What is audience demographics analysis?

What is audience demographics analysis?

  • Business Services

1st December 2022


Knowing who your audience are, the topics they’re interested in, and how different communities within your audience talk about that particular topic online is key to creating a successful marketing or advertising campaign for your brand.

Researching your target audience can help you determine what your ideal customer looks like, which will in turn help you tailor your campaign to appeal to the right online communities. When aided by demographic data, researchers and marketers alike find it easier to form a clear picture of their audience, based on shared observable and measurable characteristics. Solid audience analysis helps you to inflict the desired outcome for your brand and marketing efforts by knowing you’re targeting the right people and conveying the right message, all at the right time. 


Table of Contents


What are audience demographics?

Audience demographics refers to the characteristics of a group of users, customers or stakeholders. Marketers use demographic data to group and subgroup people online based on common demographic features, providing invaluable insights on who they should market to. 

Demographic data often includes characteristics such as: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Religion
  • Ethnic or cultural background
  • Geographic location 
  • Sexual orientation
  • Job occupation
  • Interests
  • Education level, and more. 

However, while analysing your audience demographics and interests is a vital stage of your marketing strategy, it’s important not to generalise your findings and use common stereotypes within your content. Creating engaging content that will resonate with your target audience demographic is all about understanding your consumers more deeply, reaching far beyond day-to-day stereotypes. 

We conducted audience research, specifically focusing on the differing perspectives surrounding various salmon varieties. This investigation included elements such as people's preference for cooked versus raw iterations of the fish and the contexts in which they consume specific types, such as smoked at home or sashimi in a restaurant. Recognising the diverse ways consumers perceive and engage with this popular seafood provides insightful cues for tailoring an effective marketing strategy as a food brand.

Below is the active audience demographic data, summarising the traditional demographic data for this particular search on Salmon using Pulsar: 


Salmon search audience demographics. Data acquired using Pulsar TRAC.


While Pulsar delivers deep insights into audience demographics, it extends far beyond these basics by providing audience intelligence - a more nuanced and comprehensive understanding of your audience. 

By capturing behavioral patterns, unifying interests, core values, social circles, and more, Pulsar presents a holistic view of your audience that transcends traditional demographic boundaries. Thus, enabling marketers to create highly tailored strategies that resonate personally with their target audience, driving engagement and fostering meaningful connections. 

So, what are audience demographics, and how can this information strengthen your marketing or advertising campaigns? 

While marketers have long relied on traditional demographic data to inform their strategies, reaching audiences at the right moments remains a persistent challenge. According to a Gartner study, it turns out that 40% of marketers still struggle with the timing - reaching their audience when it matters the most. From this, it's clear that while demographic data is important, it's not the complete solution.

Demographic information provides us with the 'who', but it falls short on the 'when' and 'how'. And this is where the capabilities of Pulsar TRAC come into play. These layers of data work together to create a richer, more comprehensive view of your audience demographics, allowing marketers to paint a fuller, more nuanced picture of their target audience.

By continuing this search on Salmon, we can delve further into audience research by exploring more telling data that extends beyond traditional audience demographics

The below example outlines a full audience overview of the salmon conversation online. Here, you can see the audience demographic data, the top brands, influencers and content sources associated, as well as the different groups or communities that sit within your wider audience - essential for effective target marketing. 


Salmon search full audience data


The process of translating this intricate web of data into actionable strategies typically involves a multi-stage journey, stemming from acquiring demographic data, dissecting and interpreting the data to provide meaningful guidance, and then fine-tuning messaging and targeting strategies through tailored content creation.

Crafting a successful marketing strategy isn't as simple as connecting demographic data to marketing success. It's more of a journey, one that requires a deeper understanding of your audience, informed by a variety of data types. It's about knowing not just 'who' your audience is, but also 'when' and 'how' they engage with content.

Audience analysis extends beyond the surface-level details of age and geographical location. Audience intelligence seeks to understand the depth and diversity of your audience, uncovering unifying interests, hobbies, online engagement patterns, core values, social circles, political affiliations, and more. 

This comprehensive understanding allows for more accurate audience segmentation, creating distinct and like-minded communities for precision-targeted advertising. 

