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How Psychographics is Used in Marketing

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In marketing speak, you’d often hear the phrases “customer personas,” “customer avatars,” and target audience. While these terms are pretty much self-explanatory, they are far from arbitrary. In fact, marketers perform extensive research, collect enormous amounts of data, and multiple tools to create detailed customer profiles. They then use a process called psychographics to make sense of their research and turn them into useful insights to fold into their strategy.

You might have heard of psychographics being used in political campaigns, such as the case of Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, and Cambridge Analytica. But this qualitative method has been used by so many companies across industries for quite some time now.

Let’s look at what psychographics are and how you can use them to beef up your digital marketing strategy.

What is psychographics?

Psychographics is a qualitative approach to analyzing consumers based on their psychological traits. It would include attributes like their values, personality, attitudes, interests, opinions, and lifestyles. In other words, it’s a deep diver from demographic data, which only covers basic information like consumers’ age, gender, nationality, religion, and education.

In marketing, psychographic data is an essential part of a customer segmentation strategy, along with demographic and behavioral data. Together, they create relevant messaging and advertisements based on cognitive factors that drive them to convert or take the desired action. With this qualitative approach, marketers can better tailor their campaigns in such a way that consumers would feel that advertisements are made specifically for them, which leads to higher conversion rates.

How is psychographic data collected?

To make extremely detailed psychographic profiles, marketers and advertisers would collect up to 5,000 data points on every citizen. These are some different ways they use to gather these data sets:

  • Interviews and focus groups
  • Questionnaires or surveys
  • Online quizzes
  • Website analytics
  • Set-top box viewing data
  • Social media insights
  • Browsing data
  • Psycholinguistic dictionaries
  • Third-party analytics

Big companies would often use all these and more to gain in-depth insights into their consumers. With this treasure trove of information, they can create game-changing campaigns that can influence consumers both at scale and personally.

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How businesses can use psychographics to their advantage

Ever thought about something you wanted or needed to buy, then the moment you use your phone, an advertisement for a relevant product pops up in your social media news feed? That is psychographic-informed audience targeting in action. But on top of delivering personalized and intuitive ads to consumers, psychographics also helps businesses with the following:

    1. Connect with consumers – psychographics help marketers understand their customers on an emotional level. It’s like putting yourself in their shoes, allowing you to create ads that will resonate with them and address their specific needs and wants. As a result, consumers would feel that the brand is reaching out to them personally, influencing their decision to buy its products.
    2. Build trust and loyalty – when a brand sends out personalized ads to each customer segment, it allows brand loyalty to develop, leading to repeat purchases. Psychographic data is like a gold mine from which you can take endless ideas to market your product. And since your ads come off as if you understand customers, they will reciprocate the effort with their loyalty.
    3. Reduce advertising costs – psychographic data is pure qualitative data that can inform your strategy. This way, you’re not wasting money on ads that won’t work. Plus, as with any marketing, the goal is to get as many leads for the least amount of work and cost, and psychographics will help you reach that goal.
    4. Hit your targets faster – in advertising, you set daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals based on metrics that matter to your business. These goals may vary across brands, but the process is usually the same. Psychographics ensure that you hit your objectives faster as you’re only putting out laser-focused or highly targeted ads.

    In an age where consumers have high expectations of brands and experiences, traditional advertising tactics won’t easily make the cut. Instead of relying purely on demographic data, you must make an effort to inform and reorient your campaigns based on both demographic and psychographic information.

    However, harvesting consumer data down to their religious or political beliefs and hobbies may stir some ethical discussions. In fact, it could be a double-edged sword for some companies. This is why it’s important to have a sound privacy policy in place and transparent with your consumers.

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