A Quick Guide to Understanding and Using Demographic Data
When you’re conducting market research, one type of data that you’ll often encounter is demographic data. This data tends to be easy to collect yet powerful when used for marketing purposes.
In this article, we’re going to explain just what demographic data is, and when best to utilise it.
What is demographic data?
Demographic data, often also called demographics, is a type of data often used to characterize people in a large population. It usually includes the following characteristics: age, sex, income, educational attainment, marital status, race, ethnicity, and many more. Demographic data in market research is often used for STP (segmentation-targeting-positioning) marketing purposes.
Here’s one example: Let’s say that a company is launching a new detergent brand. Based on demographic data, the company decides to target people with the following characteristics: women, married with school-age children, between the ages of 25-40, and with household income above $50,000 per year.
How to get demographic data
The ease of getting demographic data depends a lot on the technique you use. Nowadays, the following two methods are the most commonly chosen by researchers.
The gold standard for obtaining demographic data is still through surveys, be it offline or online surveys.
It is considered best practice to create multiple-choice questions for demographic data where survey respondents are limited to choosing one answer. Almost all businesses can utilise surveys to gather demographic data.
Another possible method of collecting demographic data is through using analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Meta Business Suite. This type of approach is useful for businesses that rely on website visitors to generate revenue, such as e-commerce businesses.
Analytics tools obtain demographic data from the browsing habits of users who come to your website. So, for example, if a person has used Google to search a lot of information about “baby slings” and “dating website for dads”, Google Analytics will recognize that person as "male", “divorced or widowed”, and "has children".
If you’re interested in using this, you’ll have to rewrite some of the tracking code, especially in the case of Google Analytics, to make sure that you’re getting accurate demographic data from your users.
When to use demographic data
Demographic data can be useful for many things in the business context. For example, a pilot market research study could garner a lot of information regarding which demographics to target when marketing your product.
But above all else, demographic data plays a large part in advertising. Whether you’re offering product samples or using online ads to target potential customers, demographic data helps you reach the right people more effectively.
One of the most powerful data collected from a market research study is demographic data. It is one of the basic building blocks for customer profiling and is a great tool to leverage for your advertising campaign.
If you’re interested in learning more about other mechanisms to collect demographic data for your company’s marketing efforts, contact us here:
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