Using Psychographics in Marketing – Overview and Complete Guide

by Max
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Using Psychographics in Marketing - Overview and Complete Guide

Have you ever wondered how some marketers seem to know exactly what you want, often before you know yourself? That, at times, a company’s ad campaign or product seemed to speak to us personally. And as a business owner, you may wonder how you can get this kind of insight into your customers’ minds. The answer is using psychographics in marketing.

While there can be a lot of trial and error in creating a message that speaks to a target audience, psychographics can help. Utilizing psychographics in marketing allows you to target specific consumers who will be most receptive to your message. In doing this, you will have a successful marketing tactic to help grow your brand and increase your revenue.

Let’s look at how you can use psychographics in marketing and get to know your consumers on a deeper level.

What Are Psychographics?

When it comes to marketing, businesses are always looking for ways to target their audience better. You can create a psychographic profile by looking at your ideal customer’s likes, needs, and motivations. After all, the more accurate your target market is, the more likely you will make a sale.

So, what exactly are psychographics? Put simply, psychographics are the study of various psychological traits, such as:

  • Personality
  • Values
  • Opinions

In other words, it’s about understanding what motivates people and what is important to them. This can be extremely valuable for businesses because it helps to craft messages and campaigns more likely to resonate with their target market.

As a result, using psychographics for marketing purposes has become an increasingly important tool for businesses of all sizes.

While the first noted use of psychographics was in the 1970s, one of the most commonly used models today is the Young and Rubicam cross-cultural consumer categorization (the 4cs). In this study, consumers were divided into 7 different groups based on their psychological traits.

While you may not want to follow this exact model, it’s a good starting point for understanding how psychographics can be used in marketing. In turn, this allows you to streamline your marketing strategy and effectively implement audience segmentation.

Why You Should Implement Audience Segmentation

As a business, it’s essential to understand that not all consumers are alike. And, with such a wide range of people out there, it’s impossible to target everyone with your marketing message. This is where audience segmentation comes in.

By dividing your target market into smaller groups, you can create messages that are more relevant to each group. As a result, your marketing campaign can be more successful, and you’ll be more likely to make a sale.

For example, imagine you own a luxury car dealership. You would segment your audience based on income, monetary values, and lifestyle choices. So, you might target high-income earners over 35 who are longing for the finer things in life.

By doing this, you can create a marketing message tailored to this specific audience – rather than trying to appeal to everyone.

There are several different ways that you can segment your audience. One of the most common methods is to segment by demographics and psychographics. While much attention is often given to the former, using psychographics in marketing can be just as effective – if not more.

See here for our guide on market segmentation criteria.

Psychographics vs. Demographics

When creating your marketing strategy, it’s crucial to understand the difference between psychographics and demographics. Simply put, demographics are all about who your target market is, while psychographics help you understand what motivates them. Some examples of demographic data are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Ethnicity
  • Location

Demographics are a valuable marketing tool and should not be ignored, but does this information explain why a person would buy your product or service? In most cases, the answer is no.

Compared to psychographic factors, it’s easy to see a stark difference. While many people fit under the same demographic bracket – such as caucasian males aged 18-24 – this doesn’t mean they have the same interests, values, or personality traits.

But, when demographics are paired with psychographics, this is where some marketing magic can happen. Within any marketing plan, you should have an audience in mind. To discover this target audience, it helps first to gather demographic data. But then, once you have this information, you should niche down and segment your audience based on psychographic factors.

It is important to note that many customer psychographics will merge across varying demographics – there is no one size fits all. Psychological factors are complex and rarely fit into one box. Instead, focus on creating buyer personas for your target market and use this as a guide for your marketing strategy.

Psychographic Criteria to Consider in Marketing

It is believed that buying is an emotional process, with 95% of our decisions being purely subconscious. To provoke an emotional response in your target market, you need to understand what triggers them to make a sale. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some examples of psychographics in marketing and the varying criteria for each.

Psychographic criteria to consider in marketing

Interests

Humans are, by nature, curious creatures. And this curiosity often leads us to develop interests in certain hobbies, topics, or activities. When using psychographics in marketing, consider the interests of your target market and how they might relate to your product. For example, if you are selling camping gear, your target market might be interested in hiking, fishing, or spending time outdoors.

You can use this information to create content that appeals to these interests, such as blog posts on the best hiking trails in the area or a beginner’s fishing guide. By doing so, you are not only providing your target market with content they will enjoy, but you are also positioning your business as an expert in the industry.

Values

Values are what make us tick. They are the core beliefs that guide our actions and decision-making. There are many different values that someone might hold, but some common examples include the following:

  • Family
  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Career Success
  • Adventure
  • Creativity

Values play a significant role in our day-to-day lives, regardless of how they are formed. Many of us learn values from our families, while others develop them based on life experiences.

When marketing, understanding the values of your target market is crucial. This is because people are more likely to purchase products or services from businesses with the same beliefs.

