Psychographics vs Demographics: Which is More Important?

The two most essential components of market segmentation are demographics and psychographics. Both of these are used to help companies and brands understand who to target, where to target, and how to target.

While the age-old practice has been to get the demographic statistics of a target audience, consumer research has proven that psychographics weighs more.

In this article, we will cover how both demographics and psychographics can be most effectively used in your next marketing campaign. Also, you’ll get to understand what data you need to collect to accurately capture consumer motivation for purchasing a product or service.


What are Demographics?

As far as marketing and advertising are concerned, demographics remain the traditional way of gathering customer insight.

Indeed, one of the most significant ways of compiling consumer information is through an annual census. And these reports often include data such as:

Educational Level
Number of Children
Profession/Social Class
Marital Status

The focus of demographics is to collect quantitative statistics of the population in a particular target audience. The data are limited to specific groups within a specific period.  This method of gathering population data is standard in marketing because it is convenient and easy to understand.

When information relating to employment, ethnicity, mobility, and the like are collected, a company can determine its popular consumers. And since demographics are quantitative, the facts can be verified and carefully adjusted with the passage of time.
Another crucial part of demographics is the explanation of population changes over a period of time or within a specific location.

In market segmenting, demographics have always been the first point of call to explain clear-cut data. This secondary market research is cheaper, less time-consuming, and almost effortless.

But are the data garnered from demographics sufficient to explain the actual needs of consumers as far as products and services are concerned?  Before we explore that, let’s find out what psychographics are.


What are Psychographics?

Psychographics has recently been adopted for the understanding of the customer base.  Without question, they provide a more personal dimension to connecting with customers. In fact, as the name implies, psychographics focus on the psychological aspect of a group of people identified as a target audience.

Psychographic characteristics include:
Family qualities
Habits and behaviors

Psychographics are more subjective than demographics. As a form of primary market research, psychographics require intentional, one-on-one analysis as a starting point.  Your company can decide to conduct surveys on participants to show their behavior toward a specific product.

In the long run, you will discover the essential markers of your customers’ lifestyle.


How Do Demographics and Psychographics Affect Marketing?

It’s important to state that all consumers have a psychographic persona.

While it’s true that demographics provide verifiable data, this research method is less personal. Demographics hardly focus on the actual personality make-up of consumers.  Psychographics are fundamental to the thorough analysis of your audience. Driving sales and boosting growth is not just about age, income or location. It requires proper integration of the attitudes, needs, and lifestyle choices that would drive a customer specifically to your brand or product.

Consider this scenario:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Nationality
  • Occupation
  • Income
  • 45
  • Female
  • Canada
  • TV Celebrity
  • $5M/year

These details are necessary, we agree. Nevertheless, in an upgraded customer demographics and psychographics example, you would find a survey that seeks to know how this person lives, who she is, and what she does daily.  Just because you have a product that is designed for wealthy Canadian women in their 40’s doesn’t mean that every woman who falls into that demographic category would find that product useful.  If you build a broad ad strategy just around demographics, but fail to consider why or how your product actually meets a perceived need, you may end up disappointed with low ad click-thru or conversion rates.

Research that focuses on only the external makeup of a target audience and ignores the psychological make-up is insufficient.

Let’s show you the differences between demographics and psychographics.


Fundamental Differences between Demographics and Psychographics

Demographics dwell on individual facts and data while psychographics focuses on tastes, opinions, interests, and values.
Demographics require little or no primary contact whereas psychographics entails physical connection and communication between a company and its target consumers.

When discussing demographics and psychographics, the former is quantitative while the latter is qualitative.
In marketing, psychographics provides long-term results while demographics need regular adjustment which may impede future impact.


Why Are Psychographics More Important?

Now, do you understand how the demographics vs. psychographics issue works?
In market segmentation, to understand your consumers, you need to consider the following:

All three are commonly called AIOs, and only psychographics can produce this. Without understating the importance of demographics, it has become clear that psychographics is the engines that make a company connect with its consumers.

Today, customer relationship and retention are central to the growth and dominance of any brand in the global market.
Besides, if you seek to grab the attention and win the hearts of any community, you should pay attention to their AIOs as you gather the necessary details.

How to integrate demographics and psychographics and capture psychographics.


How Can You Capture Psychographics?

Focus Groups – These groups carry out thorough research studies that focus on health, lifestyle, achievements, goals, social life, and more. You can easily hire a focus group to provide reasonable ideas on your customers.

Questionnaires – Another efficient way of gathering psychographic profiles is through surveys and polls. With this method, you can meet your consumers face-to-face and encourage them to provide accurate information required by the forms.

Social Media Analytics Data – You can find interests, hobbies, and values of your target audience on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These platforms are time-saving and cost-effective methods of capturing psychographics.
Other methods include phone calls, interviews, etc. Note; however, that you can employ these approaches when you have a handful of people to communicate with.


Creating A Psychographic Persona

To further illustrate the top status of psychographics, let’s pretend to be a company that sells weight loss programs.  We will create a persona of a customer within our target market segment.

Targeted Demographics:
Married with kids
Lives in the U.S.

Psychographic Profile:
Feels insecure about and wants to improve physical appearance
Largely overweight
Too busy with work and kids to visit the gym
Loves weekend hangouts with friends
Values time with family
Spends at least 10 hours on her computer

With the combined survey above, it is clear that your marketing strategies can revolve around who she is and what she wants to achieve.  To sell your diet program to this woman, you would need to meet her on the social platform which she uses.
Next, you design a campaign that shows her how to maximize time between her kids and work. And finally, prove to her that the diet program would be affordable, will get her reasonable results, and that she will feel good about herself while doing it.

Understanding the motivations, needs, and priorities of a target market segment makes creating attractive content less of a guessing game.


Wrap Up

As we have shown above, demographics and psychographics are better considered as a whole vs. different parts. Of course, we agree that demographics are an excellent choice for collecting basic consumer information.
Irrespective, the best part of your marketing and branding is psychographics. Psychographics reshape your brand’s identity and allow you to produce stronger campaigns, engaging content, and communicate more effectively.
In short, psychographics entail enhancing targeted demographic segments to optimize sales and customer relationships.


Would you like to learn more about how to create personas and psychographic segments for your own marketing efforts?


0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *