Using ZIP Code and Demographic Analysis to Your Benefit

By Jane Hungarter, Director of Marketing

When it comes to finding the correct audience for your campaign, there are techniques that media placement firms employ. It is important to note that in any type of targeted marketing, the advertiser must understand who its audience is. Knowing detailed information about your consumer is helpful in reaching those with whom you are trying to engage.

An advertising campaign is targeted to a specific audience based on its demographic profile. Many companies have learned from trial and error that their products appeal to a clearly defined age group, gender or ethnic group. Whether your product’s demographic appeal is intentional or accidental, gathering detailed information about who is buying your products will help you attract similar customers in the future.

Consider the following two data-gathering techniques.


ZIP Code Analysis

ZIP codes, which define over 41,000 micromarkets in the U.S., provide many data points.

One of the most successful uses of this method in targeting an audience for an ad campaign is to understand the demographic profile of those who live in a particular area. For example, wealthier ZIP codes are excellent targets for particular brands of cars, jewelry, travel and other luxury products as well as insurance, financial planning and related services. You can also target the promotion of products ideal for specific ages. For example, if you are looking for younger audiences, the demographics of an area can pinpoint that. (Note that geographically larger ZIP codes tend to indicate more rural areas.)

ZIP code segmentation tends to be one of the most popular ways researchers review and understand data because the codes are standardized and used throughout the country. Location-based demographic information is beneficial for marketing products because presentation, local trends, consumer tastes, and buying habits can be specific to different parts of the country. It’s not unusual for a brand to run various campaigns based on the differences in rural and urban areas.

At MANSI Media, we use a proprietary ZIP code analysis service. We can provide consumer demographic information, purchase intention data and media consumption habits to ensure that your advertising message reaches the right audience. We will tell you who lives where and what they read, in print and digital.

One brilliant way advertisers employ ZIP code data successfully is to look at neighborhoods with specific ethnicities. For example, if an area has a predominately Hispanic population, targeting those neighborhoods with advertising will only be successful if the text is in Spanish and if the models in the ads look like the consumer population.

Strategic advertisers create profiles and find the appropriate and successful ways to relate to most people living in the neighborhood they would like to target. The availability of this type of ZIP code level information has been instrumental in changing marketing over the years from reactionary to strategic.


Demographic Analysis

Demographic analysis usually looks at various data points, including factors such as income, average age, education, employment, race, and geographic location. Demographic data is essential because it allows advertisers to find and understand their audiences and develop a better sense of who they are marketing to.

Let’s look at several of the most popular types of demographic data utilized for advertising and market analysis.

  • Gender: The most obvious use of this data is for advertising gender-specific products such as hair care, clothing, health and beauty. This data is also frequently used to better understand the head of household, whom many advertisers regard as the critical decision-maker and, thus, the person responsible for making a family’s buying choices.
  • Financial information: This is often one of the most critical factors used in market segmentation. Factors such as home values and household income are almost always of interest to advertisers.
  • Lifestyle factors: Data points frequently look at age, marital status, children (and their ages), pets, and consumer habits.

Demographics are very useful when crafting the creative and selecting the advertising platform. For example, the message, the imagery, the music, and the latest buzzwords used to sell laptops to college students would likely be entirely unsuccessful and possibly even inappropriate in ads for the same laptop computer that targets retirees. And when it comes to platforms, you will have better success reaching college-aged consumers on websites and social media. At the same time, newspapers can be a fantastic and fruitful platform to reach retirees. Working with media placement firms can help remove the guesswork, matching the best placement opportunities to the audiences you seek.

At MANSI Media, we are skilled at conducting the necessary research to maximize advertisers’ reach and to ensure that the perfect audience sees their ads. Let us help you find those consumers.