PSYCHOGRAPHICS is the use of multiple data points about a person to profile and match that person with others based on commonalities of activities, interests and opinions. It takes into account the complexity of human beings and the myriad iterations of characteristics that unite and separate us to form patterns and profiles.
These two people are demographically identical, but Psychographically completely different. You get a sense of this when you look at the pictures. Until now, marketers have been unable to tell the difference, let alone optimise our messaging to take the two personalities into account.
Psychographics is how our newsfeeds are populated. It is what keeps us on social media and what keeps us coming back. Psychographic profiling is what makes platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube so sticky.
It is also what determines which ads we are shown as we make our way around the digital world. We're all familiar with poorly retargeted ads for stuff we've already bought. We notice those because they jar. The best micro-targeting is invisible to us. It lands so sweetly that we accept it readily. That's the true power of Psychographic Marketing.
Psychographics is the game now
For Google, Meta and Microsoft, making their users' content so relevant that they stay engaged is the business. They're very good at it already and they're getting better. And we're all very good at giving them the means to do it. As we use our smartphones and other devices, we're creating staggering amounts of data on every move we make. Making useful sense of it is why the platforms have bet the house on a type of AI called Machine Learning.
Machine Learning turns the massive amounts of data these platforms own — Google claims to have 70 million data points on almost all of us — into Psychographic patterns or profiles. Machine Learning is so crucial to the platforms that they've scooped up the best AI brains on the planet and are funding them to compete at the cutting edge. It's no surprise that progress has been astonishing.
Google, Meta and Microsoft are now letting marketers use the same poweful machines and algorithms that drive their businesses to build ours. The Holy Grail of Marketing — to get the right message to the right person at the right time — is finally within our reach.
The right message to the right person at the right time
Learning is the key
Never before have marketers been able to target our messages so accurately. The machines can already go beyond Psychographic profiling to include factors such as time of day, stage of life, significant events, etc. to make our targeting even more accurate. And, of course, at the individual level, machines can target with pinpoint accuracy.
But Machine Learning delivers much more than that. As the label says, the machines can learn.
The learning is the exciting part. The machines make predictions based on what we tell them and test those predictions in the real world. The machines then optimise their patterns based on that learning. This means they're constantly making our targeting more accurate.
The best Machine Learning on the planet is working on your marketing, 24/7. Think about that.
Data is the fuel
The machine does its work with data. The more data we feed the machine, the better it does its job. We start by uploading existing datasets for the machine to match. And we then work with the machine to improve that matching over time.
Marketers need to adapt to take advantage of this incredible opportunity. It is not optional and it is urgent. Google has recently rolled out a complete overhaul of its Display Ads facility. Keywords have been relegated to a support role. You can watch the impact this has had in this video, where some of the world's leading Google Ads experts discuss the impact of this change on their business. As you can see, what they're struggling with is the reframing of what they do.
Psychographics is now the way the digital marketing game is played.
Leads Corp is a digital marketing consultancy that specialises in helping marketing teams adapt to the new world of Psychographic Marketing.