A Guide to Psychographics in Marketing: What is it & How To Make it Work

A Guide to Psychographics in Marketing: What is it & How To Make it Work

Think of an advert you saw recently. Maybe it was a billboard at the side of the road, or a commercial on TV. Now think about how it made you feel. Did it intrigue you? Make you laugh? Did you find yourself agreeing with its ideas?

If so, the chances are you fit into the campaign’s psychographic target audience.

‘Psychographic what, now?!’

Most of us (hopefully!) understand demographics: the social categories people fit into such as gender, race, or age. Psychographics goes deeper than that to consider people’s beliefs, values, attitudes, opinions, and interests. If our marketing can tap into those aspects of a person, then we have a better chance of them becoming our customers.

Mailchimp, a popular marketing email platform, has made design changes according to what works with their customers. That’s the kind of thing you can do, too, by using psychographics.

The problem is those things are often harder to know, and so, traditionally, psychographics has taken a bit of a backseat in marketing. People tend to focus their campaigns on broad customer segments such as men, women, or people aged 25 and up. (Ever looked at the ‘Why did I see this ad?’ information on Facebook? A lot of the time it’s because you fit into one of those demographic categories.)

Now, think of a customer and imagine what voice of customer analysis might tell you about them. Maybe they don’t like to fly, or their favorite color is green. That would be psychographics.

Demographics are pretty easy to spot. You might be able to tell someone’s rough age, gender, or race just by looking at them. However, that information doesn’t help too much to design a marketing campaign. Yet, while psychographic data can be harder to find out (people don’t always go around with slogans on their chest telling us what they believe in), the return on investment (ROI) for getting and using that information is far greater.

Psychographics: an example (or, ‘How clean are your customers’ teeth?’)

Let’s say your product is a new kind of toothbrush. You know you want your marketing to reach parents of young children, building a customer base of more than one generation. But, what can you do with that, beyond the tired, old ‘family-smiling-while-brushing-their-teeth’ trope we’ve all seen so many times?

Instead, consider who they are: what makes them tick? What are their lives like?

For example, what if, rather than only knowing they are parents, you discover they are keen coffee aficionados? Now you can highlight the excellent coffee-stain-removal abilities of your toothbrush, tailoring your marketing exactly to their needs.

Or perhaps they care passionately about the environment? Great! Your toothbrush is made of recycled materials; you can choose imagery showing a future where their children are happy, in a cared-for world (all with bright, shiny smiles, of course!).

That’s a simplified example, of course. But, you can see how gathering psychographic information about your target audience can help you start to pull together a successful marketing campaign.

How to find your audience’s psychographics

Losing customers is not something you want to be doing – existing or new. And, one of the most important tools you have is your interaction with customers. Here are some ways you can make that work for you:

Use analytics
Hopefully, you’re already doing some marketing and, while you might not have tapped into the wonder of psychographics yet (or else you wouldn’t be here), you can still gather valuable information from your current content.

Tools like Google Analytics can measure click rates on different parts of your campaigns. This can tell you a lot. For example, if a picture-link of a cute bunny in your recent e-bulletin drove a lot of traffic to your website, perhaps your customers are animal lovers. That’s something you can use in future. (Unless you don’t want to attract animal lovers for some reason, in which case you could start using pictures of space-rockets instead.)

You might also notice that your website users often land on your site from a particular other site, or exit to another. From that, you might glean some of their other interests, or gain insight into where you could advertise.

Talk to your customers
People love talking about themselves and, if you listen to them, you’ll make them feel valued and want to associate with you more. You can even use psychographic data to tailor things like your onboarding process, building loyalty by helping new customers feel valued and affiliated with your brand.

Surveys can be a great way to learn more about customers, and it doesn’t have to be complicated either. Even simple questions such as: ‘What prompted you to visit our website?’ can lead to interesting answers about what they value. Was it a discount? Did they need a particular product for a party? Were they impressed by your vision?

Better still, invest in a market research company to conduct a survey for you, if you can. They’re the pros, after all, and can help ask the right questions to get the most beneficial information.

Engaging with your existing customers in this way, producing more relevant marketing for them, means they’re more likely to remain your customers.

Speaking of retaining customers, having an email with custom domain is a good place to start. The more visible and professional your company’s brand is, the more it will be remembered.

If you have close contact with your customers, you can even talk to them face-to-face to build a relationship. Ask them what their hobbies are, where they go on holiday, and why. This will help you understand what your customers are like and help you to go after more people like them.

Alternatively, find friends or family who fit the profile you want to reach and ask them. You’ll make them feel important (which is always nice), and you’ll be a step closer to understanding your desired customers.

Think about what your customers don’t like, not just what they do like

It can also be useful to understand customers’ pain points: those problems customers experience in the marketplace. It’s a kind of reverse-psychology approach to psychographics. If you know what customers struggle with, not just what they desire, you can think about how to remove those pain points for them.

Do they hate waste? Use minimal packaging. Do they dislike receiving emails too frequently? Find out how often they want them, and revise your schedule.

Even simple things are better than nothing at all, so start small.

You’re never going to find out everything about everyone all at once. Even if you did, it would be pretty overwhelming. Instead, focus on one or two psychographic areas. For example, you could start with finding out about their hobbies and their holiday preferences to help figure out where to place your ads.

Validate your concepts for performance during the design stage with AI-generated attention analytics

Now, tailor your content!

Customers expect companies to understand them. So it’s time to make sure your marketing shows that you understand your customers’ needs and expectations.

You can do this in your emails, social media ads, or the interactions your sales team has with your customers. All your omnichannel marketing can be tailored in this way. But, there’s no need to rip up your current templates and start again. If something works, build on it!

Your new data might have shown you new places to put your ads. It’s no use paying for an advert in a horse racing magazine if your target audience only watches motorsport. Or you might have learned that your customers have one set of political opinions, but you’ve been seeking endorsement from a celebrity who endorses the opposite.

And, check that your website doesn’t annoy your customers. You’ve worked hard to get them there, so make sure to avoid losing them to pain points. Good web design is key here, and your psychographic data can help guide you.

Things like that can make a huge difference.

What next?

Keep going! There’s always more we can learn and improve. The customer experience (CX) provided by your brand is vital to understanding whether you’re hitting the right psychographic notes. CX analytics is a great way for checking this. It looks at the topics and tones that come up in calls, emails, and live chats, so you can keep tweaking your marketing and design for greater appeal to those valuable existing customers.

Finally, once you’ve done all that, you can start measuring your content marketing ROI. By targeting the feelings and ideals of your customers, you’ll see an increase in your ROI content marketing, and measuring it will help show your success, prove what you’re doing is working, and help you to improve it even further.

So, now you know what psychographics is and how you can improve your marketing with it, it’s over to you. Those toothbrushes won’t sell themselves, you know…

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