The Difference Between Demographics and Psychographics
Trying to accomplish a goal without a plan is often a futile effort. “Wingin’ it” may work sometimes. More often than not, the results are pretty dismal. That’s why marketers establish a strategy for every campaign they launch. And a key component of any marketing strategy is research.
As detailed in our previous article, brandRUSSO’s exclusive strategic process, Razor Branding™, uses four elements (Focus, Promise, Connection and Harmony) to define an audience, discover the messaging that motivates them, determine the best way to reach them, and explain why they should care.
Focus, the first of Razor Branding’s core elements, is the exploratory phase of strategy. This is where we discover who the relevant audience is. Instead of crafting marketing that’s aimed at an audience that’s too broad or too specific, we focus on defining the appropriate audiences that can benefit from a particular product or service. To help us identify these relevant audiences, we conduct market research using demographics and psychographics.
Demographics and psychographics are common tools and terminology in marketing. However, they’re often mistaken for being identical and interchangeable. While these two forms of data share similar characteristics, they’re also vastly different, much like the audiences they help us identify.
Below, we’ll explain demographics and psychographics and show how their data is used in marketing plans to help find the appropriate audiences.
Demographics are metrics that help us identify audiences and sort them into various categories.
The demographic metrics we use include:
- Marital status
- Number of Children
- Employment Status
When developing our marketing strategy, we use these demographics to define and refine the target audiences, develop messaging that speaks to them, learn where we can connect with them, and establish trustworthy relationships. We do this by creating Demographic Profiles.
A typical Demographic Profile may look like this:
- Age 35-40
- Lives in Northern Louisiana
- Mother of two small children
- College Graduate
- Speech-Language Pathologist
- Average Annual Income $50,000
While these audience demographics provide vital information for marketing strategy that also continue to provide guidance after a campaign is launched. Using sales data and digital analytics, we can confirm which members of the target audiences are purchasing the products and services. This information can also reveal any additional audiences who made a purchase and help us craft future marketing that appeals to their wants and needs.
Psychographics, like demographics, are metrics that also help us identify and categorize audiences. Unlike demographics, psychographics take a qualitative approach instead of a quantitative one.
The psychographic metrics we use include:
Since psychographics are more subjective than demographics, it often requires more investigation and market research to collect the necessary information to classify these target audiences.
Some of the methods we use to attain audience psychographics include:
- Focus Groups
- Digital Analytics
Once all of the pertinent information is collected, we use it to create Psychographic Profiles that work in tandem with our Demographic Profiles.
A typical Psychographic Profile may look like this:
- Enjoys spending time with her family, travelling and home renovations
- Takes pride in her profession and finds it personally rewarding
- Easy-going and thoughtful of others – sometimes to the point of ignoring her own needs and wants
- Budget-conscious with spending for self; Makes exceptions for her children
- Believes that a person’s main priority in life is to help others
With these profiles in hand, we can better understand the target audiences’ needs, wants, aspirations, and pain points. This allows us to craft more empathetic messages that truly speak to them. This results in effective marketing that makes a more significant connection with the intended audiences.
Now that you know the difference between demographics and psychographics and understand the significant roles they play in marketing, it’s time to put these metrics to work for you. To help you get a head start, please use our complimentary FOCUS: Core Customer Checklist to help identify your audience.