The YouGov App: An Experiment With Target Marketing

4th December 2014

target marketing, YouGov app, profiles, Innermedia

YouGov have recently created a free APP which provides the demographic profiles of 190,000 YouGov members.  This tool will help businesses get to know about their target audiences, and design specific media campaigns accordingly.  Though it doesn’t show the average member, it demonstrates peculiarities of target age groups within each profession.

We’ve compared the profiles of a select group of Innermedia members to see if they shared similar traits.  Read on for the results.

Advertising/ Marketer

Valeria is our Advertising/ marketing member.  Like the profile, she prefers cats, and is within the age range.  The sex wasn’t a match; advertising and marketing types were mostly male.  When asked about the personality profile, she responded, “Ok, maybe I’m arrogant and demanding”.

Valeria’s a customer of many of the same brands, such as LinkedIn, Pret A Manger, Waitrose, NatWest, Apple Mac, Spotify  and Zara. She too, is imminently fond of Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Valeria denies the following data; that she enjoys sushi, oysters or steak, basketball, sailing or The Financial Times. She wouldn’t describe herself as a leader, and she disliked just about every film on the list.


The YouGov designers tend to be female, which Spencer isn’t.  He’s also older than the typical age range and has never gone sailing or enjoyed playing rugby.  Swimming, winter sports and skiing fit the profile, as does squash and boxing.  (Spencer’s currently competing in fights and the occasional Tough Mudder competition).

Like the Design profile, Spencer is well dressed.  He doesn’t shop at AllSaints or the White Company but he frequents River Island, much like other designers.  While he’s not hyperactive, he does daydream a lot, and agrees to being imaginative, talented and inventive.


The writing profile meets plenty of traits that I have.  I’m female and left wing, work in media and reside in London.  Writers apparently also enjoy swimming and drawing, which fits.  We like to dine on Pierogis, hummus and vegetable lasagne – this is all true.  I can easily agree to being imaginative, clever, and alternative, as well as a daydreamer.

Writers often surround themselves with a diverse range of cultures and ideas.  It may be why I enjoy They Might Be Giants, Arlo Guthrie, Russell Brand and Jon Snow; all while watching less than one hour per week of television.

The brands are less accurate. I’m not a customer of the same bank, grocery or clothing store options.  Still, it’s not a bad match.

YouGov and Innermedia

We know that everyone’s unique.  YouGov affirms that they have no intention of trying to define the typical category of anything.   During the course of this experiment, not every team member enjoyed random questions like, “Where is your bank?” and “How old are you?” Frankly, “Do you consider yourself argumentative?” is never a great conversation starter.

Overall, it was a fun assignment that led me to the following conclusions.  The YouGov app is a useful tool for finding demographics and deciding on marketing personas.  Keeping this in mind, people are not personas. Designing campaigns that are overly specific or two-dimensional will inevitably alienate customers.   The most successful campaigns find a balance between knowing their target market and telling consumers who they are or what they need to be.




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