Psychographic Segmentation: The Missing Link In Your Audience Research

Odds are, you know how important segmentation is to effective marketing campaigns. The question is: Are you utilizing all the segmentation strategies available?

Demographic segmentation (creating groups according to things like age, location and income) and behavioral segmentation (dividing consumers according to behavior patterns) are the most common ways to segment your audience. But your campaign may benefit from psychographic segmentation as well.

What Is Psychographic Segmentation?

Psychographic segmentation breaks consumers into segments that influence their buying behaviors, including beliefs, values, lifestyle, social status, opinions and activities. Psychographic segmentation differs from the other forms of segmentation in that it looks at the motivations behind behavior rather than the behavior or demographics themselves.

According to Instapage, psychographic marketing considers:

  • What your audience values in life
  • Pain points they face
  • Why they act the way they do
  • How you can help in a way they will find valuable

Using all three segmentation techniques allows you to build a more holistic audience profile.

Psychographic Foundations

To begin building your psychographic segments, define the following variables as they apply to your audience:

  1. Personality. Personality affects buying habits. Ask yourself: Are members of my audience introverted or extroverted? Creative? Sociable? Optimistic? Organized?
  2. Lifestyle. You can get an idea of what your audience values and how they engage with certain products and services by looking at their lifestyles. Determine your audience’s activities, interests and opinions. These will help you categorize people by what excites them and their beliefs/worldview.
  3. Social status. Different social classes have different levels of buying power, and each class has its preferred and affordable brands. They can be broken down into top-upper, bottom-upper, top-middle, bottom-middle, top-lower and bottom-lower classes.

Knowing these details about your customers is important, particularly as they group themselves into smaller, more niche interest areas.

How to Collect Data

There are a couple different ways to collect psychographic information:

  • Interview customers, either through phone interviews or online surveys. Make sure the questions you ask are open-ended, or a mix of in-depth and multiple-choice questions in surveys. Also, keep your survey length to around five minutes maximum, or people may not get through the entire thing. Download our reader survey template to get started.
  • Use digital analytics, including Google analytics from your website, as well as analytics from social media. Some social platforms have their own analytics for business pages, like Facebook Insights, and there are also social media listening tools you can utilize like Hootsuite.

Rather than choosing one, it’s a good idea to try various methods of data collection. Craft your questions to elicit answers that reveal your audience’s pain points, anxieties, desired outcomes/goals and priorities.

Once you have the information you need to understand your audience’s motivations and problems, you can focus your marketing on what matters most to them. And remember: Psychographic segmentation isn’t a tradeoff for other segmentation strategies—it complements demographic and behavioral data.