What are demographic and psychographic profiles? And what can they do for your business?

If you don’t have a large budget to spend on marketing, you still have to compete for attention in a market with big business. But getting an audience’s attention is not only, or even primarily, about going big. It’s about strategy and matchmaking. You don’t need to get everyone. You need to find your customers.

The more you can target your message to an audience ready to hear you, the more you can gain just the people to match. Demographic and psychographic profiles help you know who your audiences are, where they live, what they’re into, where they pay attention, and how they might be ready to spend their money.

Demographics: Finding the protagonists

Demographics refers to the process of identifying key socioeconomic characteristics of your target audience. You could think about it this way: you are finding and describing the main protagonists in your sales “story.” When someone comes looking for your service, who are they? How do they live?

Characteristics covered by demographic analysis include location, age, marital status, income, gender, and education.

Demographic information gives you the background of where your customers are coming from and helps you to build profiles for your ideal customer.

Gathering demographic info

Since you’re using information from real people to shape your “avatar” of an ideal customer, you can work with demographic information from two directions. You can start with the customers you have, and you can use research findings from market competitors. In either case, you’re using the information to chisel away at images of the kind of people who will best benefit from your product or service. The more detailed these profiles can be, the more specifically and accurately you can target your marketing.

Psychographics: Filling out the plot

If demographics gives you your protagonists, psychographics gives you the action. How do your customers come to the point of deciding on you? There are several psychological steps that lead up to that point of committing to a purchase, beginning with a need and an attraction. Psychographics gets below the surface to tease out the desires and motivations behind each customer profile’s decision to purchase.

Gathering psychographic info

As much detail as you put into each customer profile, put as much detail into imagining what might lead each profile to purchase from you. Imagine it first, before you compare with gathered data. Fill out occupation, stage-of-life, and stage-of-career details, the problem they need to be solved, the level of urgency, what is most likely to alleviate distress and discomfort, where will they turn, what will appeal to their aesthetic, personal, and professional sensibilities. Do this for each customer profile.

Putting it all together

Keep up with changes
Wherever you get your analytics—Google, Facebook, MailChimp, SurveyMonkey—keep up with the data. Don’t take for granted that an audience which responds strongly to a web ad this month will have the same response six months from now. Your favorite data-gathering tool today might not be your best in a year. Stay on top of your methods and information, keep checking, and keep integrating new data into previous assessments.

An expert marketing partner can keep on top of this for you.

Ask for easy feedback

Many companies ask for demographic information and service feedback because they know that capturing consumer habits and improving their demographic profiles works to increase marketing effectiveness. But this also means that your audience is already being asked for surveys from several other directions. If you ask for “quick feedback” or a “brief survey” to capture demographic details, make more than good on your promise.

You can also integrate surveys into the flow of existing customer interaction. Consider embedding the survey in the email, or providing a one-click survey pop-up in a web browser. Include demographic information as part of opening an online account. The fewer steps you require for a customer to share information about themselves or their purchase experience, the greater likelihood you have of receiving it.

Finally, you can offer a reward for filling out a survey. This may be especially effective among audiences that already receive many surveys.

Affinity and interests reports

Affinity reports, such as those offered by Google, compare customer experience between different audiences. It offers information on how people interact with you on the web, such as where people visit and click on your website, and sorts these statistics by the age, gender, etc. of the audience. Where do men tend to be interested in your site? Where do women tend to go? Do you tend to get more attention from one age group over another?

These are not only helpful in telling you where you are but may help you see unexpected directions or trends that lead you in a new direction as you target and retarget.

Market research

Of course, you want to see what your competitors (especially your peers in the league) are finding. How do they tell their sales “story?” Many companies offer blog posts, whitepapers, e-books, and other resources, sharing industry findings and tips on what particular customers seem to like, want, and need. Use what they know to customize to your own needs. What markets still need to be cornered? Where are your competitors struggling that you can pick up the slack?

Knowing your audience and understanding their motivations puts you the in driver’s seat, no matter the size of your business. You will know better how to appeal to precisely the groups you want, combining strategy, timing, message, and tools to your best advantage, and saving yourself time and money, and avoiding wasteful shots in the dark.

At Range, a Deluxe company, our experts walk alongside you to target, gather, and most of all use the information that will most benefit your company, and help you reach your business goals. Don’t get lost in data. Get clear, successful reach. Contact us today.