Demographics Aren't Enough: 3 Reasons You Can't Afford Not to use Psychographics
When my mother began her marketing career, things were very different. The vast majority of consumers did not have regular access to computers, smart phones were the unrealistic fantasy the writers of Star Trek dreamed up, & indeed the most horrifying nightmare for today's millennials, social media was nonexistent. Well, we've come a long way, baby. You'd think marketing would be a snap in the current age. With everyone's personal information on demand, it's now possible to target demographics with laser-sharp precision. At the click of a button you can choose which consumers see your advertisements in an à la carte fashion, from age range to gender, interests, income, & even major life events. For example, I am recently engaged & whereas pre-engagement, my feed & ads were mainly marketing, business, & pet-related, now my screen is saturated with a sea of wedding venues, bridal expos, & planning apps. This is demographic targeting at it's finest, but there remains a commonly overlooked component to market research that is the key t serving up relevant ads to the most valuable members of you already meticulously researched demographics; psychographics.
But What The Heck are Psychographics?
Now don't feel bad if you're unfamiliar with this term. Though the idea behind psychographics is not new, it's only within the last few years that they've become of interest to marketers who want to know more about their demographics than just the bare basics. Whereas demographics tend to be things like age, gender, location, marital status, family load, etc, psychographics take that data a step further by delving into what your target consumers' lifestyles, values, interests, & opinions; essentially why they are instead of just who they are. Getting to know your consumer on a deeper level is invaluable when it comes to reaching quality leads & here are 3 reasons why.
1. Emotional Motivators are Stronger than Sense
We are emotional creatures who often choose things based on gut feelings as opposed to logical sense, which is what the most successful brands will focus on. A famous example of this in action is the Pepsi Challenge. When participants were asked whether they prefer Coke-a-Cola or Pepsi, the majority of them stated that they preferred Coke. However, when served both soft drinks in unmarked containers, the majority chose Pepsi as the better-tasting beverage. This could be because Coke has created such strong emotional connections through their psychographics-based advertising that drinkers believe it actually tastes better. MRI scans of similar studies involving subjects being told the prices of the wine they were drinking (despite actually being served the same exact wine several times) suggest that the drink genuinely tasted different to the drinker depending on what they believed is in the glass. To sum up, our emotional perceptions are powerful & to ignore them in market research would be a huge mistake.
2. Get the Most Bang for your Advertising Buck
A fantastic example of on-point psychographic success is Budweiser. They could easily spend billions serving up ads to a HUGE demographic pool of beer-drinkers 21 & over, but the odds are that a significant chunk of that audience will not convert no matter how often they see the brand. So what do they do? They study consumers already loyal to their brand & find out why. Turns out Budweiser drinkers tend to be working class men (42% more likely to own a truck according to adage.com) who value patriotism, hard work, & practicality. Budweiser hones in on those psychographics to serve ads that will have the biggest emotional impact on the consumers whose psychographics match their research.
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3. Building Consumer Loyalty
By serving up content that is exactly that your current consumers want, there's no doubt you'll keep them coming back. Not only that, but we as people tend to surround ourselves with like-minded people & just as unhappy consumers are more likely to leave negative feedback, satisfied ones are more likely to recommend or give your product or service as a gift to others, thus spreading brand awareness on your behalf. And according to SocialAnnex.com, your consumers are 4 times more likely to use a product if referred by a friend.
Psychographics can be an invaluable tool in your market research arsenal. They may be a bit harder to come upon than general demographics, but the potential findings could not only help you design & write marketing campaigns, but also decide the perfect audience to serve them to. For more information on how to obtain your own psychographic data, I would suggest reading this Hostgator Blog & perhaps incorporating some subjective surveys of your current clients. Once you get to know your audience in depth, you can begin the process of appealing to them on a deeper level, thus establishing your brand as something more than just a product or service, but rather something to care about.