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Commentary & Analysis

Demographics Less Traveled

When it comes to targeting customers, most marketers think about demographic data, such as age, income, gender, and lifestyle. A recent white paper from AccuData lists some less common demographics that may be easily overlooked but that can add a richer dimension to your marketing.

By Heidi Tolliver-Walker
Published: July 19, 2017

When it comes to targeting customers, most marketers think about demographic data, such as age, income, gender, marital status, and perhaps even lifestyle. However, a recent white paper from AccuData lists some less common demographics that may be easily overlooked but that can add interesting dimension to your marketing.  

We don’t talk about some of these categories as much, but they can be just as powerful—if not more so—since they can offer particularly detailed insights that can help craft very relevant communications.

Some of these include:

  • Date of birth
  • Homeowner/renter
  • Dwelling type
  • Home equity
  • Home value
  • Length of residence
  • Modeled credit
  • Vehicle make/model

For example, other than calculate their ages, what might you do with someone’s date of birth? How about tying their birthdates to important events in history?

Hey, Jill, did you know that on this day in 1967, “The Newlywed Game” premiered on TV?”

Or, if you know that the recipient is an NFL fan,

Hey, Bob, did you know that, on the day you were born, Green Bay Packers beat Dallas Cowboys 34-27 in an NFL championship game?

Depending on the products being marketed, you could use this information to engage recipients in really different, compelling ways and draw them in to the product or service.  

Or how about length of residence? After a certain length of time, a home will need an update—fresh paint, new light fixtures, refreshed paint colors on the walls. If the buyers are younger, they may be in a starter home and, at a certain stage of life, be starting to look at moving into their “forever home.” You can infer a lot based on length of residence, especially when evaluated in light of other demographics or life stages.   

Likewise home equity. Compare that against life stage and, if the recipient has significant home equity, you could suggest all sorts of things that might be done with a home equity loan. “Need money for college? You might have more equity in your home than you thought” or evaluate it in light of the age of the home and suggest, “If your home is more than X years old, you might be looking at a roof replacement. This special low-rate offer is only being sent to people with high levels of home equity.”

Why not turn this into a team exercise? Sit around a table with your team members and throw around ideas about how different demographics could be used. If those ideas are off the wall, even better. Brainstorm and see if you can come up with creative ways to use data that you never thought possible.

What is the most interesting way you’ve seen demographics used lately?

Heidi Tolliver-Walker Heidi is an industry analyst specializing in digital, one-to-one, personalized URL, and Web-to-print applications. Her Marketer’s Primer Series, availalbe through Digital Printing Reports, includes “Digital Printing: Transforming Business and Marketing Models,” 1:1 (Personalized) Printing: Boosting Profits Through Relevance,” “Personalized URLs: Beyond the Hype,” and “Web-to-Print: Transforming Document Management and Marketing.”

 

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