Targeting Your on-Line Display Campaign Demographically

What is demographic targeting?

Demographic targeting in the realm of on-line banner advertising is targeting your banners to a segmentation of the population based on their characteristics or traits.  There are various characteristics which could make up a demographic, such as:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Income
  • Education
  • Household Size
  • Social Grade
  • Children (whether a person has children)

    Demographic Segment Example
    Demographic Segment Example

Who should I be targeting?

It’s important in the first instance to think about who you are trying to target – is it the person who will buy the product/service, the person who will use the product/service or the person who influences the buying in the household.  Take ‘nurseries’ as an example; there is little to no point in targeting your nursery banners to infants, you should be targeting parents.  If, however, you are selling toys you should target the children because they influence the buyer (mum and dad).


How do I identify my target audience?

Identifying your target audience should really not be as tricky as some people and companies make out; you know your individual business and what your goals are and you should be able to identify your target audience.  If you’re not sure, start with a very broad audience and remove characteristics and see what you’re left with – like a demographic Guess Who!

For each of the characteristics above, ask yourself these questions…

  • Who uses your product/service?
  • Who buys your product service?
  • Who influences the purchase of your product/service?
  • Who can justify the cost of your product/service?

You should be left with a clear idea of who to include in your segment, now you need to target this segment.
The best fit

 Remember that with a banner campaign you are not able to target people who are directly searching for your product or service; instead you have the unique opportunity to be able to reach a wide audience of people who are likely to want your product or service.  The more refined your demographic targeting, the more your audience is likely to engage with your advertising.  The wider your demographic targeting the more people you are likely to reach.  It is up to you to find the right balance for your goals and your budget.