How to use psychographics and improve targeting audience

How many kinds of graphics have you heard of? Demographics, infographics, normal graphics, graphs too probably… And I bet you didn’t even hear of “psychographics” until now…

Don’t worry, that’s exactly why you are here. I will explain what is psychographics, how to find them before and after your business has gone online and how to keep track of evolving psychographics.

What is psychographics?

Let’s start this in the boring way: demographics and psychographics are two drastically different statistics.

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Instead of going about the traditional “this is this and that is that”, let’s play a game.

Let’s talk about music. When you feel low, you listen to happy, dancey and motivational songs. Something which makes you feel better about yourself.

Or when you are – dare I say- in love – you like to heighten these emotions by listening to love songs. Either way, there are bound to be times when you sit up very straight in your chair and exclaim, “shoot, that’s exactly how I feel!"

Now it would be a very very long shot to say your beloved artists did a whole psychographic analysis of you before they released their songs, but this is a game we are playing to make you understand the significant differences between demographics and psychographics.

Psychographics = music

Dark arts or sexy arts?

This highly “psycho” suggesting word has been trending ever since that Cambridge Analytica fiasco. It has been hailed as the “dark arts” of marketing, but only the most detail-oriented (smart) marketers will know it’s nothing of that kind. It’s just an extremely powerful and intelligent research led on unethical grounds which makes it bad! See, get it?

If it was an ethical research, it would be hailed as the turning point of marketing-century!

Bad ethics= dark arts. 

Powerful intelligent research=sexy arts.

That’s the way to see it, pals.

Don’t agree with me? No problem, I got some numbers with me to persuade you to join the sexy arts...

a) Porsche

What do you remember Porsche as? I remember it as a flashy sports car screaming down a long winding road at full speed. That’s the kind of ad most of us oldies have probably seen the most.

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But one day (1963-1964 to be precise), Ford decided to target a new psychographic profile- Someone who always wanted a Porsche but felt it would be way too flashy and useless for everyday tasks.

To understand its existing target market’s mindset regarding Porsche, five custom psychographic profiles were made:

  • 1
    A powerful, ambitious and intrinsically motivated person who wants to be noticed for owning a Porsche.
  • 2
    A person who does not feel the need of a Porsche to justify his/her personality and has inherited a lot of money from his/her ancestors.
  • 3
    A proud and hardworking achiever who enjoys owning Porsche as a trophy.
  • 4
    An adventurous and reckless individual who views Porsche as one hell of a thrilling roller coaster ride..
  • 5
    An individual who seeks Porsche as a means of escape from this world and has no desire to show off.
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After having a totally thorough understanding of its existing customers, they realized that the profile they have been targeting and want to target right now is drastically different. If they should target the new profile, they must change the very design of their cars.

This led to a vital change in car designs.

From the sporty car appearance, it changed into a hybrid sedan and SUV models – namely 911, Panamera and Macan.

The results?

There was a 35% increase in 911 sales within the first 60 days.

This strategy still plays out well today.

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And don’t think investing in your customers is the only way to grow your business. Investing in your employees' counts as well.

b) CoreHealth Technologies + PatientBond

What happens when a corporate wellness software with 2+ million employees around the world, decides to invest in its employees? Magic happens. Well, you have to read on for that.

CoreHealth technologies hired PatientBond to integrate technology with psychology and increase their employees’ engagement in their client wellness’ programs. Five major psychographic profiles were made to understand the current mindset of these employees.:

  • 1
    Self-achiever
  • 2
    Balance Seekers
  • 3
    Priority Jugglers
  • 4
    Direction takers
  • 5
    Willful endurers.

PatientBond used email, text messages and interactive voice messages to tailor motivation to each of these employees.

The results?

Blue collar employees in the Midwest started participated in client programs by 82% more.

So, I have finally succeeded in persuading to that psychographic segmentation is nothing bad. And you want to apply these tricks in your own business. But where do you start?

I’m here for you. Let’s start at the very beginning…

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That's the way to roll!

YOU!

Just starting my business

 “Is there any way I could start measuring psychographics before I get any solid data about my target audience?” 

Well, yes… it’s a painful process of social stalking but it's your best bet. Social listening is actually a pretty good way of estimating how your ideal customer would be like, how they would feel like. It is essential for your brand to develop and grow, actually. No brand grows without Social listening.

Before starting your business.

You cannot really pinpoint many psychographic data about your market before you start your business, but the best way to do it is through social listening. I’d much rather call this as social stalking rather than social listening, but call it what you want to, the process is very much the same.

1. Join Facebook groups related to your niche.

After joining them, go through their posts. See which people engage the most. Check their profiles. Note their lifestyle habits and preferences.

Yes, it’s a painful process. But it’s your best bet.

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Facebook has become less often used these days, so try Instagram. Stalk your competitors’ profiles. Instagram is relatively easy to stalk and find out who engagements the most and the quality of commented published against each post. Make note of the hashtags your competitors used, and search what kind of posts are usually posted against such hashtags.

