Many businesses study the demographics of their customers or prospects – data about their average age, income, occupation, education, gender, marital status, etc. They might be new parents, small business owners, sports fans, or people over 60. Chances are, you have a clear picture of your target demographic – the people most likely to make a purchase or engage your company.

But knowing how members of that group think, what their likes and dislikes are, and what cultural touchstones might resonate with them, can help you target your ideal buyer with marketing incentives and useful information. Psychographics is the science of studying the personal values, attitudes, opinions and lifestyles of groups of people.

Is your target demographic motivated to make a purchase? If so, what are those motivations? Psychographics paints a clearer picture of your target market and what those prospects value, and what motivates them to make a purchase.

What do your target buyers do in their spare time? This can be a strong indicator of the things that interest them. What are their personal values: status, money, better health, a better family life, security? What are the concerns of your target market, and how can your company address those concerns?

What are the values they follow when making a purchase? Do they prefer “green” products and companies concerned about the environment? Do they like to use coupons to get the most value for their money?

Learning more about the drives, interests, opinions and motivations of potential consumers can enable you to target marketing messages to people who are truly interested in what you have to say and what you have to sell.

A hearing aid provider is likely to serve an older clientele, but a clientele that has the resources to purchase a hearing loss solution. The materials your company delivers to these prospects will be very different from the content and look you’d present to teenage skateboarders. The language would be different, the motif would be different, the message very different.

Develop Psychographics

So how do you collect psychographic lifestyle data to better focus your marketing and lowering those marketing costs? Here are some suggestions.

Start by talking to existing buyers or clients. Ask them what products and services they need. How you can better serve existing clients will reveal a great deal about how to serve all clients, because they are likely to have similar values, opinions, attitudes and lifestyles.

Develop website metrics. Your website is an excellent tool to develop psychographics for your target market. Do site visitors bounce, or do they stick around to read about your business? Where did visitors come from and which pages attracted the most attention? Test different text, different “looks” and more highly-focused advertising to drive the most likely candidates to become clients.

Use client surveys after each client engagement. Keep the survey simple to complete, but make it complete. What did clients like and dislike about their engagement with your company? You’ll learn a great deal from buyers who recently made a purchase at your store, or had dinner at your restaurant.

Use this psychographic information to do everything from swap out inventory to offering free appetizers if that’s what motivates your patrons.

Watch what competitors do. Especially bigger competitors that spend more on marketing than you do. Analyzing competitor activity can save a lot of money by eliminating the trial-and-error approach to marketing and sales by clearly defining the motivations of your ideal buyer.

If a company advertises in local print media week after week, it’s likely that competitor is seeing a positive return on their investment on those print ads. Does your ideal consumer get a newspaper every day, or subscribe to magazines? If not, do they use social media extensively and use mobile devices to gather information and interact with businesses? 

Do your own psychographics analysis. Sure, you’ve got the demographics. Now, move on to the motivations, values, opinions and lifestyles of your perfect buyer.

Then, develop your marketing materials to reach that ideal consumer of your goods or services.


The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC