Sunday, April 14, 2024

What is Psychographic Segmentation in Marketing?

Have you ever wondered why some marketing messages seem to hit the mark perfectly while others fall flat? The answer often lies in psychographic segmentation. 

This powerful marketing tool delves beyond basic demographics to understand the mindsets and motivations driving consumer behaviour.

Marketing is all about understanding and captivating your target audience. Because this is a challenging task, market segmentation will enable you to break down a large market into more manageable groups based on shared characteristics.

We’re not talking about information such as age, gender, or location but a significantly deeper level of insight. Psychological characteristics that arms marketers to tailor messages and strategies to resonate with their customers are the pillars of effective marketing campaigns.

In this article, we’ll delve into psychographic segmentation examples and other data to provide a comprehensive understanding of what it takes to create a key marketing strategy.

What is Psychographic Segmentation in Marketing?

As the term “psycho” indicates, psychographic segmentation in marketing involves dividing consumers into groups based on their psychological characteristics.

Our goal is to move past simple demographic data and enter a consumer’s mind. We will cover five psychographic segmentation variables.


Our personality plays a major role in how we behave, make decisions, and what we purchase. For instance, is your primary customer:

  • Introverted or Extroverted? Imagine advertising products aimed at social gatherings to a group of introverts. It doesn’t really make sense, does it? Promote your products to a personality type that makes logical sense, and consider whether there are niches you can tap into.

  • New Experiences or Risk-Averse? Whether it’s fashion, self-care or cars, someone with an adventurous personality is more likely to try innovative products, while those prioritising stability may stick with tried-and-true brands.

  • Logical or Emotional? Think of a Facebook advertisement that lists the benefit of a product versus one that appeals to the emotional side of an audience to drive into their feelings. Logic and emotions are two factors you must consider in a marketing campaign.

Always consider personality in your psychographic data breakdown.

Values and Beliefs

More than ever, we are witnessing the impact of values and beliefs on purchasing habits. These factors greatly influence spending considerations, so long as they are legitimate and not obviously executed as a marketing stunt.

  • Sustainability: An environmentally-conscious person will likely select green products with ethical sourcing. Companies with genuinely green footprints should leverage this in marketing strategies to appeal to their target market.

  • Status and Exclusivity: Luxury brands are a prime example of using psychographic segmentation in marketing. They target individuals who prioritise social status and seek to signal belonging to a particular group.

  • Social Responsibility: Many niche clothing brands enable consumers to resonate with their social justice values. Naturally, people will pivot toward brands that align with their causes.

However, here this is where things get interesting!

What marketing strategy do you employ when the psychographic segmentation data reveals your primary consumer is extroverted, risk-averse and prioritises sustainability? 

After you collect psychographic segmentation data, there is a story that your team will need to unravel and combine an amalgamation of factors.


In a list of psychographic segmentation variables, the lifestyle of consumers is arguably the most important. Lifestyles encompass how people choose to spend their time, money, and energy. This offers a goldmine of insights into their needs, priorities, and purchasing behaviours.

  • Health and Wellness: The active lifestyle fitness enthusiast is a great example of this variable making an impact on purchasing decisions. Marketing campaigns could highlight products that support workout clothing, fitness trackers, healthy meals, supplements, and plenty more. On the other hand, if you focus on busy corporate workers with limited time, the appeal of convenience-oriented products takes the cake.

  • Urban vs Rural Living: The stark contrast between living in an urban environment and rural highlights the different needs and priorities of a consumer. The average city dweller will prefer efficient appliances or on-demand services, while rural audiences will take outdoor gear or landscaping supplies. It seems straightforward, but this is to ensure you understand the concept.

  • Work-Life Balance: Every target market strives to achieve its own work-life balance. The busy office worker will love products or services that save their precious time, such as one-click bill payments and grocery deliveries. While the person with more leisure time will be drawn to marketing material with travelling or hobbies.

Lifestyle is a powerful psychographic segmentation, but it is also the most complex.

Society is full of complex intricacies with constant changes in lifestyle throughout life stages. Young adults are in a transformational period and might value affordability more than anything. At the same time, a middle-aged person is likely to have their mind on family needs.

Similar to this psychographic segmentation, your marketing campaigns need to be adaptable. The malleability will boost the likelihood of driving sales and branding.

Opinions and Attitudes

What does a stranger on the street think of your brand?

Brand perception is a cornerstone of marketing, but psychographic segmentation takes it to the next level. How is your product viewed? What is the general public consensus about your industry? Are their positive attitudes regarding your brand?

The answers to these questions should help you forge genuine connections with the target audience.

