Consumers are evolving at an alarming rate. Gone are the times when a brand could earn a customer’s loyalty just by being the closest or most convenient option. Consumers are able to shop with their values because brands have so much competition. In the time it takes to set up an online storefront, a consumer can discover a dozen brands that serve the same purpose and speak to their values. That’s where psychographic data comes into play.
In the past, brands only had to worry about the 4Ps in their marketing strategy: price, product, placement, and promotion. Today, they must lead with the consumer and ask themselves how their product will fit into the lives of the people in their ideal customer base. Psychographic data helps marketers to understand why consumers buy and gives brands the opportunity to become exactly what a consumer is looking for.
What is psychographic data?
Psychographic data refers to a customer’s attitudes, values, and beliefs. It’s more than who they are (demographic) or what they do (behavioral)—psychographic data answers the question of why they buy. It is heavily tied to brand image and values, and a good use of psychographic consumer data often leads to brand loyalty.
There are six factors that contribute to psychographic consumer data:
- Personality: how a consumer navigates the world around them.
- Lifestyle: how a consumer is perceived by society. Think of characteristics like occupation, relationship status, home ownership, and other significant aspects of their life.
- Social class: A consumer’s choices are often defined by their socioeconomic status. Knowing this about your consumer base helps you to market your product better.
- Habits: Is your consumer a morning person or a night owl? Do they research and shop exclusively on mobile devices, or do they check out products in stores as well? These habits (and more) define how your consumer will engage with your brand and enjoy your products.
- Values: In recent years, it has become clear that consumers can have their pick of brands that match their life values. If they prefer sustainable products over cheaper ones, or appreciate corporate charity, there’s a good chance they’ll find a brand that shares their values and has the product line and content to prove it.
- Interests: This psychographic factor dictates how and why a consumer is interacting with your brand. This is likely to be where your consumer base has the most overlap with each other.
Why psychographic segmentation is important to marketing:
Data plays a huge part in personalization. Understanding psychographic data helps you create better customer experiences. Being able to recommend products and content that aligns with a consumer’s values ensures that they will come back to your brand time and time again.
A psychographic marketing strategy answers the question, “why should you care about this product?” Let’s say your brand sells pre-made oatmeal mixes, among other things. What gets customer A interested in your product differs from what attracts customer B. Donna is a working mom who is looking for quick breakfast ideas, while Mark is concerned with his gut health and is more interested in the ingredients your product features. Serving them the same ad that highlights the variety of flavors your brand offers just won’t cut it—that would be better suited for customer C, Kerry, who is bored of their morning routine.
Understanding what drives your consumers to buy your product will only help you to better serve them in the long run. Having a finger on the pulse of their online behavior is just a start; you can use first-party data to create full portraits of your ideal consumer and leverage AI to offer 1:1 personalization for every visitor.
Examples of Psychographic Segmentation:
In the oatmeal example above, you could use a short quiz on your site to find out the motivating factors behind your consumer’s visit. Then, you could send Donna an ad that highlights the amount of time she’ll save on meal prep each week. This ad uses lifestyle data to identify the fact that Donna has little time on her hands. Meanwhile, Mark could get a chart that compares the nutrients in your brand’s oatmeal vs. your leading competitors. Since he values gut health, he’ll appreciate your framing of your benefits in a way that makes it an easy choice to go for your brand.
Psychographic data helps you to fully understand how your product will fit into your consumers’ lives. Analyzing and acting on psychographic data not only makes you a better marketer, it can also help you to craft a better product in the long run.