What Is Psychographic Targeting?

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Traditionally, marketers segmented their markets by geographical location, ethnicity, marital status, age, etc., but that doesn’t mean that everyone of a particular age thinks the same and has identical needs? In this Vlog, Grant explains that today, if you want your message to resonate, you need to understand what makes your target market tick.

Did you know there are 73 million millennials in the United States of America alone?

The point is, while it might be an interesting starting position to look at a marketplace, 73 million individuals don’t all think the same just because of when they were born.

We often use demography to make sense of a marketplace. So for example, with millennials having taken the 73 million, you might break it down further into geographical location, ethnicity, marital status, etc., etc. In terms of companies, we use something very similar to demography called firmographics, which is things like number employees, vertical marketplace, size of company turnover, etc. While all of these are good starting positions, they simply don’t go far enough. Once you’ve looked at a marketplace through the lens of demographics or firmographics, you may then want to overlay that with other characteristics to make sense of it even further. One of those is psychographics, which actually can even be used as a standalone segmentation.

Psychographics can be thought about in three different ways. People’s activities, interests and opinions. ‘Activities’ is really the things that people engage in. For example, you might want to target people that go to church every Sunday. Alternatively, you may want to target people that visit the gym at least three times a week or go to a chess club weekly.

Then you can think in terms of ‘interests’. For example, people might like football or stamp collecting or wine. Often you’ll be able to get data for a football magazine subscription list, or a wine club subscriber list.

Finally, there’s ‘opinions’. People that love particular brands or have certain political views. For example, someone that’s following a political leader, either on the left or on the right of politics on Twitter. If you look at those followers, you’d be able to ascertain that most of them have certain types of political views.

This information can be really useful in your targeting. For example, if you’re a company with an environmental agenda, you may want to target people with certain political views who are likely to be more sympathetic to your offer. Alternatively, if you’re a fitness brand, knowing who goes to visit the gym will make them more likely to be buyers for your particular products.

When you receive communications that are targeted around your activities, interests, or opinions, they probably resonate much more with you than just bland communications do. So when you think about targeting, although demographics and firmographics are often a good place to start, overlaying that with psychographic information can make your communications so much more effective.

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