Demography vs Psychography

Marketers and researchers have used demography as an essential tool for their research and analysis for ages now. The word “demography” literally means the statistical study of populations, humans being one of them. And as with most study areas, various subtopics have spun off of demography, including demographic analysis and demographic profiling.

As you can tell, that kind of information is deeply insightful. But as a marketer, how would understanding the relationships between social, cultural, economic, or the biological processes that influence a population help me create a product or a service that’s suitable for the audience I want to serve? Besides getting my customer avatar ready, I’m not expecting anything powerful or transformative.

That’s one reason why I’ve come to believe that we have to go beyond demography to cater to the audience we want to serve. How? By studying psychographics. It’s a qualitative methodology used to describe people’s psychological traits and cognitive attributes such as values, attitudes, interests, opinions, and beliefs.

So, you’re no longer stuck with data related to age, gender, educational level, socio-economic status, or religion but understand what your people like to do. That could mean having insight into the kind of music they listen to, their food choices, clothing preferences, the cars they drive, or even their internet browsing habits!

As you can tell, psychographics goes way deeper to shed light on just the kind of information I will need to tailor solutions to the audience’s actual needs. Having that level of understanding helps you be respected by your audience and be part of their social circle, their tribe. Now, that is taking your marketing to an all-new level.

So, is it time to ditch your customer avatars? Not quite. However, it is time to go beyond the basics and make an effort to understand what moves your audience truly. That’s marketing for a purpose.

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