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Demographics - Psychographic Profiling (Part II)

July 14, 2011

In the age of social media and real-time marketing, psychographic profiling and segmentation is the golden ticket. While segmenting and fragmenting might refer to income, employer, job title, age, gender, and categorical aspects of demographics, psychographic variables refer to interests, activities and opinions.


For example, while demographics might tell you that an individual is a mother, between the ages of 30 to 35. Segmentation might tell you that this person makes $50,000 a year and works as a medical tech. Psychographics might tell you that this mom has two kids, one who is between the ages of 2 and 3, and the other between the ages of 5 and 6. It might also tell you that this mother spends $500 a month online shopping, lives on the same street as her parents, and works out at the local gym.


Facebook and Psychographic Profiling

When an individual sets up a Facebook profile, they are asked about their hobbies, what movies and books they like to read, who their heroes are, who their family is on Facebook, and what they’re interested in. Facebook doesn’t just ask these for fun, it’s a wealth of personal information that they use to customize that user’s experience with advertising and suggested friends and pages. Google doesn’t just remember your online searches and your profile information for fun; they create unique search results for you that differ from another users search results.


For example; if you have a Facebook account, go to their advertising page. This is segmented targeting at its best, and anyone can give it a try. Under the Targeting Section you’ll notice that you can target Facebook users by Location, right down to the city. Try Scottsdale, Arizona and you’ll see that there are 291,480 Facebook users from Scottsdale that are over 18. That is a pretty large audience to target, so you can segment it even more.


Next is Demographics, where you can chose exact age and male or female. In the Interests Section type in nearly anything. You can go incredibly specific; say Football and Fantasy Football. Or, you can chose interests based on a broad list of categories.


Next, under Advanced Demographics, you can choose Languages and Relationship status. For example, there are 77,100 Facebook users in Scottsdale, Arizona who are over the age of 18 and Married. Lastly, Facebook gives you the option to choose education level and employer.


Why am I telling you how to advertise your business on Facebook? In reality, I’m actually just giving you an example of how segmenting works. This is a marketing toy that you can use, play with, try out to see how many Facebook users you can specifically target. It’s a great tool to run tests with in order to find out what audience will work best for large marketing campaigns.


The goal of all demographics, including psychographic profiling and segmenting, is to predict how an audience will react to a brand. That’s it. If you can predict how a targeted audience will respond to your brand, you can take on the world.