Psychographic segmentation examples for your marketing campaign
Your customers’ expectations and needs have a direct impact on how they engage with your business. But do you know much about your customers beyond their demographic data?
Demographics are important, but your customers’ psychographics — which includes their beliefs, values, and goals — explain the deeper motivations behind the solutions they crave. Segmenting customers by psychographics can help you understand your customers much better, which will lead to more successful marketing campaigns.
In this guide, we’ll explain what psychographics are and how they differ from demographics, provide examples of psychographics, and show you how to find psychographic data about your own customers.
This post will discuss:
- What psychographics are
- Psychographics vs. demographics
- Psychographic examples
- How to find psychographic data
What are psychographics?
Psychographics involve the process of categorizing people based on their interests, opinions, and values. In marketing, psychographics are one way to segment a general audience into actionable buyer personas that you can use to inform everything from blog topics to ad copy.
Psychographics inform how businesses build buyer personas, which helps:
- Segment audiences. Marketing to a large, generic population requires broad messaging that likely won’t convert many leads. The challenge is that customers with similar demographics might have wildly different values, which is why it’s so important for businesses to refine their audiences based on psychographic data.
- Target the right customers. Targeting people based on demographics alone won’t show you the whole picture. Psychographics help you drill down on your audience segmentation further, ensuring you target people with values that align with your brand.
- Position your solutions. Psychographic segmentation gives you the power to tailor your messaging to the exact expectations of your target audience. You have the freedom to customize marketing language for each audience, creating hyper-personalized solutions that speak to your audience’s biggest needs.
Psychographics give you more in-depth information about your customers, which means you can create better personas. That leads to highly relevant marketing that boosts return on investment (ROI).
Psychographics are just one way that companies can segment their audiences. Demographics are arguably the most popular segmentation option, but it differs from psychographics in several ways.
Psychographics vs. demographics
Demographics is the process of categorizing people by age, gender, and location. Psychographics, on the other hand, categorize your audience by less visible facets of their mental state, like their attitudes and values.
Demographics are what a customer is, while psychographics attempt to understand the reasons behind customer behavior. You might understand that business professionals aged 25 to 55 in Illinois want your products, but you won’t understand the reasons why without psychographic data.
Demographics might tell you a prospect’s age, but psychographics tell you that they’re recently married and looking to buy a home. Even if you know that most of your prospects are middle-aged parents of young children, you still need psychographic data to understand what keeps these busy parents awake at night.
It’s worth noting that one type of data isn’t better than the other. Psychographics alone and demographics alone won’t be enough for your buyer personas. You need both types of data to make the most effective, actionable personas for your business. Combined, this data will give you the most complete view of your customers.
Attitudes, beliefs, and values are just a handful of the many psychographic attributes you can include in your buyer personas. Consider these psychographic features when building your personas.
Personality traits tell us what a buyer is like as a person. Are they the type of person to make an impulse purchase, or do they conduct thorough research before making a decision?
These two personality types are very different from a marketing perspective. For the former, you would lean heavily into “fear of missing out” (FOMO) language or time-sensitive coupons. For the latter, you would create a lot of FAQ-style blog content, unboxing videos, and case studies to earn their trust.
Being aware of your audience’s personality type makes it easier to choose the right marketing messaging, channels, and timing to best appeal to your target audience.
But there are so many different types of personalities out there. It can feel overwhelming to list every potential personality type you’ll work with. To simplify things, split your audience into simple binaries, like:
- Emotional vs. logical
- Introvert vs. extrovert
- Dreamer vs. doer
- Agreeable vs. neurotic
- Organized vs. messy
- Function vs. aesthetics
- Leader vs. follower
- Open-minded vs. close-minded
- Idealistic vs. realistic
Lifecycle marketing is the process of taking a different marketing approach based on where leads are at in their relationship with you. This process guides leads through the marketing and sales funnel, where they gradually become more aware of your brand over multiple touchpoints.
The lifecycle stage matters because leads react differently depending on how acquainted they are with your company. For example, a lead who’s just heard about your brand via a paid ad is in a different space than a lead that reads your blog every week.
Targeting where a customer is in the purchasing funnel helps you choose the most relevant marketing methods. These methods tend to be most effective for different customer lifecycle stages:
- Awareness. Paid ads, landing pages, social media posts, podcasts, and influencer partnerships.
- Consideration. Educational content, how-tos, in-depth lead magnets, YouTube videos, and email marketing.
- Decision. Comparison content, social proof, reviews, case studies, white papers, free trials, and demos.
- Loyalty. Exclusive discounts, loyalty programs, beta testing invitations, review requests, and surveys.
- Advocacy. Online reviews, video success stories, and referral rewards.
You can also get better responses to your marketing campaigns if you target people based on their interests or hobbies. Keep in mind that interests often overlap with activities, but they aren’t mutually exclusive. For example, someone could be interested in sustainability and do activities like hiking, but not everyone who hikes is interested in sustainability.
There are so many interests you can pull from for psychographic targeting, including:
- Animals or pets
Attitudes or beliefs
When you know the attitudes and beliefs of your customers, you can craft a campaign that’s more relevant to your target audience. The last thing you want to do is alienate your audience, so understanding their beliefs is as much about retaining leads as it is about acquiring them.
