Demographics vs. Psychographics: Discovering Your Target Markets

The five most important words in an advertising campaign are:

Who are your target markets?

If you want to sell tickets to your Broadway show, you need to know who you are trying to reach, or your “target markets.” These groups make up the key audience that will buy tickets and, hopefully, become loyal brand advocates.

As theatre attracts a wide range of both tried-and-true and niche markets, you will likely have more than one initial group you are targeting: just keep it to 2-3 markets to make the most impact.

Like your brand, your target markets are ever-evolving and will change and shift as time goes on and as you gather more data. However, in the beginning stages of a campaign, it is essential to focus in on your initial target markets to begin generating awareness and early ticket sales.

How do you figure out who your target markets are?

Here’s a freebie: typical theatregoers are your low-hanging fruit.

These are the die-hard theatre lovers that see anything and everything. You will reach them through the typical outlets like theatrical email blasts, digital ads on theatre websites, etc. This group should always be one of your target markets as they are, well…easy targets.

Finding markets specific to your show is a little trickier. Narrow your options down by asking these three questions:

1. What makes your show unique?

If your show is an immersive experience, you may want to go after adventurous theatregoers. If it is a rock musical, you’ll likely try music lovers.

2. Do you have a key selling point?

If you have a famous lead, don’t ignore their current following. If you were born out of a fandom, reach out to those superfans.

3. Who does your subject matter speak to?

If your show focuses on gender equality, find your women. If it tells the story of Winston Churchill, find your history buffs.

Understanding your target markets’ buying behavior:

The key to finding your specific target markets is to break down the data into demographics and psychographics.

Demographics tell you things like age, gender, location, etc. You can easily find this data via digital reporting and analytics.

But knowing someone’s basic stats aren’t enough. Not all men like football. Not all millennials are addicted to Twitter. Not all women in New York City buy theatre tickets.

You need psychographics.

Psychographics tell you about someone’s behavior and preferences. It takes into account values, personality, and lifestyle.

By blending an understanding of demographics and psychographics, your targets begin to get laser specific. And when it comes to target markets, you have to be specific.

For example, knowing one of your target markets is millennials will tell you that they are between the ages of 17-37 and that they likely have an understanding of digital media. But knowing they are millennials who watch Comedy Central will direct you to specific websites like, or unique partnerships with local improv comedy schools.

Psychographics allow you to take a larger market and segment it into smaller, more accessible targeted groups.

This builds a much more dynamic and clear representation of your ticket buyer, making it much easier to reach them, engage them, and direct them through the sales funnel.

After all, it’s one thing to hit the target: it’s another to get a bullseye.

And in advertising, it’s the bullseye that counts.