Personality

Just like a fingerprint, everyone has a unique personality. And while everyone is so uniquely different, there are likely similar personality traits that can be grouped. When using psychographics for marketing, consider the different personality types of your target market and how they might interact with your product.

Is your dream client more introverted or extroverted? Do they demand immediate gratification, or do they have patience? Asking yourself these types of questions can help you curate an exceptionally streamlined marketing strategy. Not only this, but it can also aid in developing your product or service.

Desires

Desires are what we want in life. They might be materialistic, like wanting a diamond ring or a bigger house. Or they might be more abstract, such as a sense of belonging or the need for adventure. Desires, which are often interchangeable with goals, can also change over time, which is why staying on top of the latest trends is so important.

When using psychographics for marketing, consider what your audience desires and how your business can help them achieve it. Your business should be able to offer a solution that meets the needs of your target market, whether it is a physical product or an intangible service.

Opinions

Opinions are, quite simply, what we think about specific topics, people, or situations. We all have beliefs that often dictate how we live our lives. Opinions can be positive or negative and are not always set in stone.

For psychographics in marketing, consider the opinions of your target market. What do they think about your industry? Your product? Your competitors? These questions can help you understand how your target market perceives you and your business.

You can then use this information to shape your marketing tactics. Realistically, your intended buyer persona will already have positive opinions on your industry/product, or they likely wouldn’t be considering a purchase.

However, it’s up to you to solidify those opinions and ensure that your target market positively associates with your business.

Lifestyle

Lifestyle is the way we live our lives. It encompasses everything from our daily routines to our long-term plans and goals. Certain external factors, such as our location or social class, can dictate our lifestyle to a certain extent.

Always consider the lifestyle of your target market. How do they spend their days? Where do they place themselves on the social ladder? What kinds of things are important to them? Asking yourself these questions can help you understand how your target market lives and how your business fits into that.

How to Develop a Psychographic Profile

You’ll want to develop a psychographic profile when using psychographics for marketing. The information you gather for your target audience is a vital component of your buyer’s persona. A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and accurate data about your current customers.

See here for our full guide on developing a buyer persona.

There are 3 steps you’ll want to take when creating a psychographic profile:

Research Your Target Audience

The first step in creating a psychographic profile is researching your ideal customers. You can do this by collecting psychographic data, which we will cover shortly. Once you have gathered this data, you’ll want to look for patterns and trends.

You will need to find some common ground between all of the data – for example:

  • Pain points: what problems do they have that your product or service can solve?
  • Hobbies and interests: is there anything they enjoy doing that your product or service can help with?
  • Values: do they share any core values that align with your business?

Combining your demographic information with your new psychographic data is perfectly fine. Doing so will give you a more well-rounded view of your target market, what they want, and how you can help them.

Analyze Your Findings

After discovering common ground between your target market’s psychographic data, you’ll want to look closely at what this means. This is where you’ll start to develop a psychographic profile.

You’ll want to consider the following questions:

  • What does this tell me about my target market?
  • What do they want?
  • What do they need?
  • How can I help them?

Keep in mind that your audience is not clear-cut. Your target market will have different wants, needs, and motivations. This is perfectly normal! The important thing is that you understand the various segments within your target market and how you can best serve them.

Format The Data Into a Psychographic Profile

After you have gathered and analyzed your data, it’s time to format it into an easily digestible profile to effectively use psychographics in marketing. This information will help you and your team connect with your target market and create marketing to appeal to them.

Every business’s psychological profile will be different. If it weren’t, that would mean everyone is targeting the same market! When creating your psychological profile, you’ll want to include some of the following information:

Customer Demographics

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Family life cycle stage

Customer Psychographics

  • Pain points
  • Goals
  • Values
  • Lifestyle

This is a solid foundation to start from; you can always add more information as you see fit. Now, let’s look at how you can gather this data in the first place!

How to Collect Psychographic Data

Collecting your target audience’s psychographic data is a job that can take time and preparation. Considering how sensitive some of the information can be, it’s no wonder that many businesses struggle with this task. There may be some individuals who are not comfortable sharing this data, and that’s perfectly fine.

You can collect psychographic data in several ways without infringing on anyone’s privacy. Here are some of the most popular methods:

Surveys and Questionnaires

One of the most popular methods for collecting psychographic data is through surveys and questionnaires. You can do this either in person or online. You’ll want to ensure that the questions are relevant to your business and that you give respondents the option to skip any they are uncomfortable answering.

It’s also essential to ensure that your questions are clear and concise. You want to avoid any confusion, as this can lead to inaccurate data. Finally, try to keep your surveys and questionnaires short. No one wants to spend hours filling out a form, so the shorter you can make it, the better.

Client Interviews

Another great way to collect psychographic data is through interviews. When conducting interviews, you’ll want to make sure that you ask open-ended questions. This will encourage your interviewee to really think about their answers and give you the more detailed information.

It’s also important to ensure that you allow your interviewees to ask questions. Doing this helps to build rapport and trust and makes them more likely to open up to you. Finally, avoid leading questions – this can skew the data you collect and make it less accurate.

