When you speak to everyone, you speak to no one. - Meredith Hill
According to MTV, one of the greatest music videos ever made is “U can’t touch this” by MC Hammer in 1990. This music video is a pop culture phenomenon of today's zeitgeist.
You must be wondering why am I talking about a music video in a segmentation article. In 2020, Cheetos played an ad in the super bowl. They promoted their brand at one of the biggest jock events in the world. The goal of this ad was to resonate with a very particular audience. Most likely the GenXers and Millenials.
Before we dive deep into the details, let’s watch the Cheetos ad first.
So, the question is, did you laugh at the ad? The ad implies that it was Cheetos that influenced the great song “U can’t Touch This”. If you understood what the ad meant, then you are a part of the target audience.
Now They used an MC Hammer song because it resonates with their target audience. If their target customers were children or older adults, they probably would have gone in another direction.
What they did was create an ad that not only is funny but speaks only to a particular demographic. Thanks to demographic segmentation, they achieved maximum results.
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What is Demographic Segmentation?
Let’s break down the topic in discussion. There are two words, demographic and segmentation. The word demographic is derived from the Greek word “Demos” meaning “people” and “Graphy” which means “the study of”. When combined, it means the study of people.
In the case of market research, the word deviates a little in its usage. In marketing, we define certain people or groups of people for a product or service based on their demography. It is essential to have a thorough understanding of the demographics involved when studying a marketplace.
Demographic Segmentation separates your target market into specific, organized, and accessible segments of people based on different attributes such as age, gender, education, occupation, and area of living. Demographic segmentation allows you to create more personalized and targeted marketing campaigns for each fragment of your target market. Whether you employ a digital marketing agency or do this on your own, it is essential to have complete knowledge of your target demographic.
Importance of Demographic Segmentation
By leveraging demographic segmentation you create a more personalized experience for your customers. You can use precise pop culture references, slang, and language to elicit a specific emotion in a targeted audience. You can base your marketing strategy and what you are going to say on the nature, emotions, desires, and needs of your target customers. You can also vary these attributes from segment to segment.
According to a study by Accenture, 91% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that recognize, recall, and layout relevant offers for their customers.
Therefore, when a prospect feels they are getting personalized treatment from you, they are more likely to stay and do business with you in the long run.
Type of Demographic Data you can Segment
Demographic data should be reflective of people and their lives. It should represent specific attributes associated with a certain demographic of society. Some examples of demographic segments are:
- Education Level
- Residencial Environment
- Marital Status
- Social Status
- Work Experience and Niche of Work
All these factors and much more helps you to narrow down your audience into certain segments based on their attributes.
Let’s discuss some of the most important segments in detail.
When it comes to market segmentation the first segment that comes to your mind is the age of your customers. Even when you are not using demographic segmentation knowingly in your marketing strategy, you are still designing your product or service by keeping in mind a certain age group as your target. There are different age groups in which we can divide society. A brief introduction is given below.
- Greatest generation: Pre - 1928
- Traditionalists/ Silent Generation: 1928 - 1946
- Baby Boomers: 1946 - 1964
- Gen X: 1965 -1976
- Gen Y/Millenials: 1997 - 1995
- Gen Z/ iGen / Centennials: 1995 - 2010
When you see the above age group segments, you will realize that some of the age groups are related to each other. They grew in the same environment, they have the same emotional and ethical attachments. Based on these age groups, we can analyze the traits, habits, opinions, emotional attachments, and social influences of the people in a certain age group.
For example, if you create an ad for Generation X based on a reference from The Princess Bride. It will most certainly be nostalgic and will receive an outpour of praise from the audience. On the other hand, if you use the same ad to target Generation Z, chances are you won’t even get a Twitter mention.
Geographic segmentation divides your target market based on their geographic location. Since people living in different places have different needs, interests, and lifestyles. Depending on the weather, society, and culture every geographic segment have different requirements. For example, people need cold weather outerwear in Minnesota while people demand swimwear in South Florida in winter. This difference can affect the marketing of your product or service. You have to design and market your product according to your target customer’s differences in climate, landscape, and cityscapes. This creates different segments of the market, based on their geography.
Level of Education
Most of you receive messages from different sources about higher education and different scholarships around the world. You also may receive ads of different universities and colleges in your Instagram feed although you never followed those pages. You might wonder why do you receive these messages or ads. The answer is simple. It is based on your educational background. You receive these targeted ads just because they are relevant to your education.
Education segmentation slices up your market, based on their education level, area of study, and their degree. Today a lot of brands target their customers based on their education and area of study. As it is quite natural to have deep feelings for your own alma mater.
After education, your occupation defines a lot about your personality and the choices you make in life. Occupation segmentation dissects your target market on the basis of their occupational function, seniority, job title, and line of work. A lot of B2B companies target personals based on their job because they need specific people who can make decisions of buying and selling on behalf of their team or office.
There are several products are services that are designed according to the requirements of a specific job or a specific line of work. For example, the main focus of a company that produces office printers is different offices that deal with printing and publishing.
Religion and Race
Due to the hot environment, alcoholic beverages have a very limited reach in Middle Eastern countries, leaving opportunities for soft or carbonated beverages. Large-scale advertising campaigns are used by brands all around the world.
With the rise of international business, many companies have developed ads that cater to religious views, as well as nationality, while avoiding hurting anyone's feelings. With the expansion of the business into new areas, there has been a rise in demographic segmentation based on religion, race, and nationality.
Pros and Cons of Demographic Segmentation
Demographic segmentation has many characteristics, which allows it to be sued in various ways according to one’s requirements. Although it sounds extremely useful, there are a few drawbacks to using a demographic segmentation. Let’s discuss the Pros and Cons of using demographic segmentation in detail.
Advantages of Demographic Segmentation
- Easy to use: it is quite accessible and easy to find. There are government consensus and private studies available for collecting data.
- Identify Potential Market: Demographic segmentation allows you to define a certain group of people that are most likely to buy your product. This makes it easy and effective to market your product or service.
- Ease of marketing: When you know who your target audience is, what are their interests, and how to reach their emotions. You can market your product way better than going blindly into a market.
Disadvantages of Demographic Segmentation
- Based on Assumptions: Although you use different facts and studies to base your segmentation. It is nonetheless true that most of your decisions are based on calculated assumptions. Therefore there is a chance of failing.
- Constantly Changing: Nothing is constant but change. Our behaviors and preferences change over time. In fact, in this rapidly changing world, our interests and habits change by every hour. Therefore, it is risky at a level to base your whole marketing strategy on a variable that is continuously changing.
In today’s world, the old generic spray-and-pray marketing campaigns don’t connect with the customers. If your marketing strategy fails to relate with every segment of your target market, then it is better that you just pause all your campaigns.
When you truly and properly harness the power of demographic segmentation, you can create a personalized experience for your target customers and marketing campaigns that resonate with specific demographics. Just like the MC Hammer ad. So whether you are running a business or thinking of starting a new business, have a thorough study of the market and all the demographics that you want to target.
Name: Abdullah Sadiq
Description: Abdullah Sadiq is a Digital Marketer enthusiast at Unitedsol.net having years of experience in the field of Internet Marketing. He is a Social Media geek, a complete foodie, and enjoys trying varied cuisine. A perfect day for him consists of reading his favorite novels with a hot cup of coffee.