Identifying and Researching Demographics for Print Advertising

We have covered a lot about why print media is important in a diversified campaign and things you should be aware of when planning your advertising strategy. We covered how important it is to highlight the target audience, your budget, appropriate publications and finding the best rates. Now it’s time to get down and dirty with the nitty, gritty details and discuss how to research demographics for print advertising.

So let’s say you have your strategy all laid out—you know how much you want to invest in the different types of advertising media and you know your brand from top to bottom. But what about your audience? Advertisers may often overlook the importance of understanding their audience. What are some of the things you should know?
Let’s start with some basic demographic questions (this is by no means a comprehensive list, but it’s a good place to start):

  • What is the average household income you are looking to reach?
  • What is the range/average age of the audience that would use your product?
  • Is there a specific income bracket you are trying to reach? Luxury? Middle-income? Poorer communities?
  • Do both men and women use your product/service?
  • How are your customers motivated to buy your product/service?

Now that you have a good idea of who you are trying to reach, how should you research the details
about your anticipated audience?

Here are a couple of free tools you can use:

Search engines: Just Google it. When you have the questions laid out that you need answers to, sometimes all you have to do is surf the net. You may find the research has even been done for you for the type of audience you are looking to reach.

Polls: Conduct your own polls involving your current customer base. This is not only a great way to engage your current customer base, but helps you get a better grasp of your audience so you can expand.

SBA: The U.S. Small Business Administration has information from housing, state facts, population statistics, etc.

Census Data: Another spot to check is the U.S. Census and Demographic Info. In other words, if you can think of it, a US survey has probably been conducted.

If needed, you can take it a step further. Companies like SRDS offer paid services that can often give more accurate, detailed reporting. Getting the correct research concerning your audience is essential, but it may take some elbow grease on your part. If you do not want to or are unable to sacrifice the time, media buyers will often help with demographic research (indeed, it is essential for them in order to identify appropriate advertisement campaigns).

If you’d like to find out Integral Media can help you in the process of researching demographics for print advertising, contact us to schedule an introductory phone call to learn more about our services.