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How to Use Psychographics for Your Big Business Marketing

Posted by Bryan Wang
There is more competition for every sale in today’s shopping environment.

The squeeze on after-tax wages for the youth, middle class and family demographics has continued to depress consumer spending. Add to this the fact that online retailers such as Amazon provide highly competitive pricing, fully stocked inventory and convenient delivery and it is evident that making that sale is getting harder and harder.

To address this your organization probably has a deep understanding of your customers’ demographics. The impulse to know your brand’s customer, their gender, geographic location, marital status etc to understand how to target and market to them is the right one.

But there is another factor your marketing department need to consider to really understand your customers. That is psychographics. What are psychographics?

Psychographics are the study of the personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles of your buyers. Psychographic data is made up of a consumer’s values, attitudes, interests and personality traits. Putting together psychographic data entails building a profile about how an individual views the world, what interests them and what triggers motivate them to action.

Think of it this way; demographics tell you who your buyer is while psychographics tell you why they buy.

And knowing this ‘why’ is a very important ingredient in your corporate marketing strategy.

Here we give your marketing department actionable steps on how to harvest and use psychographics for the best marketing strategy possible.

Step 1: Get the Data –

The first step in a successful psychographic-oriented marketing strategy is to collect the right data. Your company’s data or marketing team can source the appropriate data from multiple places.

Firstly interview your existing customer base via an online survey. To get your customers to want to take the time and effort to complete your survey offer gift cards or other offers to tempt them to complete your questionnaire.  Be honest and upfront about why your organization is sending out the survey – because you want to understand what they care about and why. Taking an honest approach combined with an offer will yield a greater number of completed surveys.

Secondly looking at your brand’s website analytics can be very effective. Try and understand what has moved web-visitors to buy, click on something or contact you. Look at what discounts and promotions generated the most traffic from which customer personas. Think about what parts of your website were visited at what time of the day for what purpose.

Thirdly mine the data your POS generates to see patterns. It’s crucial that your POS be able to give you data on actual customer buying behavior. Use an advanced POS to harvest data on customer buying behavior and motivation. For example does one product always sell when paired with another complimenting product? Or do the middle-aged empty-nesters in your customer base consistently look for luxury, branded products? Do not overlook this important source of information when having your marketing team prepare a marketing strategy.

Step 2: Segment –

Once your marketing department has the relevant data it is time for them to segment.

Your marketing team can slice your data into segments in many ways. This can include demographic/socio-economic or behavioral segmentation.

Let’s focus on psychographic segmentation.

The purpose of the psychographic segmentation is to identify deeper motivations for purchasing decisions and then cluster together similar customers for marketing purposes.

Under the umbrella of psychographic segmentation your team can aim to look at the lifestyle or personality segments of your customer base.

When looking at lifestyle a company typically groups together their customers according to their way of living as reflected by their interests, activities and opinions. For example a corporation may re-think presenting their products as high-end and premium and adjust pricing when they find out that a large part of their customer-base believes in buying for durability and value not for the brand name and luxury elements.

Looking at the personality groupings of your customer base entails considering their values and whether these values are reflected in your brand. Companies usually give their brands the values that are cherished by the consumers of their products/services. An example would be a clothes/apparel brand choosing to manufacture locally to retain their customer base who believe in American-made products and supporting the local economy. The goal is to make the brand a form of self-expression, making it harder to switch brands once a commitment to its values has been made.

So to thoroughly segment your brand’s customer base for psychographic purposes ask your marketing/data team to identify the lifestyle of your female customers between the ages of 21-27 living close to your downtown locations and pinpoint their life-cycle.

Having this information on your segment will help you decipher the motivations and try and predict behaviors of this subset of your customer base. Using these motivation/behavior patterns and their interests you can create a marketing strategy which appeals to their lifestyle and personality to encourage purchases and drive sales.

Step 3: Get Started and Target –

Now that your organization has the relevant segment identified it is time to set out the tactics in your marketing strategy.

With psychographic data and segmentation at hand you now know that offering your customers discounts is probably not enough to motivate them to shop with you.

Your brand has to appeal to their values and lifestyle as well as to the interests of their gender, socio-economic status, and geographic location and so on. Your marketing team needs to create a fit between your product or service and the motivations of your customer base segments.

The same product may require different marketing tactics for different customer base segments. If you’re a large pizza restaurant chain for example, then you would have separate advertisements for families vs. students. For families your marketing department would promote your take-out pizza for a convenient dinner on the radio right after work when the parent is driving home.  For the students you would have a delivery deal promoted on social media highlighting the opportunity for a post-study meal with friends. If you find out your entire customer base believes in value then you would provide promotional coupon flyers/offers with each pizza box.

As you can see your segments also determine which medium (print vs. social vs. broadcast) your marketing team uses to target your target audiences. Your marketing team may find that they have to use a mix of media and platforms to create an effective marketing strategy.

Take for example a hypothetical facial cream company. Now that they know that your customer base is simply more than just women, but is comprised of women aged 19-25 who are proffesionally orientated and tech savvy, with significant disposable income, who live downtown and believe in ethically sourced products and women who are 30-40 who are mothers, live in the suburbs, are more cost-conscious and prioritize their children and husband their marketing strategy can be more effective.

A marketing campaign focused on Pinterest and Instagram which features appealing photos of women in the 19-25 age range going to work in the morning, along with an offer to give a certain percentage of sales towards a good cause will appeal to the younger group of women. Print ads that focus on how the facial creams are a soothing product which will ease stress away and an offer to get one bottle free when two are bought will appeal to the older group of women.

Remember that your POS can be key in getting the data you need for an effective psychographic marketing strategy.  Contact us for a commitment free chat about how we can help!

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Topics: Point of Sale