Customers are the focal point of any business. Most importantly, they are individuals with unique likes, dislikes, interests, and mindsets. And it’s no surprise all these factors shape their interactions and decisions related to what a business has to offer them.
Moreover, amid the cut-throat competition, the business that wins is the one that provides tailored experiences to each of its customers.
So, it is not only crucial to know who your customers are and what they want, but also what goes into their minds. To provide an experience that feels relatable and personal to them, you need to find out what motivates them and how they must feel about something.
You can’t possibly read one person’s mind let alone read hundreds of minds, if not thousands or millions.
Take a deep breath.
Psychographic segmentation is here to the rescue. Let’s get exploring.
What is Psychographic Segmentation?
Psychographic segmentation is the process of segregating your audience, potential and existing customers based on their shared psychological attributes or psychographics.
The psychographics includes their priorities, motivations, conscious, or subconscious beliefs.
Psychographic segmentation applies behavioral science and social science to understand your customers’ personalities, interests, values, opinions, perceptions, decision-making, communication preferences, and much more.
By understanding your customers’ psychology, you attempt to explain and predict their consumer behavior. This ultimately helps you tailor relevant and compelling messages, create meaningful experiences, and provide more value to your end-users.
In essence, psychographics digs into the why behind your customers’ buying decisions.
Imagine you sell organic skincare products. You want to attract more customers through social media ads. Now, you need to decide on a message that resonates the most with your potential customers.
To craft a message that resonates, you need to understand why your target audience buys an organic skincare product?
Are they close to nature? Do they get allergies from chemical-based products? Do they want to contribute to saving the environment by avoiding chemicals?
All three questions lead to different messages for different people. Someone could be concerned with all three. That’s what psychographics will help you figure out and prioritize to maximize the outcome of your advertisement.
Psychographic Segmentation Parameters
Let’s now look at some of the key parameters used to segment people based on psychographics.
Every human being is distinct. Personality is a person’s set of characteristics and patterns that influence their behavior, thoughts, and emotions. Our experiences, biological and environmental factors have a huge role to play in shaping our personalities.
Since many of us share similar experiences, human personalities can be grouped into different buckets – extroverts, introverts, open to experiences, agreeable, etc.
Moreover, our personalities influence our decisions. For example, if you have a reserved personality, you might prefer a quieter restaurant over a party place.
If you understand your customers’ personalities better, you can highlight the ways your product or service is fit for them.
Now you might wonder how you can unfold a complex thing such as personality. You can take the help of personality test methods such as the OCEAN model or MBTI to get to know our customers better.
One’s social status is an important determinant of their buying decisions as it is often directly linked to their incomes, hence, their needs and priorities.
You can take a cue from Maslow’s hierarchy of needs for the motivation behind your customers picking your business.
Are they trying to fulfill their physiological needs such as food, shelter, clothing or do they want to enhance their social image?
Understanding the social status of your consumers can help you effectively zero in on the most aligned target audience and focus your efforts there.
Your customers’ lifestyle is a crucial factor that decides whether they’ll find your product or service appealing or not. A lot of our day-to-day choices and preferences are directly correlated to our lifestyles.
For example, an instant breakfast may appeal more to a working individual living alone as compared to a working individual whose family can cook for them.
Understanding your customers’ lifestyles can help you determine the reason they’ll prefer your business. Moreover, it can also help you discover their daily challenges or gaps in your offerings and hence, address their needs better.
Attitude and Beliefs
Social factors such as our culture, religion, and community have a significant impact on what we believe, how we view and approach different things in our lives.
What may be viewed as good in one culture may not be supported by some other culture.
Henceforth, our beliefs and attitudes extend to our consumer choices as well. For example, if you grew up in a vegetarian household, you may have an indifferent attitude towards meat. So, when eating out, you’d look for vegetarian restaurants.
Getting to know your potential customers’ attitudes or beliefs related to your products or services can not only help you customize your message but also help you avoid what may be unwelcoming to them.
Activities, Interests, and Opinions
Often termed as AIO variables, activities, interests, and opinions are closely linked to each other and play an important role in our consumer choices.
What activities your potential customers partake in are likely to be based on their interests and opinions. Furthermore, based on their opinions or interests, they may choose certain things over another.
For instance, an animal lover may have opinions against animal cruelty and therefore, be more likely to choose cruelty-free products. An avid cyclist is more likely to show interest in customized safety gear compared to others.
So, understanding your potential or existing customers’ activities, interests, and opinions can give you a peek into their preferences and help you tailor your message or products accordingly.
How to collect the psychographic data?
Now that you know the type of data you need for psychographic segmentation, it’s time to find out the ways to collect these data points.
