Demographic Segmentation

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. 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!

But 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.

What are demographic characteristics in marketing?

In demographic marketing segmentation, the groups are typically based on these demographic characteristics:

  • age
  • race
  • religion
  • family size
  • ethnicity
  • income
  • education level
  • occupation
  • gender

What is included in demographic segmentation?

Included in demographic segmentation are the following segments:

  • Age
    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 would probably appeal more to an older reader.
  • Race
    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.
  • Religion
    A Christian audience might be interested in a sweet new Bible app — but a Hindu audience likely wouldn’t be.
  • Family Size
    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.
  • Ethnicity
    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.
  • Income
    Huge chain stores like Walmart know that their target demographic is people with lower income. They adjust their prices accordingly, providing a wide array of products — from toothpaste and clothes to groceries and jewelry — and make it all super affordable.
    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.
  • Education
    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?
  • Occupation
    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
    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.

  • Why is demographic segmentation important?

    Demographic segmentation may affect how you present your products

    When demographics are segmented, the narrower focus can help an organization target its consumers more accurately. They can study the segments to find out how best to serve their customers’ needs.

    What types of products would you use demographic segmentation for?

    Every product on the market can benefit from a marketing strategy that uses demographic segmentation. Why? Because all feedback is not created equal. It’s better to ask the opinions of people who are likely to buy or use your product than those who aren’t. Likely customers will give you better insights into how well your marketing and messaging work.

    One author used demographic segmentation to find outwhich book cover catches the eye of people who read at least one book a month. After all, non-readers or people who don’t read very often aren’t likely to pick up the book, no matter how appealing the cover.

    Another marketer used demographic segmentation to find out which icon for a mobile dating app appeals to people who are single. The kind of information this segmentation provides will help the app serve its customers — singles who want to be couples — much better.

    With PickFu, you can create polls that target different demographic segments to find out the answers to these kinds of questions. Let’s take a look at real-world advertisements that use demographic segmentation to influence their ad composition.

    Examples of demographic segmentation

    It’s well-known that massive companies like Facebook and Instagram use extremely specific demographic segmentation to help advertisers effectively target their users.

    Take me, for example. I’m a mom of a young child. I also adore reading books.

    Facebook knows all that. Here are three ads — two from Facebook, one from Instagram — that popped up in my feeds recently. These demographic segmentation examples will probably bring to mind your own encounters with social media advertisements.

    First, a Safeway ad for diapers and other baby necessities.

    Second, an advertisement for an online will-creating service — something every parent absolutely should use ASAP!

    And last, an advertisement for a shirt I just might run off to purchase because it is so me.

    Each of these advertisements caught my attention because I would buy any of the three products. And if I’m going to have to look at advertisements on my social media pages, I’d rather be looking at relevant products and services than things I don’t care about.

    Demographic segmentation is crucial to any marketing strategy. You want the ads your audience sees to compel them to act. If they don’t care about the ads because the ads have nothing to do with their life, that’s marketing money gone to waste.

    While it may seem strange that social media sites seem to know exactly what everyone likes, it’s all a marketing strategy using demographic segmentation. All the big businesses are doing it, all the time.

    Says one marketing expert, “Facebook combines the information from data collection companies likeEpsilon,Datalogix,Acxiom,andBlueKaiwith information they have about you. Through things like store loyalty cards, mailing lists, public records information, and browser cookies, these companies already collect information about you. For example, if you buy a bunch of frozen pizza at a grocery store, and use your loyalty card to get a discount, that information is cataloged and saved by a company like Acxiom.”

    Later, that information will be used to target ads specifically to that pizza-loving person.

    If you’d rather take a front-door approach to demographic segmentation, using PickFu is a simple and effective way to do that because users know that they’re offering their information, and they do it willingly.

    How does demographic segmentation help in marketing?

    By targeting a specific demographic segment—such as family people who have several children — you’ll get the most relevant answers to your marketing research questions. You’ll know what your customers prefer and what they’re most likely to buy.

    What’s the best way to use demographic segmentations to my advantage?

    As a marketer, the best way to use demographic segmentation to your advantage is:

    • Target the right customers
    • Customize your products and advertisements to catch those customers’ attention
    • Save money (by not wasting ad space on people to whom your product might be irrelevant)
    • Anticipate your customers’ future wants and needs and tailor your product accordingly

    Have you written a book? Designed an app? Are you setting up an e-commerce store? PickFu can help you with demographic segmentation.

    If you know your target audience (and in this day and age, you absolutely should know exactly who you’re selling to), create a poll targeted at that demographic.

    Ask them which version of your product would make them more willing to purchase it.

    At PickFu, demographics you can target with our software include


    What’s the definition of demographic segmentation?

    Breaking your customer demographics into segments to better study their preferences, distastes, and buying tendencies.

    What are personal demographics?

    Age, race, marital status, number of children — all of these are examples of personal demographics.

    How do you use demographic segmentation in marketing?

    You can use the information you discover from demographic segmentation to shape the way you make, advertise, and sell your product.

    What’s a good demographic segments definition?

    A demographic segment is a group of people clustered together by one demographic trait, such as age range, religion, or marital status.

    What are the companies that use demographic segmentation?

    Big companies like Facebook and Safeway use it, as do small companies or even authors of self-published books. Everyone can use demographic segmentation to better understand their customers.

What are the other types of market segmentation?

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