Psychographics and audiences

Organisations should understand their customers (and prospective customers) not only to supply them with the right product but to be able to reach them via appropriate marketing activities.

The most efficient way to do this is via market segmentation; where markets are divided and grouped to more precisely target their customers and prospects.

Geographic, demographic and behavioural segmentation are all tools in the media planning toolkit, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll be taking a look at psychographic segmentation.

Psychographics can be used to target an audience that meets a certain profile.

Whilst ‘demographic’, is a term that is widely understood outside of the advertising industry, ‘psychographic’ is not.

One is a little more general, a little drier, the other is a little more emotional, a little deeper.

Broadly, demographics explain ‘who’ your audience is while psychographics goes some way to explain ‘why' they are.

The two concepts go hand in hand and having a working knowledge of both is hugely useful to any media planning and buying campaign. We’d say it’s worth a brief overview of psychographics, and how it can help you to better tailor/implement your media.

Demographic information brands seek to find out about their audiences include gender, age, location, home value, income and marital status. This data provides general predictors of consumer behaviour which brands can then use to build a customer profile and develop a marketing strategy to reach them.

Psychographic information on the other hand can be described as research (often on top of the initial ‘dry’ demographic data) that allows brands to aggregate their audience in terms of psychological traits.

Psychographic information might include personality traits, daily habits, shopping orientations, hobbies, opinions and the values of a target audience. It provides a working summary of the lifestyle that allows brands to differentiate within the basic demographic blocks. It aims to capture and segment internal psychological processes in the same way that demographics aims to capture and segment external characteristics.

In practice, psychographics can be used to target an audience that meets a certain profile and create a media plan based on that profile. The combination of sets of data (demographics and psychographic for instance) will provide a working overview of the target audience, and allow you to tailor both messages and media plan to best reach them.

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