I hope you find my writing and business tips and observations useful. My business and blog are dedicated to helping businesses communicate clearly and reach their potential. Read, subscribe to my newsletter, enjoy!Tash

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Shifting demographics

Recently I read that traditional marketing demographics are narrowing.

Traditionally, TV, radio etc needed broad categories to work with and it suited marketers to keep us sorted according to such categories (eg male or female, age 18 – 35 or 35 – 60).

However,  social media is more interactive so can target people according to interests and tastes rather than assuming majority of x group has those tastes. For instance, instead of targeting all women aged 18 – 35 you can specifically target people who like cooking for friends.

It is an interesting thought and makes marketing both easier and harder, I think. For one thing, you can get very specific about your audience and approach that smaller group – in this case, a smaller group will have a higher response rate as they are already interested. However, it may take more effort to know who your demographic is (it is easier to assume men over the age of 30 than to categorise men over 30 with trade qualifications who like fishing for example!)

How well defined is your target demographic? Do you specifically target that group every time your business communicates with the public?

Understanding your audience

Coming along the highway back from my recent business trip, we saw a series of signs for motels and food places encouraging people to turn off into the town. In amongst these signs was one that didn’t show a lot of understanding about knowing who they are communicating  with…

The fabulous Gundagai Pharmacy

All the other signs were aimed at travellers who could well need a break and/or some food so those services had the potential to attract people off the highway. But how many people doing along drive suddenly think “Oh yes, I must visit that pharmacy!”

Sure, the occasional driver will pass with a headache or other minor ailment and will want a pharmacy – even then, they will probably look for a pharmacy near something else that is worth stopping for.

I’m sure the pharmacy could have found a more effective (although perhaps less public) use of their marketing dollars. Or at least put something on their sign aimed at travellers.

This is a really simple example of how you need to understand the audience you are appealing to if you want a successful outcome. Sometimes exposure to a larger audience is tempting but a smaller, interested audience will generally bring in more clients.

Would you pull into a town because they claim to have a great pharmacy?

What is a niche?

Have you ever actually thought about what a niche really is? Can you give me a simple definition of a niche?

I’m tempted to write no more until I have some answers, but I won’t prolong it 🙂

I recently read a blog post  that includes a section on marketing to a demographic rather than a niche and I found it really interesting. A demographic is group of similar people whereas a niche is a group of people with a similar problem – parts of a demographic may be more likely to have a problem but not everyone in a demographic will.

Not convinced? Think about all parents who run a business (demographic) – do they all need to find childcare to enable them to work? Of course not as some have teen or adult children, some have a partner who cares for the children and some have a business that can cater for the children. Do they all have to do things on the cheap because they have no money? Definitely not as many self-employed parents run very successful and profitable businesses. Do they all need a professional writer to help them with their website copy or blogging? Afraid not as some are excellent writers themselves, some don’t have or want a website/blog and others get family or friends to help.

That simply, there are three niches within the demographic of parents with a business. Marketing a niche is easier and more effective so who are you targeting? Do they share a problem you are offering to solve?