Moving From Who to Why: Psychographic Data

Are you using psychographic data in your marketing campaigns? You should be. Without a complete understanding of your consumer persona, the audience you’ve identified may not be your target audience. As a result, you could be wasting a lot of precious time and money creating marketing content that fails to reach your targets.

Psychographics isn’t a replacement for demographics. It’s a step beyond demographic data. You gain a deeper understanding of what matters and motivates your customers. It’s a valuable tool to enable you to communicate more effectively with your potential consumers.

Marketing is Communications

Marketing is a conversation with your consumers. Effective marketing communicates the message that you care about their needs and concerns. To engage in meaningful dialogue with your potential consumers, you need to know more than who they are and where they hang out. You need this data too, but it’s only the first step in developing your target personas. You won’t know what words to use if you don’t understand who they are inside. When you know their beliefs and values, you’ll be able to align your marketing messaging more effectively. For this, you need psychographic data.

Demographics vs. Psychographics Data

psychographics data

Demographic data tells you who your audience is and where to find them.

Psychographics tells you why consumers should want to make an appointment with you, buy your book, or purchase a product. Why is your brand attractive to them? How does your service or product mesh with their values and beliefs?

Consider this example:

With demographic information, your target audience is:

  • 30-50
  • Married
  • Living in the United States
  • Annual income is above $50,000

Their psychographic data might look like this:

  • Concerned about the use of pesticides and other agricultural chemicals
  • Supports organic farmers and sustainable agriculture
  • Is willing to spend more to purchase from brands that have a lower environmental footprint
  • Their favorite way to spend the weekend is hiking or backpacking.

Why Do You Need Psychographic Data?

While it’s true that the online community still surfs, when it comes to making purchase decisions, they focus on what interests them or addresses their needs, concerns, and fears authentically.

A Harvard Business Review article written by Alexandra Samuel gives an excellent example of how psychographics captures what demographic data misses. Suppose your brand is in the family tech industry. You need demographics to begin the process of narrowing your target audience. Family income and age of the children guide parents’ purchasing decisions. But, Samuel suggests that their reasons for making a purchase “are tied to parent psychographics.”

“Parents who trust their kids to make their own tech decisions tend to evaluate their tech purchases in terms of fun and entertainment value. Parents who focus on minimizing screen time gravitate towards software and devices that support their kids’ literacy, math, and academic skills.”

  • When you understand the psychographic differences, you can create more robust keyword messaging that speaks directly to the emotions and thoughts of your consumers.
  • Your marketing materials, blog articles, website copy, CTAs, ad copy, social media profiles, and emails will resonate on a deep level, leading to action.
  • With more defined personas, you can target your marketing messages to an audience more likely to become your consumers.

Behaviors, Opinions, and Attitudes

Psychographic data helps you isolate the more narrow behaviors that repeat every day. For example, does your target audience love to read books? If so, you might publish content that ties into reading, such as book reviews and author profiles. Are they interested in learning how to make money online or how to save money on a small paycheck? Publish messaging that speaks to these concerns, showing how your product or service can help with these real-life challenges.

Psychographic Data Reveals Opinions and Attitudes

Understanding the attitudes of your potential consumer audience enables you to create relatable messages. For example, suppose your brand offers high-end luxury condos. You won’t want to market to people whose value system eschews luxury living, even if they meet your demographic targets.

People with similar opinions tend to bond together. They form validating communities where they can freely express their views on various topics. Once you’ve identified the opinions of your target audience, you can design ad campaigns or social media posts that resonate with those views.

B2B Marketing

Psychographic data is critical to a successful B2B marketing campaign. Developing your customer personas allows you to use messaging that addresses their pain points, vulnerabilities/threats, and deficiencies in customer service.

How do I get Psychographic Data?

It takes a little more effort and time to gather psychographic data, but when you measure your ROI, you’ll see that it’s worth it.

Google Analytics gives you a glimpse into your audience’s interests and behaviors and which pages and articles resonate the most. This is a good place to begin.

Social media analysis helps you discover trends in consumer attitudes, interests, and concerns.

Social listening will help you track what consumers are saying about your brand. Extend your monitoring to find out what comments they’re making on competitors’ brands.

These are three less-intensive methodologies to help you begin to construct realistic personas. But, to get the most out of psychographic targeting, you need to dig a little deeper.

Questionnaire and surveys

Create surveys and questionnaires to post on all your social media channels and to send to your email subscribers. You’ll want to write precise questions to gather the information that will help you better develop your marketing strategy.


You can post a quiz or poll on your social media channels that ask your audience to rate your service or product. Then, dig deeper to elicit responses that get you to the question of whether your brand is relatable and why.

How do I Use Psychographic Data?

Website Content

Once you have gathered psychographic data, you’ll be able to design landing pages that grab your visitors right away. You’ll know which aspects of your services or products to focus on and how to describe them. The images, text, and colors that you use should speak to the personas you’ve created.

Email Campaign

With psychographic data, you’ll be able to create CTAs that compel your subscribers to take action. You’ll use the data to write copy that makes a connection between their concerns and problems and the “solution” that you’re offering. By getting to their pain points, you’ll also improve your open rate. For instance, perhaps you’re sending an email to announce an upcoming webinar or Masterclass. Once you’ve segmented your audience personas, you can pitch the event in a way that demonstrates how the solutions that will be discussed will make a difference in their lives.

Blog Articles

Utilize psychographic data in your blog articles to create readable and engaging articles that resonate with the concerns and needs of your target audience.

What About My Brand Values?

Your brand values should always be prominent in your marketing materials, whether online or digital. Gathering psychographic data and creating audience personas doesn’t mean you shift your brand values.

Psychographic data empowers you to connect your brand values to the values of your ideal consumer. When values are aligned, consumer loyalty is strengthened. Your prospects will be more inclined to share your brand’s content with other like-minded connections that share their values. You’ll build a team of loyal ambassadors to help you grow your organic audience and enlarge your brand’s visibility.

Bottom Line

Psychographic data helps you acquire a deeper understanding of your consumer audience. Combined with demographics, you’ll be better able to create marketing content that resonates with those most likely to purchase your product or service.

Collecting psychographics requires more time and energy, but many of the tools suggested above are quickly produced.  If you’re short on time, dig out as much as you can from Google Analytics and begin with that. Hopefully, you’re using social listening tools. If so, you’re already learning a lot about consumer opinions of your product or service.

How have you used psychographic data to improve your conversions? And grow your consumer audience? Please let us know in the comment box below.

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