By delving into these nuanced characteristics, marketers can create effective strategies that resonate on a more personal and impactful level. 


Audience intelligence: next-level audience demographics

In the digital marketing world, understanding your audience is key to crafting resonant messages and campaigns that yield results. For years, the norm has been to rely on traditional audience demographics data, such as age, gender, religion, ethnic background, geographic location, and job occupation, among others, to shape our marketing strategies. While this data is indeed crucial, it’s just the tip of the audience intelligence iceberg.

With the capabilities of advanced platforms like Pulsar, the paradigm has shifted, offering a more nuanced, in-depth understanding of audiences. Traditional demographic data provides a one-dimensional view of your audience, largely limited to tangible characteristics. But consumers are more than their age or location; they're a complex tapestry of interests, behaviors, and motivations. To truly resonate with them, marketers need a multi-dimensional perspective – one that accounts for the depth and diversity of modern consumers.

That's where Pulsar comes into the picture. As an audience intelligence and insights platform, Pulsar TRAC enables brands to delve deeper, going beyond the surface level data offered by traditional audience demographic analysis - providing a granular understanding of audience behavior, their interactions, shared affinities, and evolving trends. This allows brands to not only know 'who' their audiences are, but also 'why' they behave the way they do.

Our Communities feature amplifies the insights gathered from traditional demographic research. Consider, for instance, the prime communities directing the discourse on our chosen salmon topic online. Surprisingly, a dominant group manifests a keen interest in sports and wrestling, while others - more predictably - show inclinations towards food, wine, seafood, and recipes.

As well as this, audience intelligence can provide hints about the political leanings of your audience segments, even when the topic at hand doesn't directly touch on politics. Notice one of the top communities showing an interest in Brexit? The 'tories' keyword appearing in their bios could give us a hint about the socio-economic status of those who enjoy salmon. This information could provide insights into the socio-economic profile of those who enjoy this delicacy, guiding the targeting strategies for your brand or product. 

Without audience intelligence, nuggets of insight like this would be virtually impossible to uncover: 


Salmon search top audience segments


You can analyze the various segments within your audience to better understand the facets of your brand’s wider audience and presence online. By looking into each segment's interests, socio-economic status, personality traits, driving factors and online habits, you can get to know each and every fragment of your audience to make more informed decisions. 

As we delve deeper, you'll realize that this isn't about completely replacing the old with the new. Instead, it's about augmenting the traditional with the modern, integrating demographics with psychographics and behavioral insights, and evolving from a marketer who simply 'targets' to one who truly 'understands' their audience.


5 ways audience demographics analysis can support your marketing strategy 

Understanding your audience demographics is vital for building a successful marketing strategy. By analysing demographic data, you can unlock valuable insights that shape your approach and drive better engagement. Here are five ways audience demographics analysis can support your marketing strategy:


1. Tailor your messaging and language to your target audience demographic

Understanding your target audience demographic is an essential first step. It provides a basic foundation, and a broad sketch of who your audience might be. For instance, if your demographic analysis shows that 60% of your audience are women, that’s an important insight.

However, it's just the starting line, not the finish. Just knowing that your audience is 60% women won't necessarily dictate the language and imagery to use in your marketing campaigns. Why? Because women, like any demographic group, aren't a monolith. They form different communities, have a diverse range of interests, and engage with a variety of content.

To truly tailor your content for greater appeal, you need to go beyond demographics. You need to delve into these communities, understand their individual concerns, their distinct voices, and what they genuinely care about to increase the relevance and impact of your content.

This not only catches the eye of your intended audience but also builds a deeper connection, leading to increased engagement and ultimately propelling your desired outcomes.


2. Optimise your content for your target audience demographic

Understanding your target audience demographics offers essential insights, laying the groundwork for optimising your content to resonate with your audience. However, it's only one piece of a much larger puzzle.

Different demographic groups might engage with various types of content, be it long-form articles, short-form updates, skimmable text, or visually engaging videos. For instance, your content strategy could change significantly based on whether your target demographic is Gen Z, Gen Y, Gen X, Baby Boomers, or beyond.

