The 97% rule has been often repeated, embellished plenty, and unfortunately not backed up by any actual research. Still, it’s fun to say things like 97% of all internet marketing fails, or 97% of businesses fail, or even 97% of all price increases fail.
The truth is we see “fails” all the time. It’s much harder to create a successful product or company. Therefore, when a company does actually find some success you better believe they’re going to study what they did write and try to repeat those results.
One of the patterns associated with consistent success is to thoroughly research demographics and then reevaluate the entire business plan according to demographic-focused objectives.
In this article, we’re going to consider why demographics matter in small businesses, as well as some strategies that can help you design a successful business plan.
Demographics refer to the specific backgrounds of your audience, such as their age, gender, occupation, cultural background (including religion or ethnicity), family status, and other lifestyle information.
While it’s true that every person is different, demographic averages and statistics can paint you a picture of what segment of the society particularly enjoys your product or service, and who would be more inclined to buy.
Understanding the community of your customers is the most important step to trying to predict future sales.
When companies to research demographics, they want to know how buyers feel in the present, where they have been or shopped in the past, and what spending patterns they might have in the future.
Why Demographics Matter to Small Businesses
Demographics are not just about targeting customers, but also help you to identify the NEEDS of your audience. Understanding the needs and the psychology of buying, from segments of society, will help you to establish a better overall relationship with your customer base.
It’s not just about sales to nameless faces. It’s about connecting with your audience and giving them what they want – in addition to the product itself.
Once you know and understand the demographics that want your product, you can better determine how to develop marketing campaigns. Your demographics directly affect other factors like pricing, service offers, packaging, brand awareness and trust.
Advantages of Doing Demographic Research
With demographic research, you can spend more time marketing to the most enthusiastic buyers and people more likely to buy. At the same time, you waste fewer resources marketing to people who are not likely to buy.
Internet tech and social media have only helped increase demographic targeting in marketing, especially considering how much personal information people share online.
Try to imagine the limited scope companies had back when the only way of getting demographic data came from consensus forms, surveys, and government records!
While you can still find free or low-cost government records (here’s a guide to get started in market researching the traditional way), nowadays there are multiple online sources to learn about your customers.
You can reach people now in ways that were simply not possible before the modern age.
You can also better market niche products and services, with the advent of not only social networks but open forums and discussion groups that frequently land on the first page of Google/Bing searches.
Besides direct connection with your base, you can also buy demographic information from list brokers who get their subscriber lists from online and print magazines, as well as other social networking data.
Using Demographic Data for Your Business
The question then is how can you use the information once you learn it?
Demographic data can help you improve business plans, identify consumer subgroups for new product campaigns, and can also help you to track results.
In branding and image building, you can use demographical data to inspire your artwork, imagery, written content and video content.
Besides social media marketing, you can also reach consumers via web advertising and get better insight into what might work for, radio advertising, email newsletters, direct mail, and even image placements in physical locations.
The accuracy and efficacy of your marketing campaign also improve with more detailed demographic data. Once you know your audience you can develop more emotionally evocative content and direct them to a stronger conclusion.
You can also build a better foundation for argument and persuasion, with fact-based research and even citations from studies and surveys. The Quillbot citation generator is a tool you can consider for this when making APA citations that can be corroborated by your target audience if required.
Finally, you can target the demographic down to a more specific niche in buying preferences and better focus your message on subgroups of customers going through specific life stages.
Demographic Research Helps Small Businesses Survive and Thrive
Remember that 71% of all small businesses survived the 2020 pandemic because of their efforts to digitize their business. For that matter, 42% of small business owners have continued to develop new digital technologies and will continue to adapt to the changing world.
Small business needs management that’s demographically focused and in touch with the digital and social media age. It’s time to expand in new ways and let your business grow bigger than you ever thought possible, by predicting the near future.