Marketing is a constantly evolving field. Beyond the basics, the ways in which content is delivered, packaged and received change at a rapid pace. Even for the most seasoned business, these types of transitions can make heads spin.
Over the past few years a new player has entered the marketing game and it is slowly changing the way organizations target their audiences.
Psychographic data is the latest hot ticket in the marketing world.
Businesses, both big and small, are leveraging this information to create better targeted materials. But what exactly are psychographics? Why is it so important? And how can SMB marketing leaders use this new tool to their advantage?
The general definition of psychographics is the study of personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests and lifestyles. In essence it comes down to understanding a person’s preferences. Unlike demographics, psychographics digs deeper. Where demographics pinpoints the general “who” of your customers, psychographics nails down “why” they make certain purchases, explained HubSpot contributor Alisa Meredith.
When marketers track psychographic data they are collecting information about buyers habits, their general values, as well as their hobbies and tendencies when spending. Demographics and psychographics work together to create a complete picture of a business’ audience – both old and new.
The two work together like peanut butter and jelly, complementing each other in all the right places. Meredith noted that without the two, marketers would never be able to reach their target audiences in a truly effective way.
Beyond pairing well with a hearty dish of demographics, why are psychographics so important? For starters, they are much more insightful. Not every single 40 year-old male from the city likes the same thing; preferences cannot be made uniform on very general groupings like location, age or gender. It takes a deeper layer of understanding to create a real idea of what drives customer behavior or what content will best appeal to certain customers.
When you get a better grasp on things like habits, lifestyle choices or values, marketing becomes a much more personalized endeavor. According to Harvard Business Review contributor Alexandra Samuel, psychographics lets you market in a smarter more actionable way. Leveraging this data lets marketers improve keyword targeting efforts, increase ad engagement in a more meaningful way and overall improve marketing ROI.
Put simply, psychographics are important because they help you understand what your customers care about which allows you to better cater your content.
Before the advent of Facebook, Google and Twitter, it was hard to know the psychographics of your audience, let alone target your marketing to them. But now, technology has allowed marketers to not only gain the data but USE it. Samuel explained that the Internet has changed the game by making psychographics more actionable, more important and more accessible.
There are two steps to the “how” of psychographics. First, marketers must understand how to obtain the actual data. Meredith explained that there are two major methods to extracting psychographic information.
1. Interviews: For many marketers this may not be the first move they make when approaching data gathering but for SMBs this can be a useful tool. Meredith suggested asking clients directly what they like. What are their interests? Are they family oriented? Do they have any hobbies?
The answers to these questions make up psychographic data. When you ask the correct things, you can find out the correct info, explained Meredith. If this is something you feel uncomfortable doing one-on-one send out some customer surveys and grab a larger sample. Let your audience know you just want a better understanding of what they like.
2. Analytics: Most marketers take this route when it comes to data (whether psychographic or otherwise). Head over to your site and check out the various forms of offers or content you have created. What compelled people to buy? What led them to call the store? Which posts got the most clicks? People reveal themselves through their actions so take note of these data points.
Social media also provides a useful avenue for this tracking, explained Samuel. Monitoring and analytics functions on various platforms let leaders identify trends and conversations that reveal insights on psychographic attitudes.
The second part of the “how” concerns application. Sure, you have the info but how do you use it? The ability to differentiate between static information like demographics and more moving parts like interests opens up a bunch of new doors for marketing materials. Let’s create an example.
It has been discovered through psychographic data that Client A values her family, she is a mild bargain hunter and she is naturally inclined toward pieces that teach her things. You’re a local pizza shop and you want her business. What do you do? Try sharing some articles on family-friendly pizza options. Maybe some promos for a family fun night special.
The more you know, the better you can create marketing materials that target her preferences which will near-guarantee a click and hopefully a sale. Hence the magic of psychographic marketing.