Posts Tagged ‘psychographics’

Seth Godin recently had a blog post titled “Fifty is the new thirty“. In it he validated his claim by offering up evidence of longer life spans and career activity. The point he made was that those that follow demographics were still ignoring older consumers, instead choosing to accept stereotypes perpetuated by those very same erroneous statistics. Bottom line: businesses that use age demographics to base their marketing on were missing out on potential customers by outright not addressing them.

If your marketing is based on psychographics this would not happen. Psychograpics targets Needs/Wants/Fears/Desires. It is attitude and viewpoint oriented. It can be used to inform and shape impressions of a product or service. There is no age or gender boundary. (Unless, of course the product/service is specifically designed that way.)

Pull your head out of the demographic rut and widen the marketing approach. Nobody succeeds by limiting themselves right at the beginning.


I came across this and thought it dovetailed rather well with objectives that marketing tries to achieve. Read this article and check out some of the related links. See if it doesn’t spark a brainstorm on how to garner similar results in advertising, branding and PR.

How to Persuade People With Subconscious Techniques

from wikiHow – The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Persuasiveness is one of the most important skills anyone can learn because it is useful in countless situations.At work, at home, and in your social life, the ability to be persuasive and influence others can be instrumental for achieving goals and being happy.Learning about the tricks of persuasion can also give you insight into when they’re being used on you. The biggest benefit of this is that money will stay in your pocket as you realize just how sales people and advertisers sell you products that you don’t necessarily need. Here are several techniques that work on a subconscious level.


  1. Framing. When someone tells you “Don’t think about an elephant” you find it difficult to comply; by just mentioning “elephant”, the image pops into your mind, regardless of the context. This is a classic example of framing. [1] Framing is frequently used by skillful politicians. For instance, politicians on both sides of the abortion debate cite their positions as “pro-life or pro-choice” because “pro” has better connotations than “anti.” Framing subtly uses emotionally charged words to shift people towards your point of view. To frame a persuasive argument, select words that conjure images (positive, negative or neutral) in the minds of your audience. Even with other words nearby, a single framing word can still be effective. Another example is illustrated by the difference between saying “Having a cell phone will keep me out of trouble” and “Having a cell phone will keep me safe”. Ponder which word is more effective for your message: “trouble” or “safe”.
  2. Mirroring. Mirroring is the practice of mimicking the movements and body language of the person you are trying to persuade. By acting as the person listening does, you create a sense of empathy. You can mirror hand gestures, leaning forward or away, or various head and arm movements. We all do this subconsciously, and if you pay attention you’ll probably notice yourself doing it. Be subtle about it and delay 2-4 seconds between the other person’s movement and your mirroring. Mirroring is also known as “the chameleon effect”.[2]
  3. Scarcity. Scarcity is frequently used by advertisers to make opportunities seem more appealing because they have limited availability. The assumption is that if a product is scarce, there must be a ton of demand for it! (Buy one now because they’re selling out fast). Be aware that this is a method of persuasion to which you are frequently exposed and take it into account when you make your purchase decision.
  4. Reciprocation. When someone does something for us, we feel compelled to return the favor. So, if you want someone to do something nice for you, why not do something nice for them first? In a business setting, maybe you pass them a lead. At home, you might offer to lend your lawnmower to a neighbor. It doesn’t matter where or when you do it, the key is to complement the relationship.
  5. Timing. People are more likely to be agreeable and submissive when they’re mentally fatigued. Before you ask someone for something they might not readily agree to, consider waiting until they’ve just done something mentally taxing. This could be at the end of the work day when you catch a co-worker on their way out the door. Whatever you ask, a likely response is, “I’ll take care of it tomorrow.”
  6. Congruence. We all try, subconsciously, to be consistent with previous actions. A technique used by salespeople is to shake your hand as he is negotiating with you. In most people’s minds, a handshake equates to a closed deal, and by doing this before the deal actually closed, the salesperson is more likely to actually close it. A good way to use this yourself is to get people acting before they make up their minds. For example, if you were out and about with a friend and you wanted to go see a movie but the friend was undecided, you could start walking in the direction of the theater while they are considering it. Your friend is more likely to agree to go once he or she is walking in the direction you set.
  7. Fluid speech. When we talk, we often use little interjections and hesitant phrases such as “ummm” or “I mean” and of course there is the ubiquitous “like”. These little conversation fillers have the unintended effect of making us seem less confident and sure of ourselves, and thus less persuasive. If you’re confident in your speech, others will be more easily persuaded by what you have to say.
  8. Herd behavior. We constantly look to those around us to determine our actions; we have the need for acceptance. We are far more likely to follow or be persuaded by someone we like or by someone who we see as an authority. An effective way to use this to your advantage is to be seen as a leader — even if you don’t have the official title. Be charming and confident and people will place greater weight on your opinion. If you’re dealing with someone who isn’t likely to see you as an authority (such as a superior in the workplace, or your significant other’s parent) you can still take advantage of herd behavior. Casually praise a leader who that person admires. By triggering positive thoughts in that person’s mind about a person they look up to, they’ll be more likely to associate those qualities with you.
  9. Man’s best friend. To give people the impression that you’re loyal, and to inspire them to be loyal to you, put up a picture of you with a dog (it doesn’t even have to be your own dog). This can make you seem like a team player, but don’t go overboard; putting up too many pictures can make you seem unprofessional.[3]
  10. Offer a drink. Give the person who you’re persuading a warm drink (tea, coffee, hot cocoa) to hold while you’re talking to them. The warm sensation of the drink in their hands (and their body) can subconsciously make them feel like you’re an emotionally warm, likable and welcoming person. Giving them a cold drink can have the opposite effect! In general, people tend to feel cold and crave warm food or drinks when they’re feeling socially isolated, so fill that need in order to make them more receptive.[4]
  11. Break the touch barrier. Whether you’re closing a deal or asking someone on a date, touching them (in a subtle and appropriate way) can improve your chances by subconsciously activating the human desire to bond. In a professional it is usually best to ‘touch” someone verbally by offering reassurance or praise as a physical touch can be interpreted as sexual harassment. In romantic situations, any soft touch from a woman will usually be taken well; men will require further reading in order to avoid making a woman feel uncomfortable.[3]



