What Are Psychographics? [FAQs]

    by Maggie Hibma

    Date

    October 28, 2013 at 8:00 AM

    psychographics-detailsYou probably know a lot about who buys from you. Their gender, geographic location, marital status -- it’s all part of developing buyer personas. These data points make up the demographics of your personas, help inform your marketing strategy, and paint a picture of who your buyers are.

    But there’s another component needed to really understand your buyer.

    What’s their lifestyle like? What are their daily habits or hobbies? What kind of values and opinions do they have?

    The answers to these questions are the psychographics of your customer base, and you need to know this information to truly understand who’s buying what you’re selling.

    Psycho-what?

    Think about the information you already know about your buyers. Psychographics is about using the demographic information you have for your buyer persona to figure out more about their lifestyle, their behaviors and their habits.

    Here's one way to look at it: Demographics explain “who” your buyer is, while psychographics explain “why” they buy. Knowing what the day in the life of your buyer persona looks like is undoubtedly valuable when creating an integrated marketing strategy.

    Using psychographic data in marketing isn’t a brand-new concept, especially in outbound marketing methods. Think about the direct mailings you get. I bet you've actually checked out a sentence or two on some of that mail, because marketers use web tools like Nielsen’s PRIZM segmentation system to figure out to whom to send mailings.

    And don’t forget about TV advertisements. Networks determine the demographics and psychographics of segments that watch certain shows and channels, and products advertise accordingly. For example, you can assume that most of the commercials on the Women's Entertainment (WE tv) channel are slanted towards female viewers.

    How to Find Psychographic Data

    Think about the last time you saw a company’s marketing campaign and thought, “Yep, that’s me. I’m gettin’ that!” (iPad Air, anyone?) That company absolutely nailed the messaging to their target audience (you), and they did it by understanding both the demographics and psychographics of their target buyer. You can do that, too.

    Practicing inbound marketing provides a great platform to learn about the psychographics of your buyer personas. All you need to get started is a desire to really understand your customers. Here are some places you can start looking for psychographic data.

    Marketing Data

    This time, it’s not just about the numbers. Take the marketing data you have and look at the data from the perspective of “what.”

    What types of offers get downloaded the most? What styles of blog posts get the most interaction? What times do emails get opened most often?

    You might look at your data often, but approaching it with this mindset will pull some psychographic data out you may not have seen before.

    Sales and Customer Service Teams

    Your day-to-day interaction with these teams might be minimal, but it's time to make friends with those who talk to your prospects and customers all day.

    Cozy up to a few friendly folks and ask them questions about what they're hearing from customers or listen in on calls to get info straight from the horse's mouth.

    Feeling fancy? Build fields into your CRM to store this information, or start collecting it via progressive profiling, so you can export that data to look for trends.

    Surveys

    Surveys are a good method for finding out the psychographics of your buyer persona -- but only if you have an idea of what you want to know about them.

    You may consider a survey after doing some in-house data analysis that provokes some follow-up questions on the data you analyzed.

    Check out this blog post on how to design a marketing survey that will actually give you the results you’re looking for.

    Social Media

    I don’t know about you, but you can find out a lot about me if you took 5 minutes and looked at my Instagram or Twitter profile. So, if you know who your buyer is, turn to social networks to see what you can find.

    People tend to be more honest and open when unprovoked, and the social profiles of your buyers might give you some insight into their likes and dislikes.

    Focus Groups or Group Interviews

    You may not have the luxury of bringing your customers into your office for a face-to-face discussion, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn't be talking directly to your buyers to figure out some of the psychographic data you need.

    Get on the phone or in a room with a few customers that really represent your buyer persona and find out more about their life. (If it’s face-to-face, don’t forget the coffee and doughnuts. Seriously.)

    Most importantly, going beyond the demographics of your buyer persona and really understanding their psychographics will provide you with valuable data that can differentiate your marketing from your competitors. It’ll also help create a deeper connection with your target market. They’ll think, “Hey, that company really gets me.”

    And that’s how you convert leads into customers and keep delighting your customers with your marketing.

    How do you find out the details about your customer base? Through social? From your analytics? Feel free to share your methods with us below!

    Image credit: Michele Ursino

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