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Demographic criteria - consumer segmentation

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Demographic segmentation is the division of your market into groups based on 'demographics', for example: age, gender, income, occupation, religion, race, etc.

Demographic segmentation almost always plays a role in a segmentation strategy.

Some brands are targeted only to women, others only to men. Music downloads tend to be targeted to the young, while hearing aids are targeted to the elderly.

Here are 12 options to consider:

  1. Age groups (for example the Grey market)
  2. Gender/sexual orientation
  3. Family size
  4. Family lifecycle
  5. Generation (e.g. baby-boomers, generation X, etc)
  6. Income (see Credit Crunch consumer segments)
  7. Occupation
  8. Education
  9. Ethnicity
  10. Nationality
  11. Religion
  12. Social Class


Some acronym group names.

(Note that the Equal Status Acts, 2000 to 2004 prohibit discrimination on the following nine grounds: Gender, Marital status, Family status, Sexual orientation, Religion, Age, Disability, Race, Membership of the travelling community)

Priori segmentation


Here the market is split according to pre-existing demographic criteria.

A priori segmentation is:

  1. Easy to define and easy to target with advertising and media.

    For some sectors, where new technology is driving growth, there are such strong relationships between age and use. Here a priori segments may be the most effective strategy.

    However in other markets, for example the drinks market, it is more difficult to use pre-existing variables for segmentation.

  2. It is also often the simplest segmentation strategy to apply and use.

    A database can be flagged or sorted on the pre-existing data and that data used to drive sales and marketing campaigns.

    However, although better than pure mass marketing, even the most sophisticated priori systems are quite crude.