Beyond the Demographics - Tips to Know Your Users


With the advent of mass production, mass advertising was invented too. In the 60s, the goal of most marketing strategies was just to get as much views of their ads as possible. Television spots and street posters were the most popular media because with those means of communication marketers could easily and quickly spread their message throughout the whole country.

These were the days of glory for marketing agencies like the fictional Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce in Madmen; these agencies could make big money with a poster and a catchy line directed to the general “frustrated housewives” category of consumers. The segmentation was mainly demografic: marketers based themselves on age, sex, income and such other general features...

No need for me to tell you that their business model would never work today. It has become increasingly complex to segment a market in any sector. Also, the overload of marketing messages that consumers have been bombarded with over the last decades has made them much more insensible to any communication, so to reach them you really have to stand out.
This is why it’s important to really know who you are targeting, so that you can give them something thats truly interesting.
We have an example of the increasing difficulty to segment people in large groups with this graphic of Mashable:  generation groups have been getting smaller and smaller, there is more difference between young people today than ever before. People self select into such small groups that a top-bottom strategy will not work anymore.

So how can you build a successful marketing strategy nowadays?

To really know your clients deeply, you have to integrate demographic data with other types of psychographic data that give you more personal information about your users. Today I want to illustrate two types of psychographic data that you must include in your analysis, social profile data and behavioural data.

Social profile data:

As the name suggests, this is the data you can find online from the consumers’ public profiles on the socials. This type of data provides tons of useful information about people, such as their interests, beliefs, communities they identify with and more…

With demographic data, you can get information like where a person lives, how old he is, how much he earns and so on. Profile data answers questions such as: what are his hobbies? Is he involved in any social causes? How much does he spend online each month? You can even ask yourself if he is more cat or a dog person... The Facebook Open Graph tool is great for collecting this type of data.

Behavioural data:

This type of data gives you information about how your users behave with your product. Regarding an app, it would be how many times a user opens it, which sections he visits most, how long he stays on a page (does he read the whole article or just skim through your content?). As we’ve said many times already, if you are a GoodBarber user, you can find all these statistics right in your backoffice! You can also integrate these stats with those of external services such as Google and Flurry.

Why are social and behavioural data so important?

The profile data tells you who your users are and the behavioural data tells you what they do. With this information you can target your customers more specifically with information that is relevant for them. For example, if you know which articles are the most read in your app, you can schedule automatic push notifications for new articles in the preferred section. Or, you can send a push notification only to specific users. If you have just released an update of your app and you see that not all users have downloaded it, you can send a push notification just to the users who still need to download the new version.

This type of targeting benefits your users just as much as it benefits you. You can avoid overloading the general public with impersonal messages sent in a top bottom manner, and just speak to the people that will receive some value from your message. Your marketing campaign should be focused on telling the customer a story over time, based on their specific behaviour and interests (profile data).

The benefit for the users is that they won’t be spammed with irrelevant information. Your benefits are that you can save resources and get far better results from your efforts in your campaign.