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Use hashtags on Twitter as well. See the trending hashtags in your industry and how your competitors are using them. Note the number of engagements the top post scores and analyze each of these profiles thoroughly.

2. Use Google Trends.

Use Google Trends to find out what people are searching right now. Right now, they are searching for Kim Kardashian and Taylor swift, and you might consider diving into that useless thing IF you own a magazine like US Cosmopolitan and you need to be “trendy”.

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Or else, you can hop over to the search bar and select what you wanna search about. I’ll still go with anime, so let’s see ….

I choose to see worldwide trends about this topic and I want the duration to be 12 months.  I get something like this:

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As I scroll down, I see that Philippines ranks the most with 100 searches and Ukraine ranks the least with 2 searches. I see the map hasn’t included China. I’m sorta surprised Chinese peeps don’t consume anime…. considering they look similar to Japanese people... sometimes…

Down the report, I see what exactly is trending and the related topics as well. I see there are drop down boxes where I can choose the region (city or country wise) and the type of search which triggered such results (web search, image search etc.). So, I just play around the various options and discover that Mongolia ranks second in image search type with the arts and entertainment category on.

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Okay let’s move on before I get all anime-y. The thing is:

Can you imagine the numbers you can get if you keep filtering and digging into Google Trends? You are literally being a satellite and seeing everything in minute detail! Google Trends is an amazing way to know more about your market’s behavior… and to even discover untapped gold mines waiting for you.

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Except that you're not hijacking these opportunities.

3. Facebook audience insights

Just when you start your paid fb advertisements, always go through the audience insights. After choosing the regular demographics, you can even filter the relationship status of your audience and target them accordingly. You get to see which places have them checked in till date. You can see a list of pages that your audience “also likes”.

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 Now start narrowing interests. Every category you click on opens another subcategory and even more mini subcategories which branches out as many times you want for choosing the most probable set of buyers. As you do this, you also get an insight into what other things your buyers also like.

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Now go through each of these pages (related to your niche or industry) and hunt down the profiles engaging the most on these pages. Go through their likes, movies they like and stalk them. If you religiously stalk them for some days, you can get a fair idea about their posting habits (if they choose their profiles to be public). This is how to make a rough idea of who your target audience really likes and does.

After the business has started

Once you have started your business and signed up for the Facebook business manager, you get to choose your target audience. You should target the regular demographics first- the age-old mechanism of segmenting markets based on age, gender, and location.

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Initially, when you have no data at all, you need to target the broadest segment possible. It’ll take some time for you nail down the slice most suited to your products. As soon as you have the data, you can check their interests.

For example, you are a home décor seller and you are selling led branches this Christmas. Your targeted interests must be someone who totally adores Christmas, DIY crafts, creates a lot of engagement regarding Christmas trees etc.- you get the drill.

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Find out who totally adores Christmas!

For activities, you could choose attending local churches, religious events.

As you go down the targeting lane, you may find out that parents value the quality time spent with families during Christmas. So, you could present your products in a way which appeals to these parents’ better senses – increase quality time in Christmas with colorful led branches.

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By delivering highly personalized ads to various segments of your market, you maximize the number of sales you could possibly make in each step. This elongates the customer journey. It’s true, less is indeed more.

Another trick to remember

Another trick to remember while targeting your audience insights – zero in on the heart-throb fans of an interest or hobby related to your industry. For example, turns out your target audience consumes a lot of anime. You can categorise these anime lovers into three levels. Those who just like the anime graphics, those who watch only the most popular anime and those who watch any freaking type of anime. This third category of people just binge-watch anime for the sheer amount of devotion they have for them.

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Think how powerful it would be to your industry- maybe your industry is totally unrelated to anime (example, food industry), you could target these people by manufacturing simple culinary dishes with anime impressions and culinary dinner sets themed to anime. You could sell anime-related recipe books. You could sell any particular anime themed dinner designs… the possibilities are endless… Think how powerful marketing would it be if you could capture such potential customers using words, emotions, and imagery associated with the anime universe!

Use Facebook life events.

How many times have you seen people getting engaged and married on Facebook? Moved into a new city? You can actually leverage these potential signs and sells your products accordingly.

And once you have enough data, you can build your own audiences – maybe targeting those people who have visited your site already…used a particular app etc. Creating custom audiences are a great way to achieve good remarketing goals.

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How to keep on evolving your psychographic info

Your work is still not over. In fact, your work as a marketer is never done. Your customers are not gonna be of the same age forever or have the same hobbies and interests forever. As years pass by, new people will join your troupe and new waves of changes will be seen. How do you keep up with these Kardashians?

You, again

Business going good 🙂

How do I know if I have improved my marketing tactics or if they need more sharpening or not? 

