Psychographics in Marketing: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

In this lesson, we'll take a look at what is meant by psychographics in marketing, some examples, and how they can be applied to your marketing efforts.

Lunch Time

Understanding your customers can help you reach them more effectively.
Understanding your customers can help you reach them more effectively.

You're sitting at your desk, thinking about where you and your colleagues can go for lunch today. Your friend, Susan, loves Mexican and Italian food. Your other pal, Stephanie, dislikes Italian food, but loves Mexican. You call them both up and suggest the Mexican restaurant across the street. Both women are excited and say they're looking forward to it.

While not psychographic data in the marketing sense, you did use psychographics to analyze Stephanie's likes and opinions before suggesting a spot for lunch. With the proper psychographic data, as a marketer, you can also customize and tailor your products and marketing tactics by understanding the likes, behaviors, opinions, and values of your audience.

What are Psychographics?

Psychographics is the study and classification of your consumers based on their behavior, attitude, values, and lifestyle choices. By understanding what makes your audience tick, and why, as a marketer you are better able to develop and market products and distribute information that will meet a customer's or prospect's wants and needs.

Another type of data collection you may have heard of is Demographics. Demographic data is the gathering of basic factual information about your audience, such as age, gender, race, sexual orientation, income, or household size. While that information is also important in helping you understanding and better meet the needs of your target audience, psychographics can expand your knowledge even further, getting right to the heart of who your customers really are.

For example, if you're chatting with Joe and trying to find out more about personality, you'd want to start with psychographic-oriented questions. Great questions for Joe might include:

  • What are you interested in outside of work?
  • What types of hobbies do you enjoy?
  • Where do you shop?
  • What is your opinion about today's politics?
  • Where do you gather your news and information?

These types of questions, along with many others, can help you gain insight into who Joe is as a person. The beauty of psychographics is that you're limited only by your own imagination!

Where Do I Get This Information?

In a word, ASK! Interviewing your current clients is a great place to start in gathering these kinds of details. Most people are flattered to be asked for their opinion and will share it willingly on many topics. Prospects from your social media platforms or referrals from employees or colleagues can also be a treasure trove of information.

Take a look at your website data. You may be able to glean some details about their buying habits, favorite hobbies, preferred brand/type of coffee, and any number of other facts based on the analytics of your website. Where are customers browsing and for what? What are your top sellers? What do your product reviews have to say?

How Can I Apply Psychographics to Marketing?

Let's look at a potential customer named Rebecca. From your social media account, you've managed to get Rebecca to fill out a short psychographics questionnaire. Here are some tidbits:

  • Her favorite social media platforms are for tweeting and pinning items.
  • On the weekend, she spends her time outdoors with family and at church functions.
  • She enjoys following a healthy lifestyle and focuses her diet on organic foods.
  • She is concerned about her children's busy, after-school schedules.

From this information, you might consider the following:

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