Demographics are simply characteristics about a population of people. They are used in market research and by governments. For example, television ratings are measured in total people watching and the demographics of those watching. The number of males and females watching, as well as their ages, are the two most looked at demographics for television ratings.
Why are They Important For Television?
Demographics tell potential advertisers exactly who watches certain shows. For example, 75% of people who watch Judge Judy are female. Therefore, advertisers who are trying to sell products to women are more likely to buy advertising slots during the show. Sports are primarily watched by men, so products targeted to men are advertised during sports programs.
Why are They Important to Governments and Political Parties?
Simple! Governments and parties can survey groups of people to determine which groups of people will vote for them (or look at the approval ratings). They can then look at the weak demographics (it could be people aged 21-30) and work out ways to get more votes from this particular group of people.
Why are They Important in Market Research?
Companies can work out exactly who buys their products. They can then target some advertising campaigns to those who are not buying their products to boost sales. Film distributors also look at demographics to predict how well a movie will do (or has done) at the box office.
What are Some of the Shortfalls?
Demographics make generalizations about groups of people. Just because the majority of young voters voted for Barack Obama at the last elections doesn’t mean that all young voters did. Also, information in usually culturally based. For instance, a television show popular with younger viewers in America might appeal to older viewers in another country. This is near impossible to predict.
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