How Your Small Business Can Reach Your Target Demographic

Spotify recently rolled out a new ad feature that lets advertisers target the company’s 70 million non-paying users. The streaming music company will provide advertisers with demographic data on its users, including gender, age, location, language and playlists.T-mobile

To leverage this data, Spotify is teaming up with several leading providers of programmatic advertising, a recent marketing trend that uses automated software to enable real-time bidding for ads that target users who fit specific demographic criteria and are engaged in defined real-time activities, such as commuting or exercising.

Spotify’s move illustrates the value advertisers place on customizing their ads to reach a well-defined demographic. Here are some steps your company can take to reach your target demographic.

Identify Your Target Demographic

The first step in effectively reaching your demographic is to define it. This means using market research to get a more specific profile of your ideal buyer. Narrow your definition with questions about specific demographic criteria. What is your market’s income level? Do they work in a certain industry? What is their gender and marital status? Where are they located? What is their ethnic background? How often are they online? Do they favor a specific type of device when using the internet?

To gather this type of information, you will need to use good market research tools. If your business has a website or social media profile, you can use analytics tools such as Google Analytics and Facebook Insights to gather information about your visitors and followers.

HubSpot lists over a dozen other important free premium tools to collect market research information on demographic groups. These include SurveyMonkey, Think with Google’s Marketer’s Almanac, Ubersuggest, Nielsen’s MyBestSegments, Pew Research Center, American Fact Finder and FedStats.

Define Your Demographic’s Buying Persona

Identifying your target demographic is a step toward developing a psychographic profile of your market’s buyer persona, says Search Influence partner accounts team manager Alison Zeringue. This goes beyond demographic data to an understanding of your market’s buying preferences and behavior. What are your market’s likes and dislikes? What are their values? What kind of TV shows, movies, music, magazines and books do they like? Do they shop in physical stores or online? What stores or sites do they shop at? How much do they spend? HubSpot’s MakeMyPersona interactive web tool can help guide you through these types of questions and generate buyer personas based on your answers.

You also need to relate your answers to these questions to your product or service so that you can develop an effective marketing and sales strategy. Based on your market’s buying persona, which features of your product or service will be most useful to them? What benefits will most appeal to them? When will they need your product or service? Which of your competitors have they already tried? What can you do differently to make yourself stand out from the competition?

Promote to the Right Channels

Finally, to reach your target demographic, you need to promote your ads to the right channels. During your market research and psychographic analysis, you learned relevant information such as where your market shops, which sites they visit and what they read and listen to.

Using this information, you can determine which channels are most likely to reach your market. Possible channels to explore include word-of-mouth referrals, in-store visits, public speaking appearances, seminars, webinars, apps, content marketing, social media ads, TV ads, radio ads, direct mail, telemarketing, print ads and billboards.

For instance, let’s say you’re a brick-and-mortar retailer who has determined that your target market includes users of wearable devices such as the Samsung Gear S2 who tend to buy in-store. You might then set up a Bluetooth beacon in your store and develop an app that notifies shoppers with mobile devices of sales on items that will appeal to your selected demographic.

Chances are that your market can be reached through more than one marketing channel. Test the responses you get from different channels in order to determine your most effective marketing mix so that you can best deploy your resources.

About Nathan Goodman

Nathan Goodman is the bestselling author of The Jana Baker Spy-Thriller Series. "A terrorist on the loose, a country in panic, and time is running out..." For a free copy of Protocol One, visit the author's website.