Consumers aren’t just their age, race, gender, or location. While this may seem obvious, many brands don’t consider other aspects of their customers’ lives when planning their marketing. Consumers are more than numbers and statistics— they are humans with goals and unique interests. Marketers use the term psychographics rather than traditional demographics to describe this category of data. At Brand Joint, we prefer to use the term ‘humans’ rather than ‘consumers’ or ‘psychographics’ to remind ourselves that we are interacting with real people that have unique life stories, not just shoppers.
Taking the time to thoroughly outline target psychographics, typically in the form of customer personas (sometimes called buyer profiles), can help exponentially grow your business and build brand awareness. Customer personas can be pretend ‘demo’ outlines of your target customers, or you can research your market and gather real data. Understanding your humans at a personal level will help you find them, connect with them, and create brand experiences that surprise and delight. There are several aspects to consider when shaping your target psychographics. Below, you'll find a step-by-step plan to creating your customer personas.
1. Start with Demographics
Although demographics should not be your only resource, people have needs specific to their age, gender, salary, location, and other factors. Start by outlining:
- Age: Knowing the age of your customer will shape the voice of your brand and provide direction as to which marketing channels the target audience uses most. For example, Millennials tend to use Instagram and Twitter, while Baby Boomers use Facebook.
- Location: Does your target customer live in a small town or a big city? How does this affect their spending habits, daily needs, and world views?
- Gender: Men, women, and all other sexes/gender identities each have unique life experiences, pain points, social expectations, behaviors, and more. How do these traits affect the way the might interpret your brand
- Education Level: The language and tone that you use in your marketing can attract or alienate your audience. For example, overly-scientific writing might make it difficult for your target audience to understand you. Education level can also be considered from another angle: if your target market is college students, then writing to a middle-aged crowd will miss the mark.
- Occupation: Assuming that your product is aimed at a particular lifestyle or career choice, knowing your customer’s exact role will help you refine your offerings and marketing choices.
- Annual Income: Knowing your customer’s annual income will help you price your products and services appropriately.
2. Visualize Your Human
Find a stock photo to represent your psychographic. Doing this will help humanize them in your mind and will make the rest of the process flow authentically. Sometimes we use celebrities to clarify the personality in our minds.
3. Goals & Objectives
Your business should be offering goods and services that help these target humans reach their goals. If your company is in the cannabis space, let’s say one of your target consumers aspires to have more control over their healthcare. How can you enhance your product and brand experience to help them reach this goal? How can your marketing emphasize this benefit?
Becoming familiar with your target customers’ interests is key to connecting with them. For example, rock climbers could benefit from hemp creams for their calloused hands, while musicians might buy a specific strain/brand of cannabis if it promotes musical creativity.
What does this target customer value? Sustainability? Quality over frugality? Philanthropy? Activism? Brainstorm ways that your brand values could align with and support your customers’ values. People love to support companies that authentically share their values.
6. Media/Trusted Sources
What media and devices would your customers be using when they discover your brand? Are they older medical patients who get their news from only the newspaper, or are they younger customers who will find out about your brand on a mobile app? Next, consider what sources they trust. Are they CNN aficionados, or do they frequent technology-focused online magazines? Perhaps they follow fashion blogs? Understanding where your customers already devote their time and attention enables you to meet them there with appropriate and relatable marketing.
7. Pain Points
Pain points are the mother of innovation. They are areas or moments of your customer’s life that inconvenience, disable, or cause harm. Most innovative products and services were created to ease or erase these pain points. These pesky points sometimes go relatively unnoticed (getting deodorant on your shirt, anyone?), but the odds are that your human has specific major and minor pain points that might never occur to you. So, interview them and find out what bothers them. You will be surprised at the number of opportunities for invention and innovation that arise, especially in the cannabis and hemp product fields.
Once you’ve completed one customer persona, do two or three more. It’s likely that your niche, no matter how specific, has a few different psychographics involved. Research them, talk with them, and take the time to brainstorm the best ways to reach these customers and solve their woes. They’ll love you for it.