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Psychographic Segmentation: A Definitive Guide

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When you drill down into your target market and get to know your customers better, you increase the chances of giving them exactly what they want and need. Creating specific buyer personas helps you see the world through eyes of your ideal customer and, therefore, better serve and market to them. This strategy is even more powerful when you dig deeper into who your target audience is and start using psychographic segmentation.

What Is Psychographic Segmentation?

Psychographic segmentation is a way to categorize audiences and customers by factors that relate to their inner personalities and characteristics.

Unlike demographic and geographic segmentation, which focus on quantifiable and visible details, psychographic segmentation focuses on less obvious details. The characteristics are internal and intrinsic to the customer and not visible from the outside.

Psychographic segmentation variables aren’t as quickly recognizable as other types of segmentation factors; you can’t know the information just by looking at your customer or gathering basic consumer data. You have to go deeper.

What Are Examples of Psychographics?

Psychographic segmentation can be defined using the following factors:

  • Personality traits
  • Values
  • Attitudes
  • Interests
  • Lifestyles
  • Psychological influences
  • Subconscious and conscious beliefs
  • Motivations
  • Priorities

Psychographic segments are often more useful for marketing than demographic or geographic factors because they describe the heart and soul of your ideal audience.  They are behavioral segmentation factors that explain more about who your audience is, what they need, what they want, and how your brand can best connect with them.

This market segmentation information is powerful because it allows you to get to know the emotional and personal side of your customer. You can understand why your audience acts the way they do, which enables you to predict how they may respond to your brand.

You can use the psychographic insights to adjust your products, services, and marketing messages to connect with your audience on a more personal and powerful level.

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How Do You Develop Psychographic Segments?

Gathering psychographic information about your customers is often not as easy as collecting demographic or geographic details, but that doesn’t mean it’s not possible.

There are a few ways to gain insights into sociocultural segmentation factors related to your customer base.

  • You can discover this information about your customers by interviewing your loyal customers in person. This is the best way to get to know your ideal audience as you can use a natural conversation to get them to open up.
  • You can compile questions into a survey and send it to your top customers. You may not be able to go as deep with an online survey as you could with an in-person interview. But this method will help you get answers from a larger pool of customers.
  • You can engage in social media listening and use digital engagement to ask questions and see what your ideal customers are saying and doing. Social media is often a great platform for researching your audience and monitoring their habits and interests.
  • You can use web analytics and data to dig deeper into the minds of your audience.

One way to use data to uncover information about your audience is by using Alexa’s Audience Overlap Tool. Enter your site URL or a URL of one of your competitors. For example, if TOMS, an online shoe retailer, was trying to learn more about their audience, they would enter their website and run the report to find similar websites.

find similar sites for psychographic segmentation

The tool creates a report of other websites that the TOMS audience also frequently visits. The report is displayed in a visual map that shows how the other sites overlap.

audience overlap psychographic segmentation

This information helps TOMS with identifying characteristics for psychographic segmentation. By clicking on the sites, TOMS can uncover patterns based on other websites that the audience visits.

For example, they could see that veganchic.com is another website that the audience visits and, therefore, learn that some of TOMS customers may also value healthy, sustainable eating. They could also see that the audience also visits anthropologie.com, westelm.com, and potterybarn.com, indicating that the audience also enjoys home decor and fine interior finishes.

psychographic segmentation websites

The patterns you see in the Audience Overlap Tool help you uncover details about the interests, hobbies, and values of that group of customers, which is extremely helpful when identifying traits for psychographic segmentation.

For more tips on how to gather details about your audience, use our buyer persona template that outlines the process for creating a fully developed description of your ideal customer.

What Can You Do With Psychographic Segmentation?

Once you have psychographic segmentation data, you can use it to improve your marketing and branding.

Identify Marketing and Brand Positioning Opportunities

When you know that a segment of your audience has a special psychographic trait, you can find places to promote your brand where you know that audience spends time. The Audience Overlap Tool also comes in handy for this research.

You can enter in a site that you know appeals to your audience. For example, TOMS may enter veganchic.com to find a variety of other sites that share the same audience that is likely to be interested in TOMS and a vegan lifestyle. The sites on the list make for strong marketing partners and places that would be ideal for advertising and promotions.

psychographic segmentation marketing opportunities

Find Sites for Guest Posting

Knowing what other websites appeal to your audience based on their interests and psychographic segmentation factors also help you find guest posting opportunities.

Using the report from the Audience Overlap Tool, you can find a variety of sites where you can post content to connect with your ideal customers. The guest blogging sites don’t necessarily need to be closely related to your industry. As long as they are closely related to the interests of your target audience, they may be ideal places to promote content to reach your ideal customers.

Create Better Content

When you intimately know your audience, you are also better equipped to create content that connects with them. You can outline a more detailed buyer’s journey when you deeply understand what your audience wants and needs.

With a detailed purchase funnel, you can identify the content that your target market needs at each stage of the process.

  • In the awareness and discovery phase: When you know your ideal customer’s interests and needs, you can target informational keywords and find related keywords to help them find your brand in search.
  • In the consideration and evaluation phase: When you know what information your target audience needs to solve their biggest problems, you can use MOFu marketing to create gated content that guides customers to take the next step toward connecting with your brand (and provide you with valuable leads).
  • In the conversion and purchase phase: When you know what types of products your customer wants and needs, you can target buying keywords to help searchers find your website.

Guiding customers through the buying decision process is much easier when you use psychographic segmentation to identify their wants and needs at each phase.

Start Leveraging Psychographic Segmentation in Your Buyer Personas

When you create detailed buyer personas, you gain valuable insights into your target audience, which helps you develop better marketing campaigns and a more influential brand. The process of using buyer personas becomes even more powerful when you focus on psychographic segmentation. It allows you to connect with customers based on who they are, what they believe in, and what they care about. For more help segmenting your audience and creating buyer personas, take a look at these buyer persona examples.

Use this post to develop strong psychographic details in your buyer personas. And get even more help by signing up for a free 7-day trial of Alexa’s Advanced Plan. You get all of the tools mentioned in this post along with dozens of other competitive, keyword, and audience analysis tools to help you learn about your customers and create more detailed, powerful buyer personas.

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Psychographic Segmentation: A Definitive Guide