Psychographic Segmentation: The Essential Reading for Beginners
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It is important that as a business you develop a clear customer persona. Unless you know your customers, how can you sell to them? But how to learn about your customers? What to learn about them?If you ask someone, not so well versed in marketing, they will usually say age, education, gender, and marital status are important criteria. And they are not far off the mark. This is known as demographic segmentation.
Psychographic Segmentation – The Holy Grail of MarketingDemographics consist of age, gender, marital status, there is something equally important - the understanding of what interests the customer. Do they like hip hop or jazz, NASCAR or Formula E, basketball or running? There are probably lots of people who live in New York or Los Angeles or any other American megacity who are of the same age group 40 – 49, are male, graduates, married, earn between $90,000 – $120,000 but have entirely different tastes and outlook. Some may be Republican, some Democrats, others Green or apolitical, some like CNN while others may prefer Fox. This is what we call psychographics segmentation. The use of psychographics is not recent and has been around since the 1970s. It is only in the recent years that the use of targeted psychographic marketing has risen to prominence since social media provides valuable insights about a person’s private world. To understand, how to use psychographics in marketing read on.
Study of Psychographic Segmentation ExamplesTo understand psychographic examples, just look at the Facebook page of a close friend. Obviously, you have known where they like to travel, when and where they want to party, whether they are religious or secular, their sexual choices, and perhaps quite a large chunk of their political preferences – whether they identify as Libertarian or Authoritarian, skewed Left or Right. Hence you have a fairly good idea of their:
- Activities – Barbeque in summer, and Pilates as their preferred fitness activity.
- Values – They lean Left and vote Democrat but would not give up on traditional values completely, not Church goers but also not atheists.
- Beliefs – They support liberalism and equality in pay across the gender divide.
Benefits of Discovering Your Psychographic Target MarketCustomers tend to buy according to their age, gender, and other demographic criteria. For example, it would be unusual to find a 50-year-old who regularly buys crayons for his own use. It would be equally hard to find a college student buying a book on how to recover from a divorce. But people have opinions. These opinions shape an individual. Thus, these opinions also shape our buying habits. Any factor that shapes the buying habits of a target customer is of interest to marketers. Thus, demographics and psychographics are complementary to each other. It is not about choosing one over the other but, about both playing a cumulative role. If you can find like-minded audiences, then cater to them. This is not easy, but if you can identify, then it pays off immensely. It is for this reason that advertisements at sporting events are so expensive, and Super Bowl 30 second slots sell for millions. Those watching range in age between 10 and 100, Ph.D. and school dropouts, billionaires and those on skid row, yet are united in their love for football. Thus, it makes sense to pay vast sums of money for their eyeballs.
Performing Psychographics Research
- Google Analytics
- Customer Interviews
- Preference Survey
It used to be extremely hard for marketers to perform psychographics definition marketing before the internet came along. Suddenly with every click being measured at the back end, it became easy.
The big daddy of metrics is not only free and granular but also gives you an insight into essential psychographic traits.
If you visit Audience and click on Interests, you have the broad Interests of those who visited you laid out in plain sight.
Of course, these are quite broad, and GA extrapolates quite a few of these based on the age group. So, knowing that your visitors like technology, mobile gaming, animations might not be beneficial if you already know that the visitors are male and between 18 and 35.
However, it does provide some direction for your digital marketing campaigns.
This is a traditional way of finding psychographic characteristics. It is definitely old school but tried and tested over the years.
Create a questionnaire and interview your customers. Ask them about what they like, which activities they prefer, and in what way can you improve your product or services.
To make the interview happen quickly, you could choose a set of predetermined answers and ask them to indicate their choice of what they would like instead of leaving it open ended.
There is an interesting twist to this. Phone interviews actually offer more honest results. This is because most people like to answer an interview from the comfort of their home, and they do not feel judged for their choices.
A survey is different from an interview. The latter usually requires a human touch, but the former can be efficiently done using a service such as SurveyMonkey.
A survey can be sent through email or might be employed as a pop up on your website.
Since it takes time and effort on part of the respondent, you should offer an incentive for the customer to participate.
Of course, you need to make the questions too intrusive. It is suitable to ask them about their interest in sports, hobbies, movies, but if you wish to ask something more private such as political or religious views, they might leave without finishing.
One of the main advantages of a customer survey is that even a few completed surveys are enough. In fact, as less as a dozen can serve the purpose.
Closing ThoughtsThe main use of psychographic segmentation is to refine your products and create a more direct marketing message. Having been around for several decades, it has proven its worth and is not a frivolous buzzword that is thrown around casually. However, it can be immensely hard to discover and utilize. At times, the best psychographic information can only be unearthed by a marketing research bureau through an expensive survey. But the wonderful thing is that the results are quite solid because tastes and beliefs do not change very easily. Thus, the data you discover would help you plan your campaign for several years. Do you need to create a survey? Try creating a survey app of your own using Appy Pie’s Survey App Builder and absolutely no coding!
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