Demographics is the breakdown of data according to populations, and specific groups within those populations. Small businesses can take advantage of demographics in marketing in order to drive better conversions from their efforts.
Think about it: Consumers create a large pool of spending dollars to which businesses advertise their services. If your company has $100 dollars to spend on marketing, would it make sense to spend all of your marketing dollars on the entire pool of consumers?
No, of course not.
Breaking down your customer profile by demographic helps you target your marketing dollars so that you get a better return. For instance, if your primary customers are female between the ages of 18 and 30 who make more than $100,000, that information would direct your marketing campaign in a very different direction than if your primary customers were males above the age of 65 who are on a fixed income.
One of the ways that demographics can inform a marketing campaign involves the channels you employ. Depending on your primary customer profile, the best channels to direct your marketing might be email, TV ads, text messages, social media, mobile or video.
A recently released report by Marketing Sherpa shows that different age groups do show preferences for one channel over the other. Here’s what it found. People ages:
- 18-34 prefer email, social media and TV ads the most.
- 35-44 prefer email, postal mail and TV ads.
- 45-54 prefer email, postal mail and TV ads.
- 55-64 prefer email, postal mail and print media.
- 65 and older prefer Email, postal mail and print media.
Source: Marketing Sherpa
What does it mean for you?
Analysis of the most-favored channels by age group reveals a lot for marketing efforts.
All age groups prefer email
Businesses that aren’t using email to target their primary customer demographic are missing out. Email is the favored channel of Generation X, Millennials, and Boomers. It turns out that there’s not much difference amongst age groups when it comes to email preferences, as 78 percent of 35 to 44 year olds prefer email, and 68 percent of the over 65 age group prefers it too (although it’s tied with postal mail in terms of preferences).
Older age groups prefer postal mail
The long-time, very popular method of receiving advertisements via snail mail remains the favored choice among the older generations. This method also showed the largest differentiation among age groups.
- While 68 percent of the oldest generation prefer postal mail over any other delivery channel, only 30 percent of the youngest age group prefer postal mail.
Here are some other generation gaps in channel preferences:
- Only 6 percent of the over 65 age group wanted to receive text messages, while 27 percent of the youngest generation did.
- While 4 percent of 65 and over individuals desire marketing communication via social media, a whopping 33 percent of the 18 to 34 year old group prefer this method.
- A mere 3 percent of individuals over 65 years old seek out online video content, 24 percent of 18 to 34 year olds want video.
- Only 2 percent of people 65 and over want to communicate with businesses via mobile apps, 22 percent of the youngest generation desire this channel.
It’s clear that the differences in age groups can be significant when it comes to many of the channels. As such, businesses are wise to understand demographics, take the time to learn their primary customer preferences and then build a marketing campaign from that data. On the other hand, it’s also apparent that email is one marketing channel that’s bridged the gap between generations. It appears to be a safe bet regardless of the age of your customer.