Psychographic Advertising: How and Why It Works

Nearly everyone is familiar with demographics — the cold hard facts behind the consumers who buy your products and services. But even within specific demographic groups, individuals have differing opinions on the type of products they value and what motivates them to buy. This is where psychographic advertising can really benefit your advertising campaign. Here is some background into exactly what psychographic advertising is and why it works so well.

What Are Psychographics?

In the earliest attempts to segment markets, lines were drawn between variables such as age, income, gender, occupation, region, climate and ZIP code. Marketers quickly realized that such variables failed to explain differences in buyer reactions to various marketing messages. What often grouped buyers together was not who they were, but what they liked and what they did.

In a nutshell, psychographics refers to the methods used in lifestyle research to profile markets. “Lifestyle” describes a pattern of living that shapes how and why people choose to spend their time, money, and energy.

Activities, interests, and opinions (the AIO scale) are all factors behind psychographics.

    • Activities include work, hobbies, entertainment, shopping, and sports
    • Interests involve family life, recreation, travel, fashion, and entertainment under a wider range of interest
    • Opinions revolve around politics, religion or spirituality, and economics as well as self-perceptions and personality traits.

How It Works

While acquiring customer data is an ongoing process, interviewing your current customers and observing their actions on your website are two great ways to start gathering psychographic information. Social media monitoring is hugely valuable, too, since conversations that emerge online may help identify marketing issues or psychographic clusters.

Tracking consumer shopping and online habits using psychographics can produce data that shows advertisers when it’s advantageous to allocate more business resources toward certain groups based on their interests. Psychographics is often used by designers to create product appearance, form, or packaging. Lifestyle profiles also influence consumer sales promotions and special incentives.

Be sure to keep these things in mind when constructing your next advertising campaign!