Focus Groups

Focus groups involve getting a group of people together in one place and asking them questions about your business/industry/or specific topic. This can be a great way to get a variety of different perspectives on your business and to get detailed information.

When conducting a focus group, you’ll want to ensure that you have a moderator. This person will be responsible for asking the questions and keeping the discussion on track. It’s also important to keep the group small. Too many people can make it challenging to get everyone’s opinion and can make the discussion more difficult to manage.

Internal Information

One way to collect psychographic data is to look at the information you already have. If you’ve been in business for a while, you likely have a lot of customer data. This can include purchase history, website data, and even social media activity.

While this data may not be as comprehensive as other methods we’ve discussed, it can still be beneficial. And it’s a good way to start if you’re beginning to collect psychographic data.

Alternatively, you could also ask your employees for their help. If you have a sales or customer service team, they likely have a lot of interaction with your customers. This gives them an excellent opportunity to collect psychographic data – this first-hand information can be very valuable.

Online Research

If you want to collect psychographic data without directly asking people for it, you can also try doing some online research. There are many ways to do this, but some of the most popular include the following:

  • Social media listening
  • Online forums and review sites
  • Search engines

People are often very outspoken online, which you can use to your advantage. By doing some research, you can learn about your target market – what they like and don’t like, their needs, and more.

How to Use Psychographics in Marketing

You can start creating targeted marketing campaigns using the psychographic information you have gathered. This will help you to reach your target market better and help to increase conversions.

Here are a few tips for using psychographics in your marketing:

Speak to Your Target Market

No matter what your marketing campaign looks like, you’ll want to ensure that you speak directly to your target market. You can do this by including the language they use, creating relatable content, and addressing their specific needs.

For example, let’s say you’re targeting young mothers. In your marketing campaign, you might want to use phrases like ‘young working mother’ or ‘mom on the go.’ This will show that you understand their needs and speak directly to them.

Create Compelling Content

You’ll need to create compelling content to capture your target market’s attention. You have a psychographic profile for them, so make sure you use it! By now, you should know what kind of content they’re likely to respond to – use this to your advantage.

If you need help figuring out where to start, try creating a few different pieces of content and testing them out. See what gets the best response, and create more content. Alternatively, check out what you’re competitors are doing. If they’re having success with a particular type of content, there’s a good chance you can too.

See here for our full guide on copywriting to create great content.

Tell Your Customers What You Can Do For Them

Finally, ensure you’re telling your customers what you can offer them. This is where many businesses make the mistake of talking about themselves rather than their customers.

Remember, people don’t care about you – they care about themselves. So, make sure your marketing campaign is focused on them. Tell them how you can solve their problems or make their lives easier. If you can do this, you’ll be much more likely to convert leads into customers.

Examples of Psychographics in Marketing

The best way to share some examples of psychographics in marketing is to refer back to Young and Rubicam’s 4cs. If you remember, the 4cs refer to different groups of people who have been segmented based on their psychological traits.

Within these groups, there are some excellent examples of psychographics in marketing. Let’s take a look at a few of them now:

The Explorer

The explorer is someone who is curious and loves to learn new things. They’re the type of person who is always asking questions and looking for new experiences.

If you’re marketing to explorers, you must focus on the experience. This could be anything from a new product to a new way of using an existing product. Make sure you focus on the journey rather than the destination.

The Succeeder

The succeeder is driven and ambitious. These people are often high up the social ladder and hold a lot of influence. They’re always looking for ways to improve and always striving to be the best.

If you’re marketing to succeeders, it’s essential to focus on the results. They want to know what your product or service can do for them and how it can help them to achieve their goals. Make sure you have solid evidence to support your claims, as they’ll be looking for it.

The Aspirer

Amongst these examples of psychographics in marketing, the aspirer is someone who is actively looking to buy – if they think it’ll improve their social status. They’re looking for ways to move up in the world and always trying to impress those around them.

If you’re marketing to aspirers, you must play up the luxury and exclusivity of your product or service. They want to know they’re getting something that not everyone can have, so make sure you focus on that in your marketing campaign.

The Struggler

The struggler is someone who is just getting by. They’re not looking to improve their situation; they’re just trying to make ends meet. They’re often quite skeptical of products and services, as they don’t want to waste their money on something that isn’t going to help them.

If you’re marketing to strugglers, providing value should be paramount. They want to know that they’re getting their money’s worth, so highlight your product’s or service’s benefits. Share testimonials and case studies, as they’ll be looking for reassurance that your product or service is worth the investment.

Final Thoughts on Using Psychographics in Marketing

As you can see, there are some great examples of psychographics in marketing. And, if you understand how to use them, they can be a fantastic tool in your marketing arsenal.

Remember, psychographics are all about understanding the motivations and desires of your target market. Once you know what drives them to become a buyer, you can craft a marketing campaign designed to appeal to them psychologically.

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