When you have a very long and exhausting list of customers and potential customers, you can do any of the following to keep a tab on your market-

1. Hire a market research firm

This is a very good choice if you are working in an extremely time-restricted industry or when you work in a small team. These market research firms take all the burden upon themselves to scrutinize each and every bit of data and analyze cross connections between various data points. The results are in the form of reports and white papers, which, can be used as another cycle of excellent lead magnets to gather and grow your email-list even more.

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Mine your own data and get better.

Many small and medium businesses find the publishing of white papers very exhaustive and expensive, but we provide extremely affordable whitepaper copywriting services of just $19.99 per 500 words.

2. Customer Surveys and Questionnaires

This is also a very cost-effective choice of keeping up with your evolving psychographics. You can ask your loyal customers for feedback first, for they are more likely to give you detailed and critical feedback. Ask them what could have been better and what they have already liked. You would be surprised in knowing that your customers will actually respect you as a brand more for hearing them out.

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Be conversational in surveys, too.

Next, ask general open questions. No, not how’s work and if you hate your boss or not, but something which would give you a slight idea of what exactly does the person value and spend his free time in. You could also ask them some questions specific to your industry, for example, “What do you think about so-and-so event in *your industry*?” This can give you valuable insight about how an individual’s mindset works, giving away vital psychographic details about every customer.

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Make people feel heard and valued.

And then, you can ask those people who left you with negative reviews. Trust me, it’ll taste sour at first, but when you can turn these negative feedbacks into your strengths, it won't just benefit you and them, but you will become a stellar example for others to follow. That is what every business aims for: to become a thought leader in its area of specialty.

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Quite literally, sir.

And there is no better place than Twitter to flex your customer service skills. Make sure you have dedicated social media managers who are always ready to give prompt, friendly and appropriate customer services to every feedback, negative or positive.

3. Twitter

In Twitter’s Audience analytics, there is the tab called “Followers”. As the months or years pass by, you can keep track of what are the unique interests of your followers. Listen to these unique interests. These people have actually decided to follow you, that means there are chances they may end up buying your stuff. Look up at their unique interest and personalize ads to woo different segments of your followers. Keep count on how your follower count is evolving.

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Which posts have reached the most engagement? What is it that piques their interests so much that they decided to like it or retweet it?

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You can also find new followers which when targeted can lead to an increase in follower count, engagements and leads.

Always keep tab of your top followers of any month. Twitter literally hands over precious information about these top performers who can become a macro-influencer for your business. And mind you, this influencer thing is kinda huge now.

4. Google Trends.

By using the plain old methods of following Google Trends, you get the flow of thoughts happening in your audience’s mindset. This is one of the methods in which you can plan to write more content about specifics topics your audience will be interested in consuming.

5. A/B testing

Smart marketers are very well acquainted to A/B testing. To be a smart marketer, you should have the nerve to experiment how different parts of your page make different reactions in different versions.

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Always keep experimenting!

Try experimenting on how a new color scheme would make people feel about your brand. Experiment different words used in your landing page copy and see how people are affected by it. You’ll be surprised how much psychographic data you can gather in this process.

6. Use your treasure trove to create more personalized email marketing strategies for different segments.

Let the die-hard anime lovers get emails about premium cosplay sets of their favorite anime series. Let only the level one anime fans get emails about cool anime merchandise like backpacks and pencil boxes. Let the level two anime lovers get emails about anime themed dinner and cookery sets, or maybe anime themed wallpapers. You get the drill.

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Not just for anime. 

7. Use Google ads.

You can use Google Display Networks’ massive bomb-of-a-tool: Remarketing.

With remarketing, no matter where your customer roams around the world wide web, he’ll see your ad.

In Google ads, use the affinity targeting first. This show you find better potential customers because they check in on various topics regarding your industry frequently. You will find long-term benefits by investing in these customers.

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Make long-term benefits through affinity targeting.

Use interest targeting next. Interest targeting is different from affinity targeting in that that interested people just recently started searching for topics which are related to your ads… thereby showcasing the probability of buying your products.

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These people are more likely to buy from you.

Similar audiences- This is your next best bet after you have found profound success through a particular type of audience and are looking to explore more similar people. This can broaden your audience reach and eventually, conversions.

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This is how similarity targeting looks like.

8.  Use Google Analytics

Once you have a lot of data with all the traffic flooding into your website, you can use Google Analytics to find out more about your visitors. You get to see the geographic location, age group, which device operating system, time, and sometimes even the smartphone model numbers.

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Nope, not bad at all 🙂

You get to know their academic background, and even housing incomes sometimes. You can see a list of places they have checked-in and find out what restaurants you go to and estimate their culinary preferences. You can track your landing pages’ visitors and see what exactly was searched that your page was shown in the search results. And loads and loads more…

You, always

Business going fantastic!!

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?

If I correlated this data with that of Facebook’s audience insights, I can truly improve my audience targeting by using psychographic segmentation in a HUGE way!!

So. When are you gonna start using psychographics to grow your online empire? Have you already tried it? What were the results? Let me know all this in the comments below!

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