Enhancing Your Marketing Strategies Using Psychographics

This article examines the importance of understanding the psychographic traits of customers to segment your audience effectively.

Antavo’s cover for its article about using psychographics in marketing.
Antavo’s cover for its article about using psychographics in marketing.

Over the past few years, the importance of understanding your target audience and providing them with a personalized experience has become crucial. The floods of information that customers encounter each day online and in person make it harder for brands to stick out and remain on the top of their customers’ minds. Psychographics can be used to enhance your marketing strategy and encourage future loyalty. This article will tell you more about psychographics, where you see it in your everyday life, and how you can incorporate it into your future business models.

What is Psychographics?

Have you ever thought about what is going on in the minds of your customers? Psychographics is a technique to describe and classify traits of humans into certain psychological categories. Psychographics include a person’s personality, aspirations, values, hobbies, attitudes, interests, lifestyle, and more. The term psychographics comes up frequently when conducting market research. These characteristics are extremely important when deciding how to predict customer spending habits and to anticipate which advertisements will be most effective.

Image of Ted Baker’s Twitter post featuring an image of a wedding dress hanging over a mirror to advertise their products.
Ted Baker’s social media post advertising a wedding dress targets the psychographics of a newly engaged person who is currently thinking about planning a wedding and buying a wedding dress.

Marketers have always been interested in learning about the demographics of their target audience. However, with the rising emphasis on personalized advertising, it’s more important than ever for companies to understand their audience on a deeper level. The personality, interests, and values of customers are exceedingly important for successful marketing strategies. In order to most effectively sell a product or service there must be a well-rounded understanding of both the psychographics and demographics of the target audience. With this understanding, companies will not only know who bought what, but they will begin to understand why they bought it in order to add meaning to the exchange.

Image of Johnnie Walker advertisement of their whiskey in a Game of Thrones setting featured on their website.
Johnnie Walker incorporates psychographics by targeting their customers who are fans of Game of Thrones and also enjoy drinking whiskey. Their website features many different advertisements that are aimed to reach different psychographics.

3 Examples of Psychographic Traits and Their Impact on Buyer Behavior

Personality

  • Research conducted on personality types and buyer behavior found that extroverts are more open to impulsive purchases of new products. On the other hand, introverts are less likely to be tempted to buy new products.
  • Example: If a company selling subscriptions to on-demand television services conducts a survey about their customers and found that they score high on the introversion scale then they should know to keep their website consistent without too many new product offers.
An advertisement that sets the peaceful scene of curling up by the fire on a rainy day with a good book.
Barnes & Noble, the home of book lovers, understands that some of their customers might score highly on the introversion scale, so they segment their advertisements wisely to appeal to their customers’ interests and preferences.

Aspirations

  • An effective marketing strategy demonstrates an understanding of the target audience and can generally predict what the customers aspire to be. People decide what products and services to buy based on whether the products can help them achieve their aspirations in life, so it is important to market what could be beneficial for the customers.
  • Example: If a jewelry company discovers that most of their target audience is women in their 20s and 30s, then the company should consider focusing on engagement rings in their marketing.
Image of an Asics ad depicting an image of a runner proud of the accomplishments made in her Asics shoes.
Asics targets the psychographic traits of their customers with the line ‘As beautiful as lowering your own time,’ appealing to the aspirations of their audience to better themselves and their running time using Asics sneakers.

Values

  • A new study from lpsos found that customers prefer to buy from brands whose values are aligned with their own, and this preference has been increasing through the years. Therefore, it is helpful for brands to exhibit the values of their company clearly for the customers to relate to.
  • Example: If a clothing retailer realizes that much of their target population is passionate about saving the environment, they might consider adopting new environmentally friendly practices and advertise them to show they have similar values as their customers.
Image of the blue Ikea reusable shopping bag with a statement that the reusable bag can replace 395 plastic bags a year.
Ikea reveals their emphasis on taking care of the planet and how they value sustainability through advertising the impact their reusable bag can have in just one year. This ad targets the psychographic traits of Ikea customers, who have similar values and will be more motivated to shop at Ikea.

What is Psychographic Segmentation?

