation Z, Millennials, and Baby Boomers. The people in each of these groups grew up during the same time, encounter comparable experiences today, and share similar traits, habits, and opinions, so it’s crucial to distribute personalized campaigns catered for each generation.

For instance, targeting Gen Xers with a nostalgic ad about The Princess Bride might receive an outpour of praise, but targeting the same ad to Gen Zers might not even get a mention on Twitter.

3. Education

Education segmentation slices up your target market by school, area of study, and degree. A lot of brands target by education because most people have deep feelings of loyalty for their alma mater.

In fact, BuzzFeed leverages education segmentation to write articles about a specific college’s tidbits that only their alumni would know. And by writing these types of articles about almost every college in the United States, they can relate to the majority of people who went to college in the country.

4. Occupation

Occupation segmentation slices up your target market by job function, job seniority, and job title. A lot of B2B brands target their audience by occupation because they need to attract specific types of professionals who have the authority to make buying decisions on their team or at their company.

5. Income

Income segmentation slices up your target market by income range. By knowing how much discretionary income your potential customers have, you can market to the people who can actually afford your product or service, set your prices according to their income, and design pricing tiers for each slice of your target market.

Getting Personal

Nowadays, generic, spray-and-pray marketing campaigns don’t fly with consumers anymore. If you can’t relate to each segment of your target market, then you might as well pause all your campaigns.

However, if you can harness the power of demographic segmentation, you can create personalized marketing campaigns for each slice of your target market and resonate with them as much as Danny Tanner and Uncle Jesse did with Dannon’s target market.

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Originally published Mar 15, 2019 7:00:00 AM, updated March 15 2019

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