What is Psychographics?
Psychographics is the study of personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests and lifestyle. In the marketing world, this is valuable when trying to understand your consumer.
Having a base understanding of your target customer can influence the direction of your marketing. For example, it can help you make more informed decisions about the best tone for your messaging, or where to place paid advertising.
Psychographics is most commonly used in marketing when developing personas that identify typical target customers and their habits. Let me dig into some details.
Use IAO to Help Guide Persona Development
You'll often hear the IAO acronym when working through a psychographic analysis. There are three core areas of interest that you'll often hear expressed with the acronym IAO:
Interests are simply things that people are interested in. It could be magazines, news topics, sports, or things related to lifestyle. A new mommy might be interested in parenting for example.
Activities include things that someone might do. Examples here could include riding a bike, gardening, or participating in local government.
Opinions are points of view that can often times influence messaging. For example, does someone have a particular religious belief? What is their stance on government policies like immigration? What is important to them when selecting a neighborhood to buy a home?
By understanding these characteristics, you can start to build a persona. A persona will allow you to build a representative model of a customer that you will want to target with your marketing efforts. Think of it as a "stereotypical" customer. Most businesses target several types of customers so you'll likely build out more than just one persona.
What Other Elements Should I Consider When Creating a Persona?
Three other areas you may want to think about include:
Personalities should not be overlooked in developing a persona. Understanding a target consumer’s personality is important to set the tone of your marketing messages. Think about how you might communicate with a calm introvert vs a confident extrovert.
Lifestyles are also important. If you have someone that is an outdoors type, that could influence the location and placement of paid media. Outdoor Magazine's website may be a great place for banner ads, while something like Architecture & Design might not reach your intended audience.
How Does this Support Persona Development?
By developing your persona and understanding the core opinions, activities and lifestyles of your potential customer, you'll have a good handle on your target segments. You'll have a sense of who they are, where they are, and how to reach them. I even like to add a picture to my persona documents to give my persona a face.
Persona development is the first step in understanding who you are trying to reach with your message. Furthermore, it will lay the groundwork for developing effective content that will reach your target. They should act as sort of a resume for your typical customer that can be handed to anybody on your team to quickly give a sense of your target consumer.
What About Demographic Information?
While we didn't talk specifically to demographics here, it is something that often goes hand-in-hand with physcogrpahics when developing personas.
Demographics are socioeconomic characteristics like gender, age, marital status, and occupation. If you'd like more information check out this great article on target market demographics.
Why is it Important for a B2B Marketing Strategy?
Remember that marketing is about targeting your buyers, and your buyers are people. While you may be in the business of selling goods or services to other businesses there is always a person paying the bill or making the decision to spend the money.
Understanding your potential customers and their needs and concerns will allow you to better target how to reach them and in turn convert them into paying customer.
Until next time, keep on marketing!