What better way to celebrate World Population Day than to get to know the population your business serves? Demographics are the statistical characteristics of human populations (such as age or income) used especially to identify markets. Knowing who your target market is and where to find it is important on the road to success for your business. If a town is mostly made up of people over the age of 55, would you want to open your apparel store aimed at 20-somethings in that area? Would a luxury boutique do well in an area with an average household income of $40,000? When you are aware of demographics you can either cater your business to fit the needs of the population in which your business is located, or, if you are not yet in business, you can decide on a different location that better fits your business’s needs.
When you are aware of demographics you will be able to market your business more efficiently. For example, an older crowd is more likely to see an advertisement if it is posted in a newspaper, whereas a younger crowd is more present on social media platforms. Knowing your target market and knowing their habits will make for a much more effective marketing plan.
Here are some resources The University of Scranton SBDC uses to help you navigate demographics.
- Alteryx- A tool used when looking at demographics of a specific area. Shows breakdown of age, gender, income, household size, education, and more. Charts, tables and maps provide an easy to use format.
- Culturegrams- One of the most trusted and widely used cultural reference and curriculum products in the education, government, and non-profit arenas. Used when looking for international information. If you are considering exporting, this resources can help learn more about the culture and how business transpires in a particular country.
- First Research- Extensive industry research written from an objective business perspective. Each report consists of key statistics and analysis on market and competitive landscape characteristics, operating conditions, business challenges, industry trends, current and historical industry growth, and more, updated monthly. This source is extremely useful when preparing a business plan and/or financial projections.
- Hoovers- The most powerful business research database & sales acceleration platform. Find sales leads & industry insights. The SBDC has used Hoovers to create a data base of potential customers as well as to find a list of potential suppliers for a variety of industries. Contact information, names, positions and more can be accessed easily using Hoovers.
In addition to these resources, The University of Scranton’s library has an extensive collection of databases. Working with The University of Scranton’s Small Business Development Center allows you access to all of these resources and more. Visit www.scrantonsbdc.com to learn more about how the SBDC can help your business Start, Grow and Prosper.
Amy Simpson, B.S. Business Administration 2018
Artwork adapted from freepik.com