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If you ask someone, not so well versed in marketing, they will usually say age, education, gender, and marital status are important criteria.

And they are not far off the mark. This is known as demographic segmentation.

Psychographic Segmentation – The Holy Grail of Marketing

Demographics consist of age, gender, marital status, there is something equally important – the understanding of what interests the customer.

Do they like hip hop or jazz, NASCAR or Formula E, basketball or running?

There are probably lots of people who live in New York or Los Angeles or any other American megacity who are of the same age group 40 – 49, are male, graduates, married, earn between $90,000 – $120,000 but have entirely different tastes and outlook. Some may be Republican, some Democrats, others Green or apolitical, some like CNN while others may prefer Fox.

This is what we call psychographics segmentation. The use of psychographics is not recent and has been around since the 1970s.

It is only in the recent years that the use of targeted psychographic marketing has risen to prominence since social media provides valuable insights about a person’s private world.

To understand, how to use psychographics in marketing read on.

Study of Psychographic Segmentation Examples

To understand psychographic examples, just look at the Facebook page of a close friend.

Obviously, you have known where they like to travel, when and where they want to party, whether they are religious or secular, their sexual choices, and perhaps quite a large chunk of their political preferences – whether they identify as Libertarian or Authoritarian, skewed Left or Right.

Hence you have a fairly good idea of their:

  • Activities – Barbeque in summer, and Pilates as their preferred fitness activity.
  • Values – They lean Left and vote Democrat but would not give up on traditional values completely, not Church goers but also not atheists.
  • Beliefs – They support liberalism and equality in pay across the gender divide.

These psychographic characteristics are essential to forming a marketing strategy.

Benefits of Discovering Your Psychographic Target Market

Customers tend to buy according to their age, gender, and other demographic criteria. For example, it would be unusual to find a 50-year-old who regularly buys crayons for his own use. It would be equally hard to find a college student buying a book on how to recover from a divorce.

But people have opinions. These opinions shape an individual. Thus, these opinions also shape our buying habits.

Any factor that shapes the buying habits of a target customer is of interest to marketers.

Thus, demographics and psychographics are complementary to each other. It is not about choosing one over the other but, about both playing a cumulative role.

If you can find like-minded audiences, then cater to them. This is not easy, but if you can identify, then it pays off immensely.