UsingĀ  demographics in your business can basically be ignored. It might seem a bit contrary to emphasize what not to use.

This is information about your subscribers and customers that could be used in your marketing to them and in deciding what types of products to sell to them. You will still read on blogs and websites about getting hold of this sort of information so you can focus your business on them.

But there are two mistakes here. First, trying to market to men over 50 or women under 30, for example, as your focus is not of much use. It’s patently obvious there are lots of individuals in such segments, each different from the others. Just because the men are over 50 doesn’t mean they’ll all want the same product you’re selling. It isn’t an accurate enough differentiator.

Second, all women under 30, for instance, aren’t all going to be interested in the same niche – specifically your niche. If you’re in the aerobic exercise niche, there may be plenty of women in that segment interested in it but you don’t know who they are. TheĀ  information tells you almost nothing. This is because demographics information like this is not describing a niche. Even aerobic exercise isn’t necessarily a niche.

What is a niche? Think about who you’re marketing to. It’s to those who have a problem in some way in, for example, a topic like aerobic exercise. Those people who have a specific problem or need are your market. If you want to call aerobic exercise a niche, then you’re looking for and then marketing and selling to sub-niches, where the problems are.

To follow through the example, there might be people who have weak ankles or knees, or who need advice on running shoes, or want a running schedule that fits their requirements. I’m sure you could think of more possible examples. These are your prospects and markets. They might consist of all ages, social classes, income, gender, geographical areas, and so on. Of course, some of these might break down your sub-niches further, such as those who prefer to walk or want aerobic classes, not running schedules. You’re simply breaking each market into further sub-sub-niches, each of which will cut across age, gender and so on.

Find out what problems people have and solutions they want.

Your prospects will be on forums about your niche, in Google and other groups, on related blogs, or have a blog of their own, on question and answer sites, receiving niche ezines, and on some social media sites. Use the search engines and search facilities on other sites to find your prospects.

For instance, if your niche lends itself to video, it’s obvious video sites are probably where you’ll find a lot of them, though that would not disapply other social media sites. If there’s already lots of content about your niche on a site, that’s OK because it shows there’s a strong interest, especially if there are ads related to your niche, which shows there’s money to be made.

Now, see if you can also get any psychographic information from sites used by your prospects. Psychographics is to do with their behavior as regards the type of, and format of, information they prefer, and the products they buy. Amazon is perfect for this because if you find products your prospects like, the site also shows you what others have bought in addition to those products. This can help you devise your products. Once you get going you can also do this through your customer list. As well as knowing who opens what types of email, keep a record of who buys what types of products from you, and even when and at what prices. This gives you insight into what to offer your customers.

Simply ask your list and visitors

Your list is a gold mine of information: ask them what products they want you to provide for them to help solve their niche problem or develop their knowledge. Remember your contents and products should educate your subscribers and customers too, all of which helps them to understand your niche and the role of your products in it. Ask them through emails, surveys online, or a web page with a form to send you their requests and ideas. Respond to these yourself and by developing products directly related to them. This is excellent customer service – how many of your competition will be doing this?

I hope this has clarified this area of your business for you. Forget internet marketing demographics, except where they might help in segmenting within your sub-niches to increase targeted sales.