Influence of Demographic Factors in the Global Marketing Environment

Demographics as a Guide to Global Marketing Strategy:

In any international marketing environment domestic or international, demographic factor plays an important role in determining target market and it also helps address consumer needs. Consumer behavior in demographics refer to statistical information about the characteristics of a population.

Marketers typically combine several variables to create a demographic profile of a target market. A demographic profile which is a term used in marketing and broadcasting to describe a demographic grouping or a market segment. Common demographic features which can be considered for global and domestic marketing purposes include the following:

Age: Age groups, such as 18–24, 25–34, etc., are great predictors of penchant in some types of products. For example, few teenagers wish to purchase face whitening cream.

Social class: Social-class groups such as wealthy, middle, and lower classes. The rich, for instance, may want different products than middle and lower classes, and may be willing to pay more.

Gender: Males and females have different physical attributes that require different hygiene and clothing products. They also tend to have distinctive male/female mindsets and roles in the family and household decision making.

Religious affiliations: Religion is linked to individual values as well as holiday celebrations, often tied to consumer preferences and spending patterns.

Disposable Income: Indicating level of wealth and quality of life.

Education: Level of education is often tied to consumer preferences, as well as income.

Geography: Area of residence, urban vs. rural, and population density can all be important inputs into marketing strategy and decisions about where and how to target advertising and other elements of the promotion mix.

Demographic analysis may include a variety of other characteristics used to separate a country’s population into groups that fit a company’s target customer profile. A demographic profile also provides enough information about the typical member of this group to create a mental picture of this hypothetical aggregate. For example, a marketer might speak of the single, female, middle-class, aged 18–24, college-educated demographic.

Demographics typically have two objectives in mind: first, to break the market by subgroups which exist in the overall population; and second, to create a clear and complete picture of the characteristics displayed by typical members of each segment. Once these profiles are constructed, marketers can use them to develop the targeting strategy and accompanying marketing strategy and marketing plan.

With the help of demographic profiles about target segments at hand, marketers evaluate the marketing mix. They make choices about whether to change, decrease, or increase the goods or services offered. Based on demographic data, marketers may adjust product features, distribution strategy, or other factors in order to reach a market segment that has the most potential.

A demographic profile can be very useful in determining the promotional mix and how to achieve maximum results. Advertising is usually part of the promotional mix, especially when businesses are still in the early stages of entering a global market and launching products that are new to that market. Advertisers want to get the most results for their money, and so in global markets as in domestic markets, careful research is conducted to match the demographic profile of the target market to the demographic profile of the advertising mode.

Cons About Demographic Factor in Global Markets:

Demographic factor is essentially a method in making generalizations about groups of people. With all such generalizations, many individuals within these groups will not conform to the large group. Demographic information is aggregate and offers probability about groups and not specific individuals. Critics of demographic mapping argue that such broad generalizations can only offer limited insight.

Conclusion: Marketers must also be careful to avoid interpreting demographic information using the mindset of their own “home” cultures that is stay away from the bias. For example, the generalizations that apply to children (9–12-year-olds) in the U.S. may not apply at all to children in this same age range in other geographies. Similarly, assumptions about how social class affects consumer preferences may be very different in a socially mobile society versus one with very rigidness between groups from different social classes. Marketing research should be done to understand a complete picture of demographic characteristics that tend to influence consumer behavior in a given market, rather than simply applying stereotypes.

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