Demographics vs Psychographics - Mrs. Scott's Website

Demographics vs Psychographics
Market research provides insight into what consumers will purchase and the ways in which groups of
people relate to each other. Two very specific market research tools are demographics and
psychographics – both key ingredients to a successful marketing plan.
Demographics consist of factual information and are void of any opinion or
conclusion. Demographics include the type of information that can be categorized and labeled, such as
age, race, gender, income, religion, education, career, memberships, types and number of credit cards
used, type of car, address, size of residence (rented or owned) and number of residents in the
household. A few examples of demographic information used in business marketing include:
For an upscale neighborhood restaurant – Married, 35- to 50-year olds, $75,000 to $125,000
mean income, works in the area or from home.
For a cell phone provider service – Divorced, 30- to 40-year-olds, $45,000 to $60,000 mean
income, renting residence.
For an in-home nursing care provider – Single, 65- to 90-year-olds, above average health care
needs, living alone.
Psychographic information, also called IAO variable (interest, activities, and opinions), is not quantitative
and does not use simple numbers and figures. Instead, psychographics classify the target market's
feelings toward consumer goods, such as what they want and why, how they carry on their everyday
lives, what they value and most importantly, how they make choices when it comes to what they
purchase. Psychographic analysis is also called lifestyle analysis, as it looks at all of the factors that make
up a person's lifestyle. Psychographic information is based on a demographic profile, so it can only exist
in the presence of a demographic. Some examples of psychographic information used for business
marketing include:
For an upscale neighborhood restaurant – trend-followers have a taste for life's more expensive
pleasures, working professionals who prefer a served dinner rather than the experience of
grocery shopping and cooking at home.
For a cell phone provider service – Technologically-wired individuals, urban dwellers with busy
professional or social lives, enjoy a fast-paced lifestyle.
For an in-home nursing care provider – Seeking comfort, conscious about spending, practical,
A few ways to determine a group's psychographics are:
Personal observation – Observing customers during times of shopping and purchase can speak
volumes to the business owner about what works for marketing and what doesn't.
Employee observations - Polling employees about their experiences in observing customers,
whether in-store or during online interaction, can add a fresh point of view to a marketing plan.
Oral interviews - Talking directly to the consumer can provide the most valuable feedback
Written surveys - Polling or surveying customers through a written platform allows for honest
feedback, as it can be protected by anonymity. Online survey tools allow questions to be
tailored to the specific inquiries for a business.
Focus groups - A collective group of consumers speaking about their experiences can also
provide priceless data for market research.
A Comparison of the Marketing Tools
More grounded in the fashion of a census and free from points of view, demographics are an important
tool for marketing. However, in making generalizations, a demographic does not take into account an
individual's attitude or personality, simply the raw data that represents the individual on paper.
Marketing campaigns are the driving force of a business, and while demographics can make estimations
of a group's probable interests based on facts and figures, the modern-day consumer is decidedly more
complicated and opinionated.
Psychographics take into account the present attitude of the consumer: what he wants in this moment
in time. Opinions are of the utmost importance, and social research as a whole benefits immensely from
the opinion of the consumer. Psychographics allow market researchers to take a more personal glimpse
at the desires of the consumer that goes beyond everyday facts, such as his residence or age. By
knowing what will capture their attention or what can deter them entirely, a marketing campaign can be
planned and executed much more efficiently.
In order to successfully market a business, it's imperative to know the true wants and needs of
customers, and using a combination of psychographics and demographics can offer a boost in gaining
that knowledge.