Psychographics — New(ish) Word, Old Concept

We look at the Google Analytics data for The Clever Consultant on a regular basis, because we want to grow our reading audience, and we also want to turn some of our readers into clients. So nearly every day, Jason and I log onto our Google Analytics account and look at information like Site Visits, Page Views, Organic Traffic, and we also look at what search terms people entered that might have brought them to the site.

It’s allowed us to learn some things about our audience.  Nearly every one of our readers accesses our website from within the U.S. (though occasionally a place like Azerbaijan will show up, and we have no explanation for this). The most popular browser our readers use is Chrome, followed by Internet Explorer, Safari, and Firefox. And we know that most of our readers are using a laptop or desktop computer, rather than a mobile device.

This is all mildly interesting, demographic information. It shows us how many people are out there, and is a good gauge of whether we’re becoming more or less popular (the answer is more popular every month, thank you very much).

But if you drill a little deeper into this demographic information, you’ll learn more about just who is out there. With a little research, you can start to make some educated guesses about how your readers behave, and more importantly, what they want to buy and how they buy it. Welcome to the world of psychographics. That’s the word some marketers use about the craft of trying to get into your audience’s head.

Has a marketing firm asked you about your clients’ psychographic profile? Don’t get intimidated, and don’t assume they’re smarter than you. It’s basically a new word about an old idea: In order to sell, you need to understand some things about your potential clients’ behavior and motivations.

Psychographics is the study of what your audience values, what interests them, and what their opinions are on topics that might be related directly or indirectly to your consulting practice. When you start thinking about your audience in this way, you can start to build personas. A persona is a hypothetical customer, who you think of as kind of a real person. For example, we’re working on a project that includes doing some marketing for a new restaurant. The restaurant is in the Southwest, and it’s located near some venues where professional sports teams play.

We can count the number of people who go to these games, but what we want to do is get at their behavior. Are they likely to walk down to the restaurant after the game for a drink, or dinner? Is the restaurant too far from the stadiums, considering how hot it can get there? Will they take a taxi or public transportation, or even walk? Is the fan most likely to go to our client’s restaurant a local resident, or a game-day visitor from out of town?

What message or promotion or other enticement will get these particular fans to change their behavior and go down the road to our clients’ restaurant?

Understanding the answers to these questions is an exercise in psychographics. Understanding your audience’s psychographics means you will understand better who is buying, what they want, why they want it, and how your offer will match those needs.



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