Demographics: The key to effective market research
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Demographics: The key to effective market research

January 3, 2023

Ashton Bridges

Read on to learn about demographics, its role in market research, and how brands like yours can leverage this type of data to strengthen connections with customers.

Every company, brand, and sector is affected by public opinion; but it is the opinion of your target audience that reveals key truths about how to run your business. That’s why demographics are such an important part of marketing research.

Not only do demographics encompass the study of human populations, but they also represent the impact that different groups of people have on the market—your market. If you’re seeking a greater market share in your industry, demographics should be a critical component of your market research strategy.

What are demographics?

Any number of variables can be applied to a demographic profile. Common demographic information can include census data—think identifying information like ethnicity, gender, age group (i.e. baby boomers versus gen z), as well as socioeconomic factors such as household income, marital status, and education level. Economic factors related to consumer expenditure (consumer spending in a given household) are also important to consider.

Of course, there’s also information that the U.S. Census Bureau doesn’t collect that is useful to brands—psychographics. This type of data helps brands understand consumer behavior and can help companies further discern their market segments. Psychographics may include information related to a consumer’s personality and lifestyle (including their attitudes and opinions), all of which can help a company develop personas for their customer base.

Pending the level of detail required by the research at hand, each of these specific demographics can be further broken down into a potentially limitless range of granular subcategories. But regardless of how many demographics are being measured, the goal should always be the same: to better discern your target market and segments, and establish a greater understanding of your target audience.

How do brands benefit from consumer demographics?

Companies seeking direct consumer feedback often utilize common demographics in their marketing research—and for good reason. Identifying and prioritizing relevant demographics can enable you to maximize your research initiatives and radically improve your business by informing decision-making. This is because having a strong grasp of market data empowers brands with a deeper understanding of their key customers, improving relationship and reach.

Building effective demographic profiles can also provide an excellent means of discerning which aspect of the population would be a likely target for a particular product or service. This can help reveal your true market size by identifying potential customers you may not have thought of.

Moreover, they can provide a clear view of how key brands are perceived by consumers in terms of advantages and disadvantages (thinking back to psychographics). Demographic profiling can reveal strategic insights into why consumers prefer one brand to another within a given sector, allowing you to inform how to differentiate from competitors. Ultimately, these insights can be used to increase sales and improve your bottom line.

How can my brand collect and use demographic data and information?

Demographics can potentially reveal not only who your consumers are, but what makes them tick. Since demographic characteristics—like trends—tend to change for brands over time, it is recommended to conduct demographic analysis and other demographics-based research on a regular or semi-regular basis.

All marketing research services should be subjected to rigorous analysis in order to evaluate what is working and what is not. This applies to demographic groups as much as any other component of market research: when creating a demographic profile, it is important to target groups from the outset that are most likely to be attracted to the product or service in question.

One of the most effective methods of identifying a particular group is a survey, which can take the form of either a custom or omnibus (shared) poll submitted to a cross-section of a given population. Once the survey has been conducted and the market audience discerned, marketing campaigns can be focused in an even more efficient and timely manner. To make sure this is all done correctly and effectively, you’ll want to find a knowledgeable partner. After all, you don’t just want better market research reports, you want better results.

How can I find the right market research partner?

That demographics constitute an integral aspect of marketing research is clear. Identifying and prioritizing key demographics, however, is what takes marketing research to the next level. In addition to yielding crucial insights into how your company, products or services are perceived by your target audience, the right demographics will enable you to better serve your existing customer base and maximize future growth.

Partnering with a market research agency that will truly understand your business is imperative. A credible agency will customize research to meet your company’s needs—often by identifying and emphasizing the needs of your target audience.

When you’re ready to partner, contact Kelton (now Material) by filling out this form.

Ashton Bridges

Director, Client Development

As Director of Client Development, Ashton is a passionate brand advocate who serves as one of Kelton’s key client liaisons. She excels in crafting engagements that...

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