Psychographic segmentation is when a company breaks down its customers into specific groups based on psychographics or traits that influence their buying decisions, in order to most effectively deliver personalized advertisements. According to Forrester, personalization is “the act of delivering the right message to the right person at the right time in a scalable way across a variety of channels.” Therefore, psychographic segmentation is necessary in order to reach the target audience with personalized information at the right time across various channels.

Why is this important? Understanding the benefits of psychographic segmentation done correctly can help set your company apart from the competition. You are not too late to start using this marketing strategy! According to Forrester’s 2021 data, only 26% of US online adults agree with the statement “companies do a good job of understanding me as a person.” There is a clear need for improvement in this area and psychographic segmentation and personalized advertising are the right place to start.

A Toyota Prius advertisement that emphasizes the environment through an image of a car on top of fresh green grass in nature.
Toyota uses psychographic segmentation by targeting a segment of their audience that is passionate about protecting the environment. This advertisement shows that segment that the brand has similar values and interests which encourages them to purchase their product and advocate for the brand in the future.

Can Psychographic Segmentation & Personalization Encourage Customer Loyalty?

Psychographic segmentation can push your personalization strategy to the next level and can productively increase customer loyalty. In today’s digital age it is a necessity to output personalized and tasteful advertisements in order to keep your customers engaged and excited to purchase more products or services.

Image of Netflix home page with different sections of suggested shows and movies to watch based on past viewing.
Netflix values providing a personalized experience for customers so that viewers feel recognized. After finishing a show, Netflix suggests other shows you might enjoy based on the data they have collected to make the viewing experience more personalized and enjoyable.

How to Use Psychographic Segmentation in Practice

One way brands can put psychographics into action is by separating their customers into segments based on characteristics like lifestyle, personality traits, and values. For instance, Coca-Cola realized early on in their marketing development that people within one demographic group have very different psychographic qualities that should not be ignored or forged into one big group. Therefore they adapted their brand to fit into a new modern and busy lifestyle that the new mobile generations are creating by presenting their product as a suitable drink on the go to help them keep up with their busy lifestyle.

Three Coca-Cola cans that cater to different target demographics.
Coca-Cola offers different versions of its flagship drink to target different psychographic groups. Coca-Cola Zero and Diet Coke were made for more health-conscious people who are trying to avoid sugar and calories but still enjoy the sweet taste of Coca-Cola.

Why it Works

  • Coca-Cola has been able to adapt to new markets throughout time all across the world and remains one of the most successful companies because of the way they advertise their products.
  • Although their target audience is mainly young people, Coca-Cola went beyond marketing to different demographics and focused on creating psychographic categories within each demographic category.
  • Coca-Cola has been able to remain popular throughout time by creating a brand that is relatable and appealing to a wide range of customers.
The iconic Coca-Cola Christmas truck, signifying that the holidays are coming.
Coca-Cola understands that not everyone wants to drink their soda so they go beyond just selling a product. They appeal to everyone around the holiday season by associating their brand with the Christmas spirit.

The Next Steps for Incorporating Psychographics Into Your Marketing Strategy

Psychographics goes beyond just explaining who the customer is and dives into why they want to buy. Keeping customer motives in mind is an effective way to keep them interested in your brand now and in the future. Most importantly, psychographic segmentation provides a huge opportunity for personalization. When customers receive personalized advertisements and messages, they feel more valued and are more likely to stay loyal to your brand in the future. It is just as important, if not more important, to keep your existing customers happy in addition to bringing in new customers. With personalization based on psychographics, it is possible to keep existing shoppers excited about remaining customers for years to come.

Would you like to learn more about how to use psychographics to your advantage? Our loyalty experts here at Antavo can help. Send us an RFP or book a demo today and our team can help develop a plan.

And don’t forget to download Antavo’s Global Customer Loyalty Report 2022, an in-depth report that showcases current and future industry trends to help you navigate the world of next-gen loyalty programs.

Headshot of Lilias Madden,

Lilias Madden

Lilias is a truly enthusiastic copywriter when it comes to researching customer behavior and marketing psychology. She has experience in communications and psychology with a growing interest in data analytics and marketing. Lilias enjoys cooking, reading, and playing tennis.

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