Converting Customers: Copywriters Need to Go Psycho


Psychographics and marketing

Good marketers and copywriters alike know the more you understand your target audience, the better job you can do writing and delivering your message. Sure demographics help — age, location, marital status, ethnicity and religion. But you’ll have a much richer understanding of your ideal customer if you get to know their psychographics — their lifestyles, behaviors and attitudes.

In today’s insanely diverse and competitive climate, it’s good to know everything about the person you’re trying to engage:

  • What turns them on
  • What turns them off
  • Which words catch their attention
  • What keeps their attention
  • What makes them tune things out

Ways to capture groups’ subjective preferences include in-person interviews, focus groups and surveys. Also, snooping around sites like Twitter and Facebook offers a quick, easy and inexpensive route to uncover streams of priceless insight.

As you gain greater awareness about your audience’s lifestyles, attitudes, beliefs, values and personalities, you’ll also better understand their buying motives and product usage. For instance, would they purchase the beautification product to look younger, attract a mate, or for general health, and would they use the beautification product at home, on trips, or only at a salon?

What Types of Psychographic Groups Are There?

There are common psychographic profiles that people fit into:

The Belonger — Family-orientated, and likes the feeling of belonging to a community. Much of their time is spent with friends and family. The way to tap into this group is to build rapport within their communities.

The Achiever — Mostly businesspeople (such as bankers and managers), who work long hours, but are always looking for more success. They are independent and respond well to individuality, power, money and profit.

The Wannabe — They strive to be an Achiever, but have yet to fit this profile. Most of the products they buy are knock-offs of those owned by the Achiever (think counterfeit sunglasses or watches). Wannabes can be insecure with a small amount of disposable income.

The Socially Conscious — They are concerned about the environment and the effect their spending has on it. This group recycles frequently, walks and cycles, and, not surprisingly, buys environmentally friendly products.

The Balanced — A combination of the Achiever and the Socially Conscious, the Balanced want to use their money and power to do something positive for the environment. They avoid purchasing products and services that exploit workers in poor countries.

The Needs Driven — They tend to be impulse buyers. You can often reach this group by appealing to their fear of being inadequate (consider late night shopping channels: “Don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!”).

Use Psychographics to Build the Right Message

The more you know about your target audiences, the more you’ll understand how they spend their money — and the better equipped you’ll be to fine-tune your marketing.


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