New World Demographics – Digigraphics

Posted by: Nick Kreider
  • April 12, 2015
  • 1


It is high time we supplement, and, when necessary dare I say, replace the standard list of demographics we ask in surveys with what I call, Digigraphics. Digigraphics might sound like an Australian musical instrument, and I guess it could be… but when it comes to research, I think Digigraphics should encompass a set of questions that captures people’s digital, social, and mobile (DSM) behaviors.  We can and should use these new measures to profile and segment the market to help guide DSM marketing.

Many demographic questions are habitual “add-ons” that, in many cases, don’t add a great deal of strategic value and take up valuable survey real estate.  Yes, obviously there are fundamental reasons to know gender, age and income such as matching up to census, monitoring brand development in tracking research and buying traditional media. However, some “demo” questions just take up space that would be better occupied by a more relevant set of Digigraphic questions.

Grouping consumers on the number of friends or followers they have on Facebook or Instagram is likely more valuable than knowing their marital status. For many brands understanding someone’s digital device of choice (e.g., mobile, tablet, desktop) will be the key to better marketing strategies.  Consumers may browse for hours on their smartphone each day, but only pick up their tablet to click “purchase.”  Accordingly, evaluating the consumer journey through the lens of preferred device seems more relevant than education level or region.

Obviously Digigraphics can guide decisions about the allocation and nature of digital, mobile and social advertising. Rates of digital ad spend continues to accelerate, with DSM spending likely surpassing traditional media spend in the near future and making the digital space even more important as it becomes increasingly complex. Knowing which messages resonate across the range of platforms in the DSM marketplace will require a solid understanding of consumers’ Digigraphics. By incorporating these types of questions into all surveys researchers can better provide marketers with targeted and relevant recommendations about how and where to win over consumers

As digital continues to reshape the consumer journey and pressures for shorter surveys persist, we must connect each survey question to the business questions at hand.  Capturing “digis” will allow us to be at our best as consultants and marketers. Overlooking this information in any capacity keeps us from evaluating the true story of the consumer and the market.

Categories: Big Data, Sampling, Surveys
1 Comment
  • Aron Levin
    May 19, 2016
    I am a marketing professor and market research consultant. Your blog post was probably the Best thing I read on the Internet all year. :-) I was wondering if you have published any work on this? Your blog last year really opened my eyes to The importance of measuring digigraphics, especially with millennials. I'm planning on publishing a couple of papers I did using segmentation that includes digigraphics. I would love to cite one of your papers. Thank you again for the great ideas, and let me know if I can help you out in anyway. My specialty is multivariate data analysis.

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