Time to Abandon Demographics

A client recently described their audience as caucasian females 28-35 years of age, living in the mid-west. Then she summed it up “basically soccer-moms.”

We went on to ask her how much of the audience they thought had this make up. She replied, it’s our biggest segment, maybe 25%. When digging deeper we found that the audience had a lot of behavioral traits in common that had nothing to do with age or gender or minivans.

The day when you can summarize a person by their ethnicity, physical location, gender and age is quickly coming to an end. An argument can be made that it has already ended for digital marketing.

Marketers traditionally survey or observe customers, capture demographic and some sociographic data and then use that to segment and target. These days with digital marketing analytics, it’s just as easy to capture behavioral data such as how the customer responds to different types of content and offers, whether or not they share on social media, what type of device they consume your content on, etc. Using this data you can create behavioral segments.

Targeting and segmenting on behavioral data gets you much closer to the emotional and actionable context of the customer. You know what has motivated them in the past and can project more accurately what will motivate them in the future.

It also beats making the assumption that all Americans over the age of 55 watch Matlock.

One comment

  1. […] They care more about demographics than behavior.Today’s customers aren’t driven by age, race or even where they live. Yes, there may be some level of affinity between them, but with the increase in ability to measure behavior, demographics become increasingly less relevant. Hobbies, pop culture, memes and business needs transcend traditional demographic models. Segment by behavior, not demographic data. […]

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