Psychographics outweigh demographics when communicating with customers. Learn 9 ways to research your customer’s psychographics and how to apply the idea to your website.
Has anyone ever told you, “It’s not about you?” When it comes to websites, that’s especially true. Building a website that pleases visitors needs to be about them — the ones you’re trying to attract and engage. Understanding how they think and what they care about will help you communicate in a way that gets them to do what you want them to do. If you show that you "get" them, they're more likely to believe you're the one that can solve their pain, need or concern.
Psychographics Over Demographics
Demographics alone — the hard facts, like age, education and income — can be limiting. Crossing boundaries to focus on what’s meaningful to visitors, rather than for example making generalizations about someone’s age, is more effective for creating real connections with consumers. That meaning is captured in the term psychographics — a person’s occupation, interests, lifestyle and personality (values, opinions, attitudes). The better you understand your consumer, the more you can communicate in a persuasive way.
How to Research Your Audience’s Psychographics
Understanding your own customers, will help you find more of the same. Do at least one of the following, and you’ll be on your way to understanding what makes your customer tick:
Google offers a free tool called Google Trends (originally called "Insights for Research") which is a great help with keyword research, necessary for optimizing your website and online presence. It can also help you figure out where your customers are located and indicate when they may be ready to buy.
Based on aggregated search data, Google Trends allows you to plug in terms, then look at patterns across a number of filters. You can narrow your search by Web, image, news or product. Select geographies from worldwide to city. Search as far back as 2004 to as recent as a specific date. Filters are also available by industry and interest. The tool allows you to compare results by search term, location and time ranges.
I gave it a try with skiing (sport) as a search term. The results were as expected, with interest peaking (yes, intentional) between January and April. Granted, this data is based on what people are searching for; there may be no direct correlation between those searches and actual purchases. But the resulting data, graphs and maps are pretty interesting. It just depends on how you interpret it.
In a recent search for keywords for a photography client, one that specializes in candid images, I thought it might be fun to compare "selfie" to the more common terms. The leap in the graph is a clear indicator of it's popularity. Whether it makes a good keyword for my client or not remains to be seen. That is, the common terms "candid photographer" or "profile pictures" are more directly correlated with her small business. Yet, I thought it couldn't hurt to try to get some spillover from a term that's just hot.
“Why should I buy from you?” is on every prospect's mind. To answer that question, you need to understand what makes your business different from your competition — in a way that’s meaningful to prospects. These differentiators are components of a successful brand. You may even be able to charge more because of that edge.
Red Block Analysis
The Red Block Analysis is a marketing research hack we created to help our clients take a marketing point of view, which is the ability to see a business through the target audience’s eyes.
1. Find Your Competitors
The first step involves generating a list of close competitors to measure your business against.
Tip: Log out of your Google account or search “Incognito” (an option in the Chrome browser), so the search isn’t biased by Google knowing who you are or your search history. The locations of the businesses may still be related to the location of your IP address, however. Make sure it's within your service area.
2. Create a Competitive Chart
Visit each site and create a competitive chart of what each offers; you may want to use spreadsheet software for this.
3. Perform a Gap Analysis
4. Don't Stop There
If you’ve been keeping current with trends in your market, you may discover opportunities for new services to offer. Add these to the list. Don’t rely on competitors to think of everything. If you can be first at something, or ride the wave of a trend, that may be just what you should focus on to build differentiation into your service offering.
Business Differentiation is Relative
Understanding your prospect and how they view your business in the midst of competition is essential to standing out in a crowded marketplace. A Red Block Analysis can help you find ways to differentiate your services in ways that are meaningful to prospects. If you can communicate these differences clearly, your marketing efforts are going to be more effective. You'll be the business chosen more often and ultimately you’ll earn more, contributing to the long term growth of your business.