Wednesday, August 17

How to Build a Demographic Map

Demographic maps use global information system mapping to highlight data in a geographic area. This data includes population characteristics, outlining the data needs of specific companies. These views change over time, including the geographic regions or areas expanding or decreasing (depending on the data revealed).

Most often, demographic maps will detail one specific population characteristic at a time, using a color-coding system to indicate the density, percentage, or frequency within that region. These color schemes allow quick details analysis (with darker colors often showing increases and lighter colors indicating lower values).

Color coding can also show comparison over time. For example, a map may show blue areas as an indicator where numbers have gotten worse and red areas as an indicator where numbers have improved. Additional pieces of data (like distribution centers, physical locations, or community programs) can overlay the demographic map for a more straightforward interpretation.

Maps can be static or interactive, depending on the business’s needs. Software programs like Maptive are often required to create interactive maps. These programs can create a demographic map with real-time information, giving greater insight into the data interpretation.

When is Demographic Mapping Used?

Typically, demographic mapping is useful when a substantial regional influence is found. Data must connect to regional influence, especially if trying to target a program or product to a specific audience. This might include analytical reports, evaluation results, or product inception within an area. Choose demographic census data as the fill type on your map and choose the data group to refine the data.

Creating a Demographic Map

Demographic map tools often use boundary tools to provide comprehensive information about the people living within an identified territory. When creating a demographic map, users will need to choose the geographic boundaries. This might include cities, states, zip codes, or a specific county. 

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What does Information Show in Demographic Mapping?

Any information connected with specific geographical areas can be used with demographic mapping. Data highlighting any social issues like poverty issues or agro-climatic factors can highlight insight within mapping software. This includes socioeconomic status, customer demographics, or other datasets that directly influence a project’s projections.

Any information obtained from the data can help with targeting segments of the population. Companies can evaluate where their target audience is within a specific area and reach them directly through marketing. Demographic data can also help companies effectively target customers, developing marketing campaigns that actually speak to audiences (for example, marketing a product differently in two different demographic areas).

Additionally, these maps offer insight into the current customer base the company already has. This helps a business identify hidden audiences that may have already been overlooked, whether that’s a specific age group previously unidentified or an income bracket your company never intended to appeal to.

Finally, analyzing the service demographic provides insight into new areas, complete with ideal demographics and statistics about a target location. These statistics help businesses approach new services and products within the area from an informed perspective. For example, a company selling high-end watches may consider offering a cheaper alternative in specific regions that are lower income.

What Data Should be Used?

When creating demographic maps, it’s essential to always use proportions, as raw counts can be disproportionate and misleading. Focus attention on regional dimensions, as they influence programs or company attention. Variables displayed on the map should target the outcomes or effectiveness of these features.

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For those company’s wanting to draw comparisons, evaluate whether the areas form comparable data. If there are substantial sections of inequality in the data, the map will become less valuable.

Available Types of Demographic Data for Demographic Maps

The information provided will depend on specific software uploads. This might include race, age, housing, education, population data, transportation, gender, or labor. The U.S. census bureau provides all data for most mapping software.

Additional Information is Always an Advantage

One of the most significant advantages a business can hold over the competition is detailed demographics. These statistics can offer valuable insight into the products a business makes, the approach to marketing, and the overall growth of the company. Individually, demographics may not develop a comprehensive approach to the business; however, combined with consumer data, geographical insights, and other materials, it can position a brand above the competition.

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