Demographics: What Are They And Why Do They Matter?

You may notice that in every study we conduct, there are questions pertaining to age, gender, ethnicity, household income, education level, household dwelling type, etc. that seem to have nothing to do with the rest of the study. These seemingly irrelevant questions are called demographics and actually have a very important role in understanding the target audience.

Demographics capture a snapshot of the socioeconomic background of the sample. In other words, demographics tell the story of the respondent. These snapshots provide critical information about the types of people surveyed, and can be used in a variety of applications. For example, say an electric utility company conducted a survey and concluded that 46% of respondents were over the age of 65, female, have a household income of $50,000 or more, and owned their homes. The utility company can use this demographic data coupled with the responses captured in the survey questions to tailor their marketing efforts, programs and/or service offerings to that specific customer segment. This is just a basic example and market researchers have gotten very creative in the way they use demographics to explain data on a deeper level.