Winning at hide and seek with your audience

Diverse crowd of people of different ages and races

Planning a campaign? How well do you really know your target audience?

One of the most important things we help our clients with on campaigns is understanding who their audiences are and where they can find them to connect and engage.  

With new trends and channels popping up all the time, it can be challenging to keep track of where your audience hangs out. But investing time in research to understand their preferences and behaviours is key when making data-led decisions to inform a marketing strategy which delivers results.

There are lots of different ways to identify and understand your audience. For example, it might be based around geography, profession, a community of interest – it really depends on your objectives.

One of the most valuable methods can be to look at age.   

With that in mind, let’s look at some of the latest demographic insights to help you win this game of hide and seek with your audience!

I’ve picked up the latest trends around three key age groups:

  • Gen Z (aged circa 14 – 28)
  • Millennials (aged circa 29 – 43)
  • Gen X (aged circa 44 – 59)
  • Baby boomers (aged circa 60 – 78)

Gen Z are over Google

Looking to get discovered by Gen Z? Consider focusing your strategy around social. According to Global Web Index (GWI), the number of Gen Z using social platforms for product research has surged by 35% since 2015. Instead of relying on traditional search engines, they’re turning to blogs, vlogs, pinboards, and video sites. To capture their attention, consider partnering with relevant influencers, investing in paid social advertising, or ramping up your organic content strategy on platforms like TikTok and Instagram.

Millennials lead the way for podcasts

You don’t have to spend hours in the recording studio to benefit from the power of the podcasts, especially when it comes to millennials. Compared to other generations, this group spends over an hour each day listening to podcasts – that’s twice as long as baby boomers and 25% more than Gen X. With 11% of millennials discovering new brands and products through podcast ads, you can reach them when they’re in a state of active listening. Do some research into podcasts that relate to your brand, don’t be afraid to get niche, and consider placing ads with them to generate high quality engagement.

Gen X want to feel seen

As a generation that can sometimes get lost between baby boomers and millennials, Gen X can often feel ignored by brands and organisations. This creates a great opportunity to grab their attention by featuring people from the Gen X generation within your campaign creatives. A recent survey by Wavemaker highlighted influencer marketing as a trend that makes this audience tick, with campaigns featuring Gen X creators resonating 73% more with Gen X audiences and driving a 43% increase in website visits. If influencer marketing isn’t in your marketing mix, you could take inspiration and use testimonials and photography of your Gen X members or customers when connecting with a Gen X audience to capture their attention and help them identify with your campaign.

Baby boomers are the new gamers

Think gaming is just for kids? Think again. Baby boomers are the new gamers in town, with a 22% increase in daily gaming activity over the past two years. They’re by no means the most avid gamers (that title goes to Gen Z), but this is a trend not to be ignored. To reach this older demographic, consider placing ads on puzzle-based or action-adventure games. You might be surprised by the level of engagement you can achieve.

So, as we can see, demographic segmentation is a great starting point to understand your audience. But to take things to the next level and really get to know them, try to go beyond age brackets; delve into their values, beliefs, interests, and behaviours to create a real connection. For instance, if you’re targeting health-conscious millennials, you might look specifically at health and fitness podcasts whilst also partnering with local health centres and gyms to meet them where they are.

Spending time building a clear picture of your audience can have a real payoff for your strategy. Staying informed about evolving trends and channels and combining demographic and more in-depth data can allow you to create a campaign which really resonates and delivers meaningful results.