The best way to get to know your customers is simply to talk to them. Interviewing your potential or existing customers can give you deep insights into their psychographics, provided you ask relevant questions.
Though interviews are a powerful method of data collection, they can be resource-intensive if you want to gather a large number of data.
Nevertheless, talking to even a few of your customers can give you useful information. So, it’s better that you never miss an opportunity to talk to your customers.
If you want to collect the psychographic details of large audiences, surveys are an effective method.
Based on the response to the questions, you can easily derive insights and segment your customers. You can make use of tools like Google Forms, Typeform, SurveyMonkey, QuestionPro, Qualtrics, SurveySparrow to collect the data and analyze it.
The key to obtaining relevant data through a survey is again to formulate the questions and response options in the right manner.
Similar to a survey, quizzes can help you gather data from a large set of audiences in an indirect and fun way.
You can ask suitable questions, draw insights, and segment your customers based on their responses to the quiz.
Your website metrics can also give you a glimpse into the psychographics of the people who visit your website and how they use it.
The pages that get the most or least views, bounce rates, and campaigns that draw the most attention can indicate how your customers perceive your brand.
If you haven’t already integrated analytics into your website, you can use tools like Google Analytics, Hotjar, KissMetrics, Hubspot, and ClickTale to learn about your customers’ behavior on your site.
Investigating your potential and existing customers’ behavior on social media is a great way to collect relevant psychographic data.
You can look at the conversations of your followers on social media pages or even initiate conversations. Furthermore, you can look for how people perceive products or services like yours, what challenges they face, and how they feel about it.
Tools like Brand24 can help you monitor your brand mentions across the web.
How to get psychographic segmentation in action?
Once you have collected the psychographic data and drawn useful insights, it’s time to get it to work.
Let’s take a look at the different ways you can use it to enhance your customers’ experience with your business.
Your website is one of the best places to get your psychographic findings into action.
In the digital world, you have only a few seconds to impress your website visitors. Optimizing the copy and imagery on your website pages based on psychographic data can help you attract and retain more customers.
Misfits Market’s home page translates their customers’ interest in organic produce, their opinions related to sustainability, and their concerns regarding affordability.
Don’t you find filling out plain forms boring? I surely do. Typeform understands this psyche, hence, presents a simple yet powerful solution to this problem for you and your audience.
This web page of one of the Rolls Royce’s collections, built for people who value legacy and luxury, is a reflection of the social status psychographics.
If you serve a diverse customer base, psychographic segmentation can help you send personalized emails to each segment and nurture relationships with your customers. Email marketing tools like ConvertKit and Drip allow you to create segments using a tagging system.
Targeted email campaigns and funnels can also help you turn leads into loyal customers.
People on the journey of habit building and personal growth want motivation as well as relevant information to keep going. Remente pulls it off through its email.
Clothing is a reflection of your personality. This email from Dolls Kill, an apparel brand, has the flavor of personality-based psychographic segmentation.
As online advertisements are more popular than ever, psychographic data about your potential customers can help you here, too.
You can not only apply it for better keyword targeting but also craft ad copies that grab the attention of your target audience.
Buy Me a Coffee advertises its solution as an end to the frustrations Patreon users face. Also, a great example of a product entirely based on understanding what customers want and why they want it.
Sleeping difficulties are a reality for a huge number of people across the globe. Headspace focuses on the lifestyle factor to give an easy solution to them.
The societal notions of beauty often lead to low self-esteem in women. Dove addresses this fact and attempts to help women gain confidence through its campaigns.
The psychographic data you gather helps you add more value to your customers’ lives as well.
You can use this data to create helpful content such as blog posts, videos, or infographics that address your customers’ pain points or educate them about topics that matter to them.
Moreover, contextual content marketing can also improve customer engagement.
Grammarly has a variety of users including professionals, students, and people who don’t know English well. Through its blogs, Grammarly educates a different set of audiences on what they struggle with.
People who want to switch to eco-friendly packaging also need more information on how to make the switch and educate others. Vegware, a plant-based packaging producer, provides the audience with relevant content resources for the same.
Who doesn’t love rewards?
Understanding your customers’ likes, dislikes, or things they care about can help you build loyalty programs that enhance their experience with your business.
You can use it to decide the rewards or activities of the loyalty program that your audience will find exciting.
The North Face is a brand popular among people who love the outdoors. Its loyalty program offers exclusive gear as well as discounts on its app AllTrails Pro that has maps of trails for outdoor activities.
Sephora is a luxury cosmetics brand that has its loyalty program focused on becoming a part of an insider group. A good example of the psychographic parameter, social status in play.
Thanks for reading! I hope this article fills your mind with interesting ideas to use psychographic segmentation for growing your brand. Subscribe to the Squeeze Growth newsletter for useful business tips and tools.