Let's use Gen Z as an example. While it's known that they tend to engage with snappy, attention-grabbing content, and authenticity and transparency are paramount to them - these observations alone aren't enough. Like any other demographic, Gen Z contains diverse communities with endless interests and values, and to truly connect with them, we must delve deeper into these nuances.

Take TikTok's 'culture of credit', for instance. This honesty in acknowledging the origin of trends reflects a vital aspect of Gen Z's values. But, a demographic label doesn't capture these cultural nuances – it's through analysing behavior, interests, and engagements in a more granular manner that we truly understand what connects with this group.

While demographic data provides a starting point, Pulsar goes beyond by allowing us to understand the behaviors, interests, and interactions within these demographics. Using a combined approach, by considering demographics as a component of your audience understanding rather than the entirety – will enable you to craft a more effective marketing strategy.


3. Use the right platforms to market your content and reach the right audience demographic

Choosing the right platforms for marketing your content and engaging your audience is critical for any successful marketing strategy. While demographic data can suggest which social networks your target demographic might prefer, it's just one part of the equation.

Understanding the behavioral nuances and online activities within your target demographic is vital. This more in-depth comprehension of audience behavior transcends demographic data alone and can significantly enhance the efficacy of your marketing campaigns.

By gaining a more granular view of your target audience's online behavior, you can craft a marketing strategy that targets specific platforms and delivers content that truly resonates with your audience on those platforms.

For a more detailed look at how demographic data plays out across major social platforms, our Guide to Social Media Demographics offers insightful exploration.


4. Stay ahead of the trends, adaptations and evolutions of your target demographic

Keeping pace with evolving trends, preferences, and behaviors of your target audience are central to nurturing a loyal customer base and ensuring your brand's growth and development. While demographic data can offer a snapshot of your audience, it's important to remember that it's a static image in a dynamic environment.

As your business or brand expands, you'll inevitably attract new customers, and your audience may shift over time. Staying relevant to your audience demands more than knowing their traditional demographic characteristics. It requires a deeper understanding of shared affinities, behaviors, interests, online activities, and even shifting attitudes towards evolving societal and cultural trends.

The initial analysis of audience demographics is a vital starting point for any marketing strategy. However, the research process should not stop there. It's a continuous endeavour to keep your finger on the pulse of your audience's needs and wants. Regular audience demographics analysis enables you to attract and retain loyal customers through continuous relevance.


5. Pay attention to your target audience demographics’ pain points

Positioning your brand or business as a solution to your customer’s pain points should be a consideration when building your marketing strategy - this is where gathering demographic data for your market and competitors comes in. 

Pain points are specific problems or issues your prospective consumers are experiencing, which can make marketing to these customers difficult. An example of a pain point could be that your prospects are currently spending too much on a service, provider or product and want to reduce costs. Pain points create opportunities to present your business as a solution that helps customers solve the various problems they’re currently facing.

So, while understanding your audience demographics is essential, comparing your demographic data with competitors can provide key insights to further your marketing strategy.

Analysing competitors’ demographic data could provide the leverage you need to position your brand as a trusted partner, capable of alleviating current concerns. By finding out:

  • Where your audience overlaps
  • Differences between your target audience demographics and why these distinctions exist
  • Gaps in prospective audiences you haven’t yet engaged with
  • And, what’s currently working for you or your competitors, based on who you’ve positioned as your target audience demographic


Why is audience demographics analysis important? Understanding the limitations of traditional demographic data

Audience demographics analysis plays a crucial role in developing a successful marketing strategy. And, while traditional demographic data provides observable and measurable characteristics of a target audience - it has its limitations. Understanding these limitations is essential for gaining deeper insights into your audience and creating more effective campaigns.

Traditional demographic data, such as age, gender, ethnicity, and location, offers a broad understanding of your audience. However, it fails to capture the complexity and diversity of individuals within these categories. People's interests, behaviors, and preferences can vary widely, even within the same demographic group. Relying solely on traditional demographic data may lead to generalisations and stereotypes that hinder your ability to connect with your audience on a meaningful level.

By conducting audience analysis beyond traditional demographics, you can delve into the nuances and intricacies of your target audience. This includes understanding their shared affinities, including interests, values, online behaviors, and communication styles. Gathering data on topics they engage with, the language they use, and the platforms they frequent provides invaluable insights for crafting tailored messages that resonate with them.

