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In marketing, many businesses focus their marketing efforts on reaching people who mirror the demographics in which they fall. This is often a very limiting viewpoint that undermines your ability to expand.

Black consumers, according to a recent Nielsen report, command $1.3 Trillion in buying power. They also seek brands that feature Black talent in advertising. But many brands are failing Black buyers by diverting less advertising dollars to this group. Advertising spent targeting Black consumers decreased by 5 percent between 2017 and 2018. 

Similarly, many beauty brands use younger models for products and services that are most commonly used by an older population. Often, the reason for this is because sex sells. A young twenty-something with a dewy, wrinkle-free complexion is perceived as more attractive than a 50-year-old with wrinkles. 

The reality, however, is that by eliminating certain demographic or psychographic characteristics from your marketing and advertising campaigns, you limit your messages reach. 

We get it. Everyone likes to see what we can become by using certain products. But the reality is that this is a turn-off for many consumers. Buyers want to see real people in advertising. They want to feel a connection to the brands they support and envision themselves in the ads they encounter, whether online, on TV, or in print. Here’s what you can do to ensure your marketing efforts are reaching the different people your business serves.

Identify who you serve. 

Begin by taking a census of your target audiences. What types of people does your business best serve? Consider their age, ethnicity, gender and other demographics. Then drill down by further identifying the psychographic profile of this audience. What are their buying behaviors? What do they care about? What do they do for fun? What do they believe in? If you are trying to reach Black consumers, make sure you are including Black talent in your ads. If you want to reach Millenials, you’ll be spending a good portion of your social media marketing time on Instagram. But that’s not all. 

Diversify to survive.

Never put all of your marketing eggs in one basket. This means that your marketing messages should vary based on the target audiences with whom you are trying to reach. Create different content for different audiences. Vary your content marketing efforts so that your marketing isn’t too heavily skewed in one direction – unless of course, your business serves only one audience. This, however, is highly unlikely in today’s marketplace. 

Don’t make assumptions.

Seniors are often perceived as helpless. But today’s Baby Boomers would beg to differ. They are also online. So don’t write off social media if you are trying to target this audience. Millennials aren’t selfish. One survey found that 69 percent consider themselves to be socially responsible. The point is, cast away your preconceived notions and conventional mindsets about specific audiences and do your homework. Understand the people you are trying to reach and connect with them wherever they are in whatever formats they most identify. If you don’t know how to pull this data, connect with a marketing agency that can provide a demographic and psychographic profile for your business.