Agile Insights Blog

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Demographics vs. Psychographics - Here's Why You Need Both.

Aug 30, 2022 2:36:52 PM

When launching a new product or marketing campaign, the first question that must be answered is, “Who is my target audience?” Most brand leaders and marketers use demographics to identify their audience - objective data like gender, age, income, and marital status - and for some brands, this may be enough. A large cosmetics and skincare company for example could simply target women and still do quite well in reaching their buyers. But what if this skincare company wanted to launch a new, luxury vegan-ingredient product line? They would still likely reach their buyers using their current demographic targeting, but would also waste dollars reaching buyers that don’t have a preference for natural products and are not willing to pay a premium for them. Gathering subjective data like values, goals, and attitudes helps narrow down the target audience - and budget - to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of marketing efforts. 

Enter psychographics. 

In short, demographics explain who your buyer is, while psychographics explains WHY they buy. Psychographics shouldn’t necessarily replace the use of demographics, but using them together can help focus your strategies and plans, allowing you to talk to the right people at the right time in their purchasing journey. For example, the skincare company might identify its target audience for the new vegan product line like this:


  • Female
  • 25-65 years of age
  • Income level of $100+
  • Married with children
  • Lives in suburban areas


  • Concerned with her health and the health of her family
  • Tries to live an environmentally-friendly lifestyle
  • Interested in pursuing a cleaner lifestyle and using more natural products
  • Short on time, multitasks often
  • Enjoys going online in the evenings and follows mommy bloggers
  • Tends to favor quality over economy

Using psychographics to determine your target audience can greatly improve your communication strategies, allowing you to create more emotional connections with your customers. Today’s consumers are looking for more personalized experiences and are more loyal to brands that share the same values as they do. When brands find the specific audience segment that has been looking for solutions to the exact problems their products can solve - that’s when the marketing magic happens.

Once you learn the reasons why your customers choose brands and make purchases, you can build better buyer personas that can be used in many different ways. Here are some examples of how your brand could benefit from adding psychographic profiles to your marketing tactics:

Write better ads. Having better insight into the interests and personalities of your target customers allows you to write ad copy that appeals specifically to them. And we know that personalized messages result in better conversion rates; a 2020 study by Innovid found that  43% of consumers believe it’s important that digital ads are personalized and 29% said they would be more likely to make a purchase if advertising was personalized.

Focus media campaigns more accurately. Knowing more about your customer's interests allows you to deliver messages to them in the right places. If you’ve ever run a Facebook Ads campaign, you’ll know how much detail can be chosen when selecting your target audience. Many media properties are now able to find and target prospective customers by interest, allowing you to get a lot more bang for your buck. 

Produce more engaging content that works harder for you. Now that you better understand the topics and activities that are interesting to your customers, you can produce content that they are actively searching for. Content helps people discover your business, brand, and products. When you align your distributed and website content with the needs and values of your customers, you’ll see more engagement with your brand and more traffic to your website.

Create More Targeted, Relevant Email Marketing Blasts

Delivering a highly personalized email to your customer’s inboxes at important touchpoints throughout their customer journey is a great way to improve your open rates. While a subject line promoting new products for the fall might perform well for our skincare company, one that promotes natural-ingredient, multitasking facial cleansers will likely appeal more to the target audience for our new product line.

Reinforce, or adjust, your brand values and mission.

As mentioned earlier, customers are more likely to stay loyal and become advocates for brands that closely align with their own values and beliefs. Putting your brand values on full display is a great way to create more emotional connections with the most like-minded customers. Uncovering the psychographic profiles of your most fiercely loyal followers allows you to gut-check that your messaging, and overall brand identity, reflect these values.

Get a broader look at demographics. Psychographic segmentation allows you to see who shares the same sets of beliefs. Since values cross demographic lines, get a broader view of who will respond positively to the same messaging.

Convinced you need to put the psycho in psychographics ASAP? Sure, you can attempt this on your own by digging into Google Analytics, social media profiles, and conducting interviews - but if you are looking to get more relevant information about your brand in front of your most desirable prospective customers as soon as next month, Vennli can help you get started. Set up some time with one of our experts today!

Tracy Corry
Written by Tracy Corry

Digital Marketing Strategist with 20 years experience, dedicated to helping brands create meaningful connections with their customers.

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