There’s a better tool than demographics

We’re used to the idea of demographics in animation. This show is for boys 7-10. This other show is for girls 11 – 13. As creators I think we all know that demographics are a little silly, and really not that helpful. We don’t know that much about the kind of boys that are 7-10. It makes us make assumptions about them and what they’ll like. We’ve also seen it cause problems when the wong demo likes a show. Artists and creators don’t want to dictate a kind of person will like their show.

Enter psychographics

“Psychographics is a qualitative methodology used to describe consumers on psychological attributes. Psychographics have been applied to the study of personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles.”

Wikipedia

Psychographics are about grouping people by what they believe. They might help you find your kind of audience. Only in school do we sort our selves into neat demographics. A good example of this is Netflix’s reboot of She-ra. This show has gotten a lot of attention because it’s not for a lot of people. This show is for a specific group of people. Not a demographic of girls 11 – 14. It’s for a group of people who like a certain kind of thing, who talk to each other online, who share an identity. For the people who this show was made, they will love it.

That means for the rest of us. Will we do the work of finding the people that we’re trying to reach. Can we point to them. The days of broadcasting, of releasing something and hoping it reaches the right people are over. It doesn’t work to make mass market appealing things. It works to make specific things for a specific group. Find who that specific group is for you.