How can we use demographic data in our online marketing?

Last week we wrote about how to gather demographic data on your car buyers and your website visitors. Now let’s take a look at how that data can be used to help you improve your digital marketing and your customer targeting.

There are a huge number of ways that demographics can help you – so we’ve broken it down my digital marketing area. If you’ve got any questions or suggestions, why not drop us a line on the form below?

Let’s start with using demographic data on your Social Media Advertising

Facebook and Twitter have gained popularity with car dealers over the past few years – with most dealerships having at least a vague concept of how they want to represent their dealership on the key social networks.

To add to the complexity, we also can now run some complex and sophisticated social media advertising campaigns on these networks – and they don’t even have to be related to a page or account (although, undoubtedly they perform better when they are!).

Facebook in particular lets you dig deep into the demographics of your target audience. Once you have established who is most likely to buy your cars, you can begin to not only aim your adverts at the right geographical area, but the right age ranges, genders, interests, job roles and more.

A recent success story for this kind of targeting is the Peugeot Just Add Fuel campaign. Designed to appeal to young and new drivers, this could be targeted both at the direct audience, and with a slightly different slant, at mums and dads of youths the right age. The result was lots of 18-20 year olds tagging each other, and loads of parents clicking through to the website to find out more.

Facebook lets you advertise on Instagram too through its ad portal – which means you can take that demographic data with you.

Unfortunately Twitter isn’t quite as sophisticated – it’s mainly about who your audience follow and what they talk about. Which can still be useful, but doesn’t give us as much room to play with our newly identified demographics data. Still, can you find out what your customers are interested in and combine that targeting with location? It seems worth a bit of research…

How about using demographics to influence your website content?

This is where your knowledge of your audience or potential audience can really be put to good use.

You might want to start by looking in more depth at your Google Analytics stats. We started by creating some segments (we’ll be doing some quick Google Analytics FAQ videos shortly, so keep an eye out!) for specific demographics – men aged 35-44, for instance. We can then look at the website stats and traffic for a specific demographic.

It was interesting to see, for example, that on one Volkswagen client’s website the most visited page for men and women 35-44 differ quite dramatically. Men looked at many more servicing pages, including specific content pages, whilst women seemed to be largely looking at used car pages. The most popular used car was also different – women preferred the Golf, whilst men were looking more frequently at the Polo.

What can you do with data like this?

One day down the line I don’t doubt that we’ll be changing what we present on the front end of the website based subtly on demographics and user behavior. For now, however, it’s mainly about researching your website choices with the right groups. If you are developing an aftersales strategy, for instance, why not consult a group of people about it and find out if a) the demographic you are seeing is because women don’t feel as welcome on that section of the website. Talk to polo and golf buyers to identify if there is a real swing.

You can then beginbuilding website content and strategy around al this knowledge you’ve gathered. Ideally you can start to create pages targeting different users, and working out ways to improve how inviting sections are for demographics that were previously avoiding them. Suddenly, your website should become more relevant, and as a result your enquiries and conversions should start rising.

Using demographics with your email marketing.

When it comes to email marketing and other communication methods, it’s all about segmenting your audience data, rather than just sending blanket communications to all of your contacts at once.

Hopefully by this point you have at least some demographic or informative data with your list of existing car buyers, servicing customers, or prospects. Whether that’s their gender or their car buying habits, you should be able to work out different audiences that will respond better to different campaigns.

You can even set up your emails to only display certain content to a certain segment of your audience automatically. For instance, you may have a generic sales communication with an offer on both the Polo and the Golf. Knowing what we do about their habits online, you may want to see if engagement and interaction with the email improves when the relevant gender see the car they seem to be more interested in.

Remember that withemail marketing it’s all about A/B testing – send two versions of the email and assess what difference your demographic based tweaking does. Whilst you can and should make educated guesses on what will work, this has to then be supported by real research and analysis!

Those are three key marketing areas to be getting on with. Look out for the third and final installment in this series on demographics for the motor trade, where we’ll look at some research into demographics use and some of the last digital marketing areas you can use your data on. We’ll look forward to seeing you there!

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