Psychographic profile vs. sociodemographic profile

In market research, a common concern is knowing how to characterize the market. More in these days when we get closer to individualization. There are several approaches to approach this goal. Today we will talk about two of the most common paths. Although they are not mutually exclusive, they each have very different applications. Knowing the segments into which the market is divided can be the difference between success and failure.

Sociodemographic profiling is the most traditional segmentation. The main official sources of information on the population periodically record the most common variables of this type of profile: age, gender, educational level, employment status, access to health services, among others. It is usually the first approach to meeting a group of people. The socioeconomic level with which households are known also falls into this category.

When we know quite clearly which people of a certain sociodemographic profile are the object of a brand’s efforts, it is worth reviewing official data or collecting them at a certain time and place. This is valid in certain categories where the relationship between the demographic characterization of demand and what is offered is very marked. Some categories that can fall into this group can be educational toys and geriatric products.

This profiling is very easy to carry out because it is very accessible for interviewees and interviewers. However, its scope is limited. Knowing how many people of this or what age reside in a given house or polygon does not tell us anything about their aspirations, behaviors or thoughts. When we need to know these subjective aspects from a quantitative approach is when we resort to psychographic profiling.

Knowing how people think, how it is visualized and what position the individual has in front of others are common topics when defining a psychographic profiling. Determining it requires a laborious previous questionnaire design work since delving into the psychology of people requires reviewing dozens of items to have a valid result. The same principle applies to analysis as well.

Likewise, defining this type of subjective profile requires a large number of respondents as input. This is beyond the reach of some interested in addressing it either due to time, personnel or cost constraints. However, if the requestor handles a large market size, the investment in a psychographic profiling study will be rewarded since it will be known more clearly to whom and how to communicate what we want them to know about us.

It is true that the profiling whatever they are, are only photographs of a certain moment. Although the projections or surveys help us to adjust the profiles in the short and medium terms, it is necessary to remember that they must be reviewed periodically to avoid that they are outdated. At Acertiva we are ready to advise you if you want to know in greater detail the people who consume what you offer. We are attentive to your questions and comments.