Calling All Carbon-Based Lifeforms

July 21, 2009 on 9:56 am | In demographics, Marketing, psychographics | 5 Comments

Many businesses want to market to all carbon-based life forms. They won’t take the time to really understand their audiences from geographic, demographic and psychographic perspectives.

Marketers waste a lot of time and money when they consider everyone a prospect. It requires research and a lot of thought, but for my money one of the most important elements to marketing success is clearly defining your audiences.

Geography allows you to target locations more finitely by country, state, city, neighborhood, and telephone number. You can target digital locations by knowing Internet service provider and email service information.

Demographics helps you define audiences by such elements as age, gender, marital status, race, employment status, industry, income, education, household size, market size, job function, intent to purchase, lifestyle-related habits and geographic location.

Once you have your geographic and demographic information, you can put your marketing on steroids by adding psychographic information such as personality and emotionally based behavior linked to purchase choices. Psychographic qualities you might consider include buying history, similar or related product and service interest, and activities, or hobbies.

Demographics help you identify people who might need your product or service, while psychographics help you identify those who need and desire it.

Having finely targeted your audiences in this fashion makes it easier for you to “clone” your best customers, and make the most of your limited marketing resources.

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Harry Hoover

Partner ♦ Brand Strategist ♦ Creativity Facilitator at My Creative Team
Harry Hoover is a partner in My Creative Team, the agency that makes Fortune 1000 clients look good. His communications career spans 35 years and runs the gamut from print and broadcast journalism, government and corporate communications to advertising and public relations agencies. He is the author of Moving to Charlotte: The Un-Tourist Guide.

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  1. Good reminder, Harry. It always worries me when a business owner lists “Sell more stuff” as a goal and lists “Anyone” as a target customer.

    If you can’t define your customer(s) narrowly and specifically, you’ll never find a message (or, heck, even a product) that resonates with the customer.

    Say no to “Everyone should buy my product/service!”

    Comment by Scott Hepburn — August 2, 2009 #

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