By Peggy J Meeks

You probably hear about the word often, but do you know what “demographics” means? Demographics are the statistical component of marketing that is used to identify population segments through specific traits and characteristics. They make targeted approaches to these various population segments possible. Business entities – whether large or small – of course know that this is a part of the success formula. Know how age, gender, income, and zip code demographics, among others, are used to help you have a headstart in understanding your target market, connecting with them, and improving your overall sales and business.

Start-up businesses usually first gather demographic information to be included in their business plans. These data include but are not limited to age, geographic area, gender, race, and level of education. It goes up to include more details like civil status, number of children, and shopping habits and preferences. Sample questions you need to ask are: How many families own cars? Who among these individuals obtained a college degree? How many are Internet users? The data may be on the local or national market.

Demographics enable a small business to identify the ideal customer for his product or service offered. This, in turn, will help in the development of advertisements, product packaging, pricing, business location, and other marketing strategies. It may be helpful for your business venture, for instance, to know that Asian-Americans are more likely to dine out and shop at club stores. You may also be interested to know that Spanish consumers spend more on baby stuff. Since the marketing cannot be targeted to every individual consumer, demographics enable targeting groups with similar traits and characteristics.

Costly and unnecessary mistakes in your marketing plan are avoided with the use of demographics – by zip code, age, race and ethnicity, and other socioeconomic factors. When it comes to sourcing demographic information, there are several sources available, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Census Bureau, and your local chamber of commerce. Federal or state departments of commerce, along with professional and trade associations, also collect and release demographics. Even a simple institution like your local library can provide access to demographic collections and statistical insights!

Programmable, Web-based services also produce top-quality neighborhood demographics sourced from the Census Bureau, and they can provide you better insight into your contact’s neighborhoods for you to determine and segment markets, identify fraud through like-region comparisons, and evaluate potential site expansions.

Find out more about zip code demographics and how it can help your marketing campaigns by providing better customer insights.

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