Find Customers Based on Demographics and Psychographics

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Analyzing demographic criteria, psychographic criteria, brand usage and brand loyalty information will help you create the most well-defined target market. Your targeting decision is a key element of any effective advertising campaign strategy.

Demographic Criteria

Consumer demographics are described as variables of age, gender, income, geographic location, marital/family status, and education. This criterion is readily available and knowing the demographics or your target market is essential when it comes to buying media. It is likely, however, that two groups of similar demographics will have very different buying patterns. Psychological makeup and lifestyles greatly influence predisposition to buy.

Psychographic Criteria

A Psychographic criterion takes into consideration psychological and sociological information. Neither is easy to measure. Psychological nature consists of personality, motivations, and attitude. Sociological nature includes lifestyles, activities, and daily routines. Information on psychographic criteria is available in “Simmons Study of Media and Markets” and the VALS 2 system.

Simmons correlates demographics with adjectives rated on a 5-point (Likert) scale. Interviewers ask consumers to rate themselves on personality traits to determine if they are affectionate, broadminded, egocentric, kind, sociable, creative, stubborn, etc. Each of these adjectives is then cross-referenced with demographic variables. Simmons resulting information is available to advertisers and agencies on CD-ROM.

VALS 2, a consumer psychographic system, classifies consumers into eight groups based on 35 attitude items and several demographics. VALS is based on primary motivation and resources. When combined with questionnaires and surveys, VALS is useful for determining a marketing approach for new products, developing brand positioning, and media selection.

According to VALS, consumers are motivated to buy if the purchase will provide satisfaction and give shape, substance, and character to their identities. The three self-orientations are: Ideals motivated consumers who are guided by abstract, idealized criteria. Achievement motivated consumers look for products and services that demonstrate success to their peers. Self-expression motivated consumers purchase for social or physical activity, variety, and risk taking.

These motivations are also influenced by resources including income, education, energy, and self-confidence. GeoVALS is a product that provides data on where to find concentrations of your desired target, by zip code.

Degree of Product/Brand Usage

Both Simmons and MRI report brand usage in three standard categories; heavy, medium, and light users. It may seem logical to target heavy users, but new products may be inclined to target medium and light users, rather than go against the market leader.

Degree of Brand Loyalty

The level of brand loyalty can greatly influence advertising strategy and tactics. A look at brand loyalty will help determine the state of a brand’s core equities. Promotions may revolve around brand image, or if equity is down, pricing. The most powerful information is behavioral brand loyalty measures, the extent to which households buy the same brand in two successive time periods. New customers and loyal customers are studied separately. New customers are separated based on whether they purchased on sale.

Leo Burnett categorized consumers into four different loyalty patterns. Long loyals are committed regardless of prices and other factors. Rotators shift between preferred brands, motivated by variety. Dealers rotate within preferred brands based on special offers. Price sensitives will always purchase the cheapest option.

For the highest return on your advertising investment, it is crucial to have a clear objective and target the right audience. Examining demographic criteria, psychographic criteria, brand usage and brand loyalty information will help you create the most well-defined target market.

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