Beyond this, audience demographics analysis helps you identify subgroups within your audience, allowing for more personalised marketing strategies. By segmenting your audience based on shared characteristics, affinities or behaviors, you can create targeted campaigns that address the specific needs and preferences of each group. This level of customisation increases the likelihood of capturing their attention, driving engagement, and achieving your desired outcomes.

The below example visualises the audience segments using the hashtag #MarketingTwitter or the phrase Marketing Twitter across the social network platform:


The audience of marketing twitter


The characteristics, values, interests, and attitudes can significantly vary across audience segments, and the key to truly understanding each community within your audience lies in audience intelligence.

Consider the size of the bubbles as representative of the volume of online conversation a group contributes to a given topic. In this context, 'Emerging Tech Leaders,' 'US TikTokers,' and 'Social Marketers clearly lead online dialogues under the hashtag #MarketingTwitter.

In-depth audience research eradicates conjecture from discerning the influential groups within specific sectors or discussion topics, thereby streamlining the process of effective targeted marketing by removing any guesswork or uncertainty.

So, where do you begin? 


How to find your target audience demographics, powered by audience intelligence? 

When it comes to finding your target audience demographics, relying solely on traditional demographic data can have its limitations. To truly understand and connect with your audience, a far better and representative method is to segment people according to their behavior and shared affinities. 

This is where audience intelligence comes into play, and Pulsar TRAC is the ultimate tool to empower you in this endeavour.

Pulsar TRAC leverages audience intelligence to help you identify and understand your target audience demographics in a comprehensive and actionable way. By utilising this powerful tool, you can go beyond surface-level characteristics and delve into the intricacies of your audience.


Audience segmentation

One key aspect of understanding your target audience demographics is audience segmentation. Audience segmentation involves identifying subgroups within your target audience based on shared characteristics, behaviors, or affinities. 

By segmenting your audience, you can deliver more tailored messaging and marketing strategies that resonate with specific groups, ultimately maximising the impact of your campaigns.

We’ve previously partnered with the global generosity movement, Giving Tuesday, to understand the types of language that appeals and prompts generosity. 

It’s easy to take a closer look at the audiences engaging with specific topics or hashtags online by clicking to Audiense from Pulsar TRAC, to reveal the different communities that make up your audience, who is speaking the loudest (indicated by the biggest bubbles), and how your audiences are linked (the ones connected by lines). 

The visualization below shows the clusters of groups engaged with the #GivingTuesday hashtag online, according to shared affinities, demographics or identifiers, and how different segments interconnect:

From this example, we can see that several groups, including Environmentalist Animal Lovers, Equality & Justice Activists and US Sportsfans, hold a lot of weight when it comes to discussion online surrounding the topic of Giving Tuesday. The natural affinity between being socially aware of current worldly affairs through publications and ties to activism and charitable giving is evident. While audience analysis also brings to light more surprising audience segments, such as the US Sportsfans, who might have otherwise remained untapped.

Audience segmentation plays a crucial role in understanding the diverse communities engaging with specific topics like Giving Tuesday. By utilising tools like Pulsar TRAC and Audiense, we can visualise the clusters of groups that participate in discussions surrounding Giving Tuesday, based on shared affinities, demographics, and identifiers. 

This deeper understanding allows us to recognize the significance of groups in driving conversations about generosity and social awareness. By segmenting our audience, we can tailor our messaging and outreach efforts to resonate with these influential communities, harnessing their passion and amplifying the impact of Giving Tuesday initiatives. 


What are target audience demographics? 

Target audience demographics represent specific characteristics or customer identifiers that help to create and define target markets, and make up your intended audience. Using demographic data helps brands and businesses group specific clusters of people that form target markets

For instance, in our partnership with Giving Tuesday, we used audience segmentation to understand the language that resonates with different communities and drives conversations around generosity. 

Through this approach, we can harness the power of influential groups, such as Progressive UK Animal Lovers, Healthcare Pros, and Social Justice Essayists & Readers, to amplify the impact of initiatives like Giving Tuesday. 

By understanding and leveraging target audience demographics, we can create meaningful connections and foster engagement. 


