One of the most important insights for the success of a good marketing campaign is understanding the customer. You need to know not only the hard data that comes with demographics – like age, gender, ethnic background, education, etc. – but also what their interests are, their personality type, as well as their attitudes and the type of activities they enjoy. Technology has made it possible to see and understand with ease this ‘soft’ type of data and know who your customers really are based on their interests and personality.

What is psychographics?

Psychographics is the study of people’s attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria. And up until now, it was often misunderstood, hard to obtain, and often times unreliable. That’s why most businesses just stuck onto demographics data to try to understand their customer. But just studying demographics is not enough to get the whole picture. Although demographics can tell you what someone looks like, it does not tell you if they are interested in your product.

A Caucasian woman in her early 30s making 65k per year with a bachelor’s degree and no family will have a different personality and different interests than someone else within the same demographic based on how they were raised, who their friends are, what is their sexual or religious orientation, etc. The best way to understand the consumer is to know their wants and needs.

The old psychographics

The old way of studying a person’s desires was to try to categorize them into five personality groups or other smaller subsets through surveys, focus groups, and one-on-one interviews. This has its own set of problems.

Firstly, the data collected is only from a small fraction of people which will become increasingly inaccurate when modeled for the rest of the population. This type of modeling assumes that everyone within a specific segment will act and think the same. Moreover, those that participate in market surveys, focus groups, and interviews should be a subset of their own, as generally speaking, those that are open to these studies do not express the same opinions as those who do not. Lastly, the data collected is often outdated and do not represent the current trends in the market.

So how can you get reliable, up-to-date information on people’s interests and needs?

The new psychographics

The ever-evolving world of collecting data through new technology has made it easier than ever to get accurate information on almost anything you want. Namely, search engines and social media platforms can now give insight into what was impossible to see 10 years ago.

You are able to know a lot about a person just by looking at their social media profile. Not only is this type of information comprehensive – from seeing what someone’s favorite sports team is to where they went last week for vacation – but it tends to be the most accurate information as people are honest when unprovoked.

Then combine that with search engine data, and we can get a clear representation of what people’s desires and interests are, not through modeling, but accurate snapshot data of current market trends.

For example, you are able to see how many people have searched for bakeries in any neighborhood, city, county, or state. Furthermore, you can get insight into how much interest exists for bakeries through social media posts, likes, interests, shares, etc.

The easy way to get it

This new form of psychographics is easy to obtain, measure, and understand. It can tell you how much interest and demand there is for what you sell, as well as mapping where those people are. For small to medium-sized businesses, you no longer need to hire out a team of marketers to know where your business will have success. IdealSpot’s reports contain new psychographics data as well as traffic, traditional demographics, spending, and many others for the most detailed location analysis you can find on the market.

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Marc Smookler

About Marc Smookler

Marc Smookler has founded 6 companies—2 of which have been acquired and 3 of which are market leaders in their respective spaces—the leading brick-and-mortar retail analytics company (IdealSpot.com), a leading online retailer (SakeSocial.com), and a cutting-edge marketing services platform (Written.com). Marc’s companies have generated over $300M in lifetime revenues and sold over 150,000 products worldwide.

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