Interests and Hobbies

People’s hobbies and interests offer a direct peek into their passions, values, and potential needs. Focus on understanding and aligning with their interests to tap into existing enthusiasm – it’s all about creating something exciting and relevant.

  • Photography: A camera brand doesn’t just sell gear. It creates tutorials for budding nature photographers or partners with hiking brands to promote gear for capturing stunning landscapes.

  • Gardening: A plant nursery could offer content on designing pollinator-friendly gardens, aligning with environmental values, or partnering with home décor brands for stylish planter promotions.

  • DIY Projects: A hardware store creates how-to guides addressing common home repairs or partners with influencers for inspirational craft projects. This adds value beyond simply showcasing products.

It’s important to stay clear from superficial trends and make a genuine connection to add value.

Key Benefits of Psychographic Segmentation

Demographic segmentation is “who” your customers are, while psychographics reveals the “why” behind their purchase decisions. Are they driven by practicality, social status, or a sense of adventure? This rich psychographic data will educate your team and streamline the messaging process.

Businesses can develop highly targeted campaigns through this nuanced understanding. Now that you’re aware of their values and interests, it’s a game-changing data set.

Psychographic Segmentation Examples in Action

Here is an example of an elementary-level marketing campaign that makes use of psychology.

Example: Imagine a sustainable apparel brand targeting eco-conscious consumers.

This brand surveys their customers and analyses their social media to find shared characteristics. The business has identified a target audience that deeply resonates with sustainability, ethical fashion, and minimising textile waste.

Realising that trendy styles won’t be enough to sway their consumers, the brand employs a tailored campaign which highlights its commitment to recycled material and ethical manufacturing. They also:

  • Partner with sustainability influencers who are credible and trusted.

  • Market on platforms that favour environmentally conscious companies or blog content.

  • Ensure their website and marketing collateral have imagery of pristine nature to appeal to their consumer’s desires.

Rather than manufacturing a generic fashion ad, this brand has tapped into consumer psychology to maximise its efforts. 

Personalised Marketing

In a sea of recycled marketing messages in your inbox, finding anything that feels genuinely fresh is hard. 

Everyone knows the email they received has been sent to another thousand people, but a few subtle intricacies can make it feel personal!

These personal touches don’t need to be exceptionally detailed. For instance, a travel company that knows one of its segments is interested in adventurous experiences might personalise its subject line with “Explore Undiscovered Hiking Trails.”

The value proposition is greater since the company is offering its standard service with additional information or deals about “undiscovered hikes.” These personalized marketing campaigns strengthen buyers, and companies using the segmentation method form the backbone of detailed buyer personas.

As you continue to collect psychographic data, all of your marketing campaigns become easier to target, and every dollar spent is efficient. This also applies to your focus groups in a Facebook advertisement!

How to Use Psychographic Segments in Facebook Ads

Every click counts.

While Facebook doesn’t directly label targeting options as ‘psychographics’, it provides powerful tools to reach audiences based on them. Under “Detailed Targeting,” there are several methods for revealing this information.

  1. Detailed Targeting: Under “Detailed Targeting,” you have several sections relevant to psychographics.

While more basic, options like age, education level, or parental status offer baseline psychographic insights.

This is incredibly valuable! Target based on pages people like, topics they’re interested in (e.g., sustainable fashion, green living), and even specific brands or public figures resonating with your desired audience.

Go beyond interests to reach people based on activities like “Eco-friendly behaviours,” purchase history, or travel habits (frequent international flyers vs domestic travellers).

2. Custom Audiences: This tool adds another layer when you have existing psychographic data.

Upload emails of people who previously purchased products associated with certain values (e.g., buying vegan leather shoes suggests interest in animal welfare and sustainability).

Retarget people who visited specific pages on your site, indicating psychographic traits (e.g., browsing fair-trade products vs. clearance items).

Facebook’s algorithm finds people similar to your existing customers, helping scale your reach while remaining focused on your ideal audience’s psychographic profile.

Important Note:

It’s vital your website, social media, and content gathering (surveys, etc.) are designed to provide insights into your audience’s psychographics. The more robust your data, the more effective your Facebook targeting.

Understand Your Audience’s Mind

While demographic data provides a starting point, psychographic segmentation unlocks the “why” behind consumer behavior.
Remember, the key to effective psychographic segmentation is continuous data gathering and refinement. Utilise surveys, social media listening, and customer behavior analytics to stay attuned to your audience’s evolving needs and preferences.
By strategically incorporating psychographics into your marketing efforts, you’ll unlock a deeper understanding of your customers and lay the foundation for campaigns that truly succeed.
Expand your marketing horizons and learn about the 3-30-3 rule.
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Amy Menzies

Amy Menzies

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