Target audience vs target market 

Target audience and target market are two essential concepts in the world of marketing, each playing a distinct role in crafting effective strategies. While they are interconnected, it's important to understand their differences and how they relate to one another. Let's dive into the distinction between target audience and target market, using the example of Giving Tuesday to illustrate their significance.

Target Audience:

Your target audience refers to the specific individuals or groups of people who are the primary focus of your marketing efforts. In the case of Giving Tuesday, it involves identifying and understanding the characteristics, behaviors, and interests of the individuals who are most likely to be engaged and motivated to participate in this global generosity movement. By analysing audience intelligence data, such as the communities and clusters of groups engaging with the #GivingTuesday hashtag, we can gain valuable insights into the target audience for this initiative.

For instance, their analysis performed using Pulsar, reveals that groups like Progressive UK Animal Lovers, Healthcare Pros, and Social Justice Essayists & Readers hold significant weight in the online discussions surrounding Giving Tuesday. These communities share common affinities, such as being socially aware, engaging with publications, and actively participating in activism and charitable giving. Understanding these specific segments within the target audience allows us to tailor our messaging and outreach efforts to resonate with their values and passions, amplifying the impact of Giving Tuesday.

Target Market:

Your target market, however, represents a broader group of potential customers with shared affinities, characteristics and needs. In the context of Giving Tuesday, the target market comprises individuals or communities inclined to support and contribute to charitable causes. This group could include individuals from diverse backgrounds, age groups, and geographic locations, all united by a shared interest in making a positive difference in the world.

By understanding the target market for Giving Tuesday, we can gain a holistic view of potential engaged participants within the online conversation and supporters of this movement. This knowledge helps us shape our overall marketing strategies and identify the most suitable channels and platforms to reach and engage with the target market. 

For example, we can tailor our messaging and campaign approach on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, where specific age groups and communities within the target market are more active and receptive.

While the target market provides a broader perspective of the overall landscape, the target audience allows us to zoom in and connect with specific segments within that market. 


How to find audience demographics the right way? Step-by-step summary guide

So, now you know all about audience demographics and why audience demographic analysis is vital for building a successful marketing strategy - how do you find your brand or business’s target audience demographics the right way? 

With the right tool, endless demographic data is at your fingertips. Pulsar TRAC unifies a range of audience insights in one place to give you a complete and comprehensive view of your online audience.


Here is our step-by-step summary guide to finding your audience demographics, powered by audience intelligence


1. Track a public topic of conversation relevant to your brand using Pulsar Platform

Understand what people are talking about across the web and on social media about your brand or business. Pick up on relevant conversations, discover pain points or things currently working well to regularly evolve and shape your services or products, better catering to the needs and wants of your target audience demographic.


2. Segment your audience into communities 

Subgroup the communities in your audience to create different buying personas to elevate your target marketing abilities. By dividing your audience into various segments, tailoring your messaging to each group for maximum engagement becomes simpler. 


3. Understand the demographic and behavioral profile of each subgroup or audience 

Backed up by reliable demographic data, get to know your audience based on identifiers to effectively tailor your marketing campaigns to secure engagement and interest from relevant groups.


4. Get to know how each community talks about the same topic differently 

Segment your audience into relevant subgroups to manage different groups and only communicate with them in a way that resonates. Tailor your language to your audience and understand their views on particular topics to position your brand or business as a figure of mutual interest. 


5. Form your target audience demographic and strengthen your brand marketing strategy 

Only appeal to the right people, delivering the right message at the right time to ensure the success of marketing campaigns. Get to know your audience and relevant demographics to tailor your content for the right groups of people so that only relevant communities are interacting with your brand or business. 


Why audience demographics analysis is essential for your marketing strategy

While traditional demographic data provides a foundation for understanding your audience, it’s essential to go beyond these surface-level characteristics. By conducting comprehensive audience demographics analysis, you can uncover valuable insights that empower you to create more effective campaigns, connect with your audience authentically, and drive meaningful results for your brand or business.

So, start uncovering the power of audience demographics and take your marketing efforts to new heights.

For even more audience insights, read our blog on how to research your target audience, and how to find and define your target audience