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What is Psychographic Segmentation, and How Can It Improve Account Targeting and Conversions?

4 min

For nearly 50 years, psychographic data has empowered marketing and sales teams to carve out inch-perfect strategies that target highly specific audiences based on psychological factors.

Put another way, companies use psychographic data to generate revenue by:

  • Finding out what’s emotionally important to folks
  • And catering to those needs through highly relevant, persuasive messaging

Psychographics originated within consumer behavior research, but modern B2B revenue teams are getting in on the action, savvily using psychographic data to personalize engagement among their target accounts’ employees, key personnel, and members of management.

This practice isn’t just for deep-pocketed Fortune 50 companies. Your organization can also  integrate psychographic data into its strategies to effectively persuade the right buyers.

What is Psychographic Segmentation?

Psychographics is a segmentation method that derives actionable market segments by assigning specific psychological characteristics to buyers based on their:

  • Behaviors
  • Interactions
  • Opinions
  • Personal interests

It enables businesses to predict their customers with uncanny accuracy, through the inspection of relevant variables. From crafting content to designing social media campaigns, psychographics can powerfully enhance an audience’s association with the brand or product/service, and increase conversion rates.

B2C Psychographic Variables With Examples

When setting out to use psychographic data to segment your target audience, the most important step is to choose the right attributes — as in, the attributes and variables that will help you precisely predict your next customer.

The information that hails from these six psychological factors is especially important when performing psychographic segmentation:

1. Values and Attitudes

This often constitutes the ideals, mannerisms, and self expression that arise as a result of the consumer’s personal lifestyle or accomplishments. They’re more likely to purchase your product or service when your sales strategies reflect their own values and attitudes.

2. Personality Traits

A consumer’s personality traits is another crucial parameter when ideating and designing a campaign. People tend to associate themselves closely to deep-seated personal inclinations such as patience, sense of humor, etc. These facets may be defined using models such as “The Big Five Personality Traits”:

  • Openness to experience
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeability
  • Neuroticism

Engaging a consumer based on their personality can go a long way, allowing your solution to resonate with the intended audience.

3. Lifestyle

A consumer’s lifestyle also influences their world views (and receptiveness to messages that complement it). People tend to associate themselves with different categorical personas that may arise from a mixture of worldly identifications like:

  • Profession
  • Hobbies
  • Role models
  • And more

For instance, a consumer may identify themselves as adventurers, sport fans, parents, corporates, or socialites.

4. Social Status

The social status of a consumer can be based on several factors, however, economic segmentation into the upper, middle, and lower classes is most commonly used for psychographics and marketing.

5. Interests and Activities

Consumers can also be segmented based on shared interests and activities. Individuals tend to develop strong associations with their personal interests, which can be leveraged by savvy marketers to craft resonant outreach.

6. Opinions

A consumer’s personal opinions also play a key role in shaping how they see themselves — and how they associate with a product or service. Segmenting consumers based on shared opinions can act as a powerful tool to design instinctually associative campaigns for your solution.

Drilling Down On B2B Psychographics

The focus in B2B psychographics centers on, unsurprisingly, the B2B buyer. When it comes to psychographics, there aren’t many differences between B2C consumers and B2B buyers.  

While a buyer’s needs are motivated by the needs of their company, they are also influenced by “softer” factors such as:

  • Their personal needs
  • Their corporate culture
  • Personal or organizational perceptions of risk
  • Causes that their employer may support
  • And more

These factors enable marketers to calibrate their value propositions and communications to best suit the wants of each specific buyer — which increase the odds of conversion.

Organizational psychographics can predict the innovativeness of an organization especially within the context of contemporary multi-person B2B buying teams. In fact, studies indicate that psychographics play an instrumental role within larger buying teams since buyers often have shared values and are in regular communication with each other.

And while factors such as quality, price and service will always remain important to buying teams, additional research suggests that non-rational, social, and personal components of industrial buying can be equally influential in purchasing decisions.

(Personal motives such as individual recognition and career advancement influence buyer decisions, research indicates, while social motives such as their company’s acceptance and adoption of the selected product also make a difference.)

By gaining an understanding of the motives behind industrial buying, marketers are better equipped to create a more personalized and profitable selling strategy.

Technology and Modern Psychographics

Buyers conduct research on the internet, often on third-party websites such as industry publications, blogs, social networks and product review websites. This means billions of interactions, data points and other useful user information about buyers are accumulated every day across the web.

Historically, sellers have been unable to track this behavioral data, leaving this invaluable activity within a longstanding blind spot we call the Dark Funnel™.

However, the AI-powered capabilities of world-class account engagement platforms (like 6sense) can deanonymize, illuminate, compile, and analyze those buyer intent signals in ways that can reveal a great deal about buyers and the companies they work for.

These technologies can also discern specific users’ behavioral patterns and psychological traits — including psychographic data. Armed with this data and processed through the proper account engagement platform, revenue teams can increase productivity, reduce costs, and craft personalized, effective outreach that cuts through the noise and truly resonates with buyers.

Conducting Psychographic Segmentation

Psychographic segmentation can be conducted using a variety of methods, including:

  • Profiling likely participants
  • Web- and field-based customer service applications
  • Scraping data from various user platforms and social media
  • Pricing/value and price sensitivity studies
  • Surveying and interviewing customers
  • Creating online communities of customers and focus groups
  • And more

The downside to these activities is that they consume lots of time, effort, and resources. Further, the resulting qualitative data may be hard to comprehend considering that every buyer is unique. Worse still, if the psychographic segmentation isn’t conducted in an appropriate way, it could lead to inaccurate results.

As a result, most businesses delegate these tasks to third-party agencies which often costs a lot of money.

However, solutions like 6sense and its industry-leading Sales Intelligence capabilities eliminate nearly all of the cost and effort associated with collecting and analyzing psychographic data, and combine it with other market segmentation methods such as technographics and firmographics.

This empowers your revenue team to predict your business’s next customer with pinpoint accuracy.

The most efficient, cost-effective, time and resource saving way to gather sales intelligence today is by using all-encompassing sales intelligence tools like 6sense that analyze the right variables for your business — and delivering precisely targeted accounts that are in-market to purchase your solution right now.

Contact us for more information, or schedule a demo today.

The 6sense Team

6sense helps B2B organizations achieve predictable revenue growth by putting the power of AI, big data, and machine learning behind every member of the revenue team.

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