What it means

A demographic profile defines statistical characteristics of a population such as age, sex, income level, race and ethnicity, employment, location, level of education, and marital status. Demographics differ from psychographics which focus on attitudinal and behavioral characteristics. Psychographics can cross statistical segments.

How it’s used

Many museums are looking to understand their audience’s demographics to make sure their offerings better reflect the interests of the communities they serve and those they have not yet reached or been able to support. Demographics are also useful in selecting advertising, PR content, and media tactics as well as partnerships. Demographics are one way to understand who a museum’s audiences are or should be. They are a useful reference when planning an audience development and communications strategy.

It is important when making sure a museum’s communications are relevant for the intended audience. Is your marketing reaching who you want it to?

Why it matters

It’s helpful to understand both your current demographic reach, and your organization’s future audience as this has implications for program planning, fundraising, marketing, communications, and audience engagement. Marketing cannot reach everyone so priority-setting is key.


See also Audience Development, Audience Segmentation, and Community


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