So many factors influence someone’s attitudes and beliefs, including their education, personality, upbringing, and location. These factors combined create a person’s worldview.
Everyone sees the world differently, but these are common attitudes and beliefs you can use for psychographic segmentation:
- Religion or faith
- Political affiliation
Psychographic segmentation also looks at how your target audience spends their spare time. More often than not, a person’s activities say a lot about their mindset and how they see the world. By understanding your target audience’s existing activities, you’ll know how they’ve already spent their resources. Practically speaking, it also affects how they spend their time and money, which has a big impact on how you should market your business.
Your audience might participate in a range of activities, including:
- Sports or following their favorite sports teams
- Crafts or DIY
- Watching TV
- Social media
- Video games
Keep in mind that people engage in more than one type of activity. In addition to listing the most common activities your audience indulges in, see if there’s any connection between the activities. For example, if your audience is interested in both social media and dancing, you could turn their heads by filming dance videos on TikTok for your next campaign.
The example of psychographic segmentation is classifying leads by social status. On the surface, this sounds straightforward — target someone based on their annual household income, adjusted for their location.
Someone’s actual social status and their desired social status can have a big impact on their buying habits. A person who’s upper class might buy a Mercedes car because they only drive luxury vehicles. But a middle-class person who wants to appear like they’re in the upper class might purchase a Mercedes because they want to create an illusion of wealth or power.
These two types of buyers are purchasing a car for very different reasons, which is why it’s so important to understand your customers’ current social status as well as their ideal social status. In fact, customers that value social status (or the perception of it) are more inclined to buy products to change the opinions of others.
While social status is a spectrum that differs by location, marketers commonly break this psychographic down into three distinct categories:
- Lower class. This includes households that earn less than $52,200 a year. Lower-class shoppers have fewer financial resources, so they’re sensitive to pricing and often shop around for deals. From a marketing perspective, you’ll have more success by promoting discounts, bundles, and value-laden messaging.
- Middle class. This includes households that earn between $52,200 and $156,600 a year. The majority of US households are considered middle class, so this category includes a variety of different attitudes toward money and purchases. Middle class audiences have more disposable income than lower-class audiences, so they’re more receptive to premium pricing and messaging, but with limits.
- Upper class. This includes households that earn more than $156,600 a year. People in this class are considered wealthy and elite. For that reason, people in the other two classes will sometimes buy goods or services designed for these audiences in an effort to look like they’re upper class too. Upper-class consumers are considered to be influential, and they have a lot of resources to devote to buying the finer things in life.
Psychographic data is a treasure trove for marketers who want to better understand the motivations behind why customers make the decisions they do. By analyzing a variety of different psychographic data points, you can build a more complete picture of who your customers are — and how you can solve their biggest pain points.
How to find psychographic data
Once you know which psychographic data points you want to use for your audience, it’s time to compile the data. You can find psychographic data through a variety of different methods.
1. Survey current customers
Surveys are an easy way to collect a large amount of data from your customers in a short amount of time. Simply create a short survey, email it to your customers, and watch the data roll in. With the right software solution, you can automatically integrate survey responses with individual customer profiles, as well as collect aggregated data for each segment. You can also send out surveys based on segmentation, which makes it even easier to collect relevant data for each of your target audiences.
However, it’s easy to erroneously create a survey full of your own perceptions and biases. Run your survey past a few team members to ensure it’s as free of bias as possible.
Sample size matters too. Generally speaking, you need at least 100 responses to form statistically significant conclusions. If your audience isn’t responding to your survey requests, consider offering incentives like free products, gift cards, or coupons to encourage responses.
2. Reviewing web analytics
Web analytics will tell you a lot about your current customers’ interests and activities. With analytics, you can source quantitative data that explains why customers took certain actions. Review both current and previous metrics for your site to see which pages people click on the most, or which pages motivated the most people to convert.
However, if you haven’t used web analytics in the past, you need to set it up and test it first. You may need to wait as long as a month to six weeks to gather enough data for psychographic segmentation.
3. Use focus groups
A focus group is a joint interview that your business holds with members of your target audience. When you select people for the focus group, you need to choose people who are both part of your target audience and who are unbiased. That means, for example, that people from your marketing team can’t serve on the focus group.
With a focus group, you meet with your audience either virtually or in person. Either way, you’re asking them to give their time and attention to improve your business. Prepare a thoughtful questionnaire for the group, plus a clear agenda, to source better data while respecting the group’s time.
4. Use market research
The last place you can source psychographic data is through market research. Research companies like Nielsen and Gartner specialize in collecting industry-specific information and reselling that data for a fee. This is a great way to learn about your audience and spot upcoming trends, but it can get quite expensive.
Improve your marketing campaigns with psychographic segmentation
Alongside demographic data, psychographic segmentation helps you form a more well-rounded understanding of who your target audience is. This data touches on personality traits, interests, attitudes, and social status — all of which play a role in how an audience will perceive your brand and messaging.
Psychographic segmentation is incredibly useful, but it can be difficult to find, store, and analyze this type of qualitative data. Fortunately, solutions like Adobe Audience Manager help you build the best audience on any channel or service. Go beyond limited, media-based integrations and put your customers front and center with Audience Manager.
See the difference firsthand. Take an Audience Manager product tour now.