6 Psychographics Examples for Proper Marketing Segmentation

Updated February 3, 2023

Understanding the motivations of consumers is one of the primary contributing factors to a successful marketing campaign. To understand what the public wants, marketers apply the principles of psychographics, which focuses on the beliefs, values and objectives of individuals in the market. If you work in marketing or you'd like to learn more about factors that initiate consumption, you may be interested to know what psychographics can reveal about consumer habits and how these revelations can improve the efficiency of marketing campaigns.

In this article, we define psychographics, outline how it differs from demographics, discuss its uses in marketing and introduce six examples of commonly used psychographic characteristics that you can apply to marketing campaigns.

What is psychographics?

Psychographics is a form of market segmentation that groups consumers based on psychological traits that influence their consuming behaviors. When used in marketing campaigns, psychographics attempts to understand the values and emotions that persuade a potential customer to purchase a certain good or service. It accomplishes this by using data to analyze a consumer's spending habits, passions, ethics and other personal elements that may explain why they make the decisions they do. Once marketers define these consumer groups, they can create marketing plans that appeal directly to the pertinent characteristics.

The criteria that form these groups are psychographic profiles. Such profiles are effective primarily because they allow marketers to focus on specific values and preferences. To acquire enough data to form psychographic profiles, marketers typically use the following two methods:

  • Consulting existing clients: One of the best ways to discover the common psychological characteristics of your client base is to interview people who've already purchased your goods or services. You can gather their insights by sending out customer surveys with questions related to their passions, values, desires, motivations and other relevant psychological characteristics.

  • Studying analytics: Website and social media analytics are powerful tools that can give you unique insight into the motivations of your client base. By studying consumer behavior, you can make conclusions regarding how customers responded to some of your previous marketing campaigns.

Related: 11 Types of Market Segmentation (With Benefits and Examples)

How does psychographics differ from demographics?

The principal difference between psychographics and demographics is that the latter tells you who your customers are, whereas the former aims to understand why they do what they do. For example, demographic data ordinarily concerns factors like:

  • Age

  • Sex

  • Geographic location

  • Education level

  • Socioeconomic status 

  • Marital status

These factors are objective, and such information is relatively easy to acquire. In contrast, psychographic factors are subjective, highly variable and reliant on intense research.

Related: Demographics vs. Psychographics in Audience Segmentation

The uses of psychographics in marketing

Using psychographics in your marketing strategies can result in higher customer engagement and better sales figures. The main reasons for that are:

  • It helps you understand your audience better. Just as demographics help marketing professionals define their target audiences, psychographics takes this insight further by exploring the audience's motivations, desires and hesitations.

  • It can help improve your marketing strategies. Once you know what your audience does and doesn't want, you can tailor your marketing messages based on that information.

  • After implementing a campaign, you can use psychographics to refine your strategy. This is possible by assessing the public's response. The data you gather can help you create future marketing campaigns, as you have a larger amount of reliable information regarding what appealed to some consumers and what discouraged others from purchasing your products.

Related: How To Create a Customer Profile (With Template and Example)

6 psychographics examples

Consider these six examples of psychographic characteristics that you can assess and use in marketing campaigns:

1. Lifestyle

A person's lifestyle refers to their everyday activities. This can mean the area where they live, the people they associate with and other elements relating to how they spend their time. Companies can use this information to guess what a potential customer is lacking in their life and then offer it to them. For example, someone living in a loud and crowded city may want to spend their vacation in a remote and quiet place. A travel agency could use that information to target urban consumers.

Related: What Is Lifestyle Segmentation? (Plus Examples and Tips)

2. Interests

A person's interests are activities they choose to pursue in their spare time. These can be hobbies and pastimes, media consumption habits and passions. Knowing an individual's interests, you can devise ways to associate them with the goods and services of a business. If you're marketing a vehicle, for instance, and you notice that young men in a particular geographic area tend to enjoy fishing, you could promote the vehicle to fishers by showing how useful it could be on a fishing trip.

3. Personality

You can define an individual personality based on five major dimensions: 

  • Agreeableness

  • Openness

  • Extroversion

  • Conscientiousness

  • Neuroticism

You can then use psychographics to assess these traits and segment your target audiences based on similar ones, as a consumer's personality usually correlates with their consuming habits. Once you have a general idea of the common personality traits of your target audience, tailor your marketing campaigns to appeal specifically to those consumers.

4. Values

A person's values refer to their view of what is right and what is wrong. As consumers are increasingly paying attention to the ethics of the businesses they support, using psychographics to study what your audiences' values are can help you construct your organization's brand and public image. For example, if a clothing manufacturing company concludes that its target audience is against animal cruelty, a viable marketing strategy would be to signal the company's commitment to avoiding laboratory testing on animals.

Related: What Are Organization Values?

5. Attitudes, beliefs and opinions

Often, an individual's attitude, beliefs and opinions depend on their education, personality and upbringing. You can either treat these factors as separate psychographics or analyze them together, as they combine to form a person's general worldview. Although they're typically hard to measure objectively and categorize, these characteristics can be decisive in constructing targeted marketing campaigns.

6. Social status

A person's actual or desired social status is an important factor that influences their buying habits. People who value social status or aspire to a higher one are typically more inclined to buy certain products that they perceive as capable of enhancing others' opinions of them. For instance, a clothing manufacturer may discover it can increase its sales volume by increasing its prices, as this suggests to consumers that the products are premium and, thus, signals of higher status.

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