You Can Learn from Nike’s Demographic and Psychographic Marketing

 In Blog Post, Hank Yuloff, Marketing Ideas

Last year, Nike, the world’s top athletic apparel brand spent $3.58 Billion on advertising.  That is $113.52 a second. Much of their success can be attributed to a 30-year old 3 word slogan “Just Do It.”  That and sponsorship agreements with professional athletes in every league that keeps their name on the front of every sports page, magazine and broadcast. Picture Tiger Woods and his red shirt on Sunday and Michael Jordan’s Air Nike shoes.  Those campaigns and investment in marketing had helped the company to become the most well-known sports brand in the United States.

Is $3.58 Billion a lot? Their same year revenue was $36.4 Billion. Roughly 10% of sales which is pretty normal for an established brand.

But Nike knows that it is not just men that are buying all their products and here is how they reached out to the women.

They used the Demographics of who they wanted to target and they used PSYCHOGRAPHICS to let their potential customers know that NIKE knows how they want to feel when they compete. Even if they are only competing with themselves to get better at their chosen sport and activities.

I love the Oscars because I love movies.  I loved reviewing them and loved watching them. And I will admit, I love watching and handicapping the Oscar winners. What I did not expect to be interested in this year was one of the advertisements.  An incredibly inspiring ad by Nike called “Dream Crazier” captured my immediate and total attention.

It was narrated by tennis legend Serena Williams, who was also a presenter on the show. The ad focuses on the double standards facing girls and women who participate in sports. The video shows many unknown and famous female athletes and coaches participating in their sport.  The ad ends with Williams saying “They want to call you crazy? Fine. Show them what crazy can do.”

DEMOGRAPHIC MARKETING is the way to TARGET your marketing.

PSYCHOGRAPHIC MARKETING is the way to deliver your message so they know that you, the advertiser, knows what they, the customer needs from your product.

The Super Bowl has an audience of 100+ Million people.

The Oscars have an audience of 25-50 Million people in the USA (depending on year).

So why The Oscars?
The Super Bowl is 46% female.

The Oscars is almost 60% female.  Even in a down year, women are the largest demographic across all age ranges.

We should always put our ads where they are going to be seen by our target audience and clearly Nike wanted to use demographic marketing to talk about their brand to women.  They wanted to encourage them to participate in sports and in life.  And they want to encourage them to do it while wearing Nike athletic gear.

Is Lisa Leslie, first woman in the WNBA to dunk a basketball during a game, someone you look up to?  There she was in the Nike ad.

Do you think that Becky Hammon, first female coach in the NBA is someone you want to emulate?  She was there, too.

Is swimming your sport?  You see Simone Manuel who won a gold medal as a college sophomore.

Do you know what a double cork 1080 is?  You don’t HAVE to in order to be inspired by watching Chloe Kim be the first woman to land one. What you see is that Nike is backing her.

From teens to forties. Many demographic categories. Nike knows who is interested in buying their products and is reaching out to them.

If Nike, with it’s budget of $3.58 billion and climbing every year, can remember to target a segment of its demographic marketing audience with a specific message in a specific place, we can all learn from that.

Amazingly, when business owners attend our  The Small Business Breakthrough Bootcamp, one of the most important things we teach them and get them to grasp, is that not everyone is their customer.  The entrepreneurs who accept our demographic marketing teachings excel after the class.

Yes, the ubiquitous ‘Everybody’ can be Nike’s customer. But Nike knows who their specific target markets are, and they create specific messages for them. And then they put those messages in the right places.

How does NIKE stand apart? They use the PSYCHOGRAPHIC MARKETING part of their messaging.

In a nutshell, here is what you need to keep in mind when reaching out to your clients:

  • What are their goals and ambitions?
  • What are their wants, needs and motivations?
  • What are their hopes, dreams, and aspirations for a better life?
  • What are their fears, doubts, and worries that keep them up at night?
  • What are their problems to be solved and how does your service solve them?

Nike knows that people will write them a check (or pull out their credit card) when they take away someone’s pain. Now, there are other sports shoes that work just as well, but Nike has built an image of “All the best athletes are using Nike. If you want to be the best, you should, too.”

Let’s take this one step further. I have bought Nike shoes. I have bought their high tops for softball and for hiking to keep my ankles stable. Did they make me a better ballplayer? Doubt it. Did they make me run faster and jump higher? (an advertising tip of the cap there to PF Flyers) No. But when I bought them, I DO remember having the dream that I was wearing the same shoes as some of the baseball players I admired. That is how psychographic marketing works for you and your business.

Do you want help putting the Nike Touch on YOUR demographic marketing and your psychographic marketing? You don’t have to invest anywhere near the $113 a second.  You just have to let us think for you, work for you, create for you and figure it all out.  Begin the conversation by going to .  Take the short, easy assessment and you will get to choose your own 30-minute time spot for our chat. Remember, it’s only crazy until you do it.


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