You can see demographic segmentation at play when you walk into any grocery store. Depending on where you live, you’ll see all kinds of different people.
Peek into their carts and you’ll get a glimpse of who they are: The young mother with a toddler strapped to her back may haul away Annie’s Organic Mac and Cheese, strawberries, and baby wipes. The overeager college student might grab a mountain of candy and soda for an all-night cram session.
Every person’s lifestyle demands a different set of items.
This concept applies to consumers of every kind. That’s why everyone who sells a product needs to know who they’re selling to and what those people like.
What is demographic segmentation?
Demography is the “statistical study of human populations, especially with reference to size and density, distribution, and vital statistics.” The main reason to study demographic segmentation is to help build your brand to fit your customers’ needs.
Demographic segmentation helps you personalize your products, services, and advertisements. The more a campaign is personalized, the more likely a customer is to click and purchase.
What is a customer demographic?
A customer demographic is a set of data pertaining to a group of peoplewho purchase your product.
In marketing, segmentation is the act of breaking your target market into groups (segments) that share certain characteristics.
So, demographic segmentation is breaking your customer demographics into segments to better study their preferences, distastes, and buying tendencies.
An example of a demographic
A demographic could be any group of people who share a characteristic. For example, babies, teenagers, or the elderly are each a demographic. Dog owners and cat owners. Or people who are single versus people who are married.
People can belong to several demographic groups at once. Forexample, you could be a dog-owning elderly person who’s single. Then you’d belong to three of the different demographic populations mentioned above!
Marketers generally look at one or two variables at a time. A person who is looking to sell dog toys won’t particularly care if you’re single. Instead, that toymaker will only use target market demographics of dog ownership.
What are demographic characteristics in marketing?
In demographic marketing segmentation, the groups are typically based on these demographic characteristics:
- family size
- education level
What is included in demographic segmentation?
Included in demographic segmentation are the following segments:
What appeals to a ten-year-old generally won’t appeal to a sixty-year-old. A picture book about Amelia Earhart might catch the eye of your younger customer. A thick biography of the same person should be marketing to an older demographic.
Age segmentation means focusing on the age range most valuable to your product or service. Marketing demographic age brackets are usually 18-24, 25-34, 35-44, 45-54, 55-64, and 65 and older.
A Black woman with curly hair will want different hair products than an Asian woman with straight hair. Knowing these differences helps businesses understand the needs of the people they’re marketing to.
A Christian audience might be interested in a sweet new Bible app, but a Hindu audience likely wouldn’t be.
Will a family with six young kids want a “buy two, get two free” deal on diapers? Absolutely! But a family with older kids won’t be interested.
In areas where high populations of Latin Americans call home, businesspeople would be smart to invest in Latin-American grocery stores and restaurants. In places with tiny populations of Latinos, the same restaurants and grocery stores won’t find nearly as much business.
But general-market stores examine the ethnic makeup of their surrounding areas, too. Because ethnicity influences the kind of food someone buys, this kind of grocery market segmentation could drive the kinds of products that line the shelves.
Huge chain stores like Walmart know their target demographic is people with lower income. These Walmart customer demographics drive decisions about which regions of the country to place retail outlets. Walmart also prices products accordingly, providing a wide array of products — from toothpaste and clothes to groceries and jewelry — all at super affordable prices.
A store like Anthropologie, on the other hand, serves a market it knows is willing to fork out bigger bucks for pricy home-decor and clothing items.
If you’re opening a bookstore, you’ll want to find out the average education level in your community. Do you have a lot of kids and high-school non-graduates whose reading needs will tend toward commercial fiction? Or are you surrounded by literary professors who’ll demand fat stocks of Ye Olde Classics?
Related education segmentation examples might include how tech-savvy you need your product’s audience to be, or whether they have white-collar or blue-collar professions. Best Buy target segmentation likely looks at education level.
If you’re part of the Baby Boomer generation, you probably love a steady 9-to-5 job with benefits. Maybe you work in an office, so business attire and shoes that both suit your professionalism and are comfortable are highly relevant to you.
Look down through the generations to Millenials and Gen Z-ers, and you’ll see people who are more interested in finding adventure in their jobs. On the other hand, many people from younger generations would rather build small businesses from the ground up. They’re focused on making a living, however meager, doing what they love. They might, therefore, care more about finding the perfect vintage truck for their mobile flower shop than about scoring the perfect leather dress shoes
Gender segmentation can be both wise and unwise. Kids’ toys are sometimes needlessly gendered. Often, children play with toys that cross traditional gender boundaries.
However, clothing is a product segment where gender plays a necessary role. Clothing will fit one gender differently than another. As age increases, so do divides in gender behavior, paving the way for marketers to study the different characteristics and purchasing habits of each.
What are the other types of market segmentation?