Updated: Feb 20, 2014
If you’re big on media buys offline or online, you can find significant demographic data online for those marketing campaigns. Here are few tools that I’ll walk you through. In this tutorial, I’ll be using the example product, Rock Band – to gather our demographic data for.
Online Demographic Data
I’m going to quickly cover Quantcast since it’s so widely recommended to lookup demographic data about a given domain name. Quantcast is very precise but can be quite inaccurate. Many times, I’ll use them as a starting point as they seem to be right about 45-55% of the time. They’re best with older, popular sites (better than 10,000 ranking). I’ve also found their traffic data to be comparable to Alexa’s analysis.
Rock Band is quite popular with kids and young adults (as most PlayStation games are). Here’s a screenshot from Quantcast:
From the data above, we can tell the audience is fairly young and most traffic is from families. Also, it predicts an above average percentage of Hispanics are most likely to visit the website.
Google Ad/Display Planner
Display Planner will help us essentially double check Quantcast’s data. If they both correlate, then our demographic analysis is most likely correct. I ran a site search for rockband.com and it had a high correlation with Quantcast.
However, it does not have race information like Quantcast does. It does have some other information about possible related search phrases that can be very helpful in search marketing.
For media buys, it allows you to narrow down websites that have your desired demographic. This would be helpful mostly in direct buys.
This is one of my favorite tools. Google insights gives accurate information on where search phrases are searched from. For example, if we decided to buy billboard space, we would want to know where most of our potential customers would be located. You can target by city, state or country. I chose state in this example. Here are the exact configurations I chose, under “Filter”:
- I chose “Product Search” over “Web Search” because I’m more interested in where the people are that will spend money vs. just browsers.
- I chose “United States” so I could narrow down on states.
- The product is not that old so the years 2008 to present were fine.
- I left “All Categories” selected so I could have a larger sample size.
Here are the results:
As the results indicate, Utah has our target audience. Utah is highly Mormon and highly family centered – which means they also have lots of kids.
Microsoft’s Demographics Prediction
This tool allows you to type a search term your target audience would type and find their demographics. This tool is fairly accurate. If Microsoft’s tool is consistent with Quantcast, the phrase “Rock Band 2” should tell us our audience is young male:
The results appear to be consistent in this case. It’s always best to check multiple tools to make sure you’re getting consistent and reliable demographic data.
The tools I went over are free tools to use to find demographic data. There are other tools that cost significantly more and can get you much more accurate data. Google Insights is the most accurate regarding regional interest and trends – free or paid.
Offline Demographic Data
This target audience can be found and researched through multiple demographic and personality databases—including:
- Experian Consumer Research (formerly Simmons Market Research Bureau)
- Buying Power Index
- Sales & Marketing Management
- U.S. Census Bureau (available for free at census.gov)
You can buy any of the above databases or you can go to your local library. Your local university would be your best option to check at.
Through these databases, marketers are able to make sales predictions and determine which medium they should market through. Many of these predictions are based on past purchasing habits of consumers.
Knowing your exact target’s demographic, personality-type, and spending habits ahead of time gives you an advantage above all of your competitors. This will minimize testing time and “wasted” advertising funds.