  • There are several things you can do to make yourself seem more dominant, like wearing an all-black outfit–as some judges, police and clergy do–or maintaining a neutral face, but there are times when being dominant (or neutral) isn’t necessarily more persuasive. If you’re a salesperson, you might prefer to relate to the client, rather than intimidate–but if you’re a supervisor, giving people a more dominant impression might mean getting your way more often.
  • Use the same techniques you fear–from a sales person–on the sales person to turn the table and intimidate him/her. For example when you are out to buy a car: lead the conversation. Ask questions that you know the answer to, like “So car sales are down, huh?” and “Man, I bet you guys need to move these 08’s with the 09’s already on the floor.” This will encourage the sales person to work harder to close the sale. Remind them that their income is not what it once was, without coming out and saying so.


  • Don’t persuade anyone to do something that isn’t conducive to their well-being.
  • Be careful using persuasive techniques in friendships. Sometimes a decision needs to be made, and it is OK to convince others to ‘buy in’. However, if you do this too often, people may interpret this as you being controlling, or manipulative, both of which can lead to undesirable outcomes.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations

  2. (PDF)
  3. 3.0 3.1 – 9 mind tricks to get what you want
  4. (PDF)

Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world’s largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Persuade People With Subconscious Techniques. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

Bill Tancer, general manager of global research at Hitwise, an Internet tracking company has published data that determines Social Networking is searched for more on the Internet than Porn is. Tancer, who has a new book out, has analyzed web searches and provides interesting demographic and psychographic results based on them.

Social Networking has become THE way for interaction among many people, particularly in the 18-24 yr. range. (See previous post on how Social Network demographics change on these sites for further insight.)

So, now how will you spend that advertising budget again?

Valentine’s day began as a couple of things: A christian celebration to replace pagan fertility festivals and a recognition of roughly 13 saints with the name Valentine. (The majority of which may or may not have been martyred in connection with a romantic element.)

We do know that as Americans it was celebrated even before independence was declared. But really, what has kept it going all this time? It’s not an equal opportunity gateway to a potential good time the way St. Paddy’s day or Halloween is. (Name your poison, Guinness or candy.) No, Valentine’s Day requires you to have someone to potentially love. (And even though we are indoctrinated into this ritual as children in Kindergarten and Grade School, that still doesn’t account for everyone when they are adults and can potentially throw money at the situation.)

Nope, it’s marketing that keeps it going. Born in the early 1800’s when the opportunity arose because printing had made advancements to the point that the first preprinted Valentine’s arrived. From there, the allure of cash has kept this holiday on a fast track to marketing as an abject exercise in psychographics. (Even before anyone knew to coin the term.)

Valentine’s marketing messages are filled with psychographic categories: Needs, Wants, Fears, Desire. Most of these are aimed at women, with the flip side on each campaign on men being fear-based mostly. How will you size up when the time comes? (Yes, you will be compared to what other men got their significant others.) If you don’t spend a lot, how will you possibly show your love?

As much as some people will wince at it, the sentiment that the marketing campaigns equate with spending have now become etched in stone. If you are in a relationship, you have to participate. That’s why there is seldom anything original in marketing a Valentine’s product. It serves to reinforce the same old, same old and it deals with women’s notions of romance. And they don’t like that to be trifled with.

(And really, marketing is just following the money. If you’re dismayed with the condescending attitude towards women with this then you must howl with disbelief at how men are catered to by the erectile dysfunction drug industry.)

Let’s say you have a rock-solid dynamic product or service. You know what your target demographic is and you’ve performed a psychographic analysis of them. Based on this, you know what media they pay attention to and have factored that in to your mix and budget.

Now, how do you get across to your intended target that this is the next best thing to sliced bread and that they need to get it now? Especially with the challenges of marketing today; with it being consumer driven and anti force-fed advertising.

That’s where effective communication of your marketing message comes into play. You have a story to tell about your product/service and regardless of what medias are chosen to transmit that message, it has to be done in a way that the consumer will openly receive it.

While crafting the marketing story keep in mind these 10 rules of effective communication from Frank Luntz’s book, Words That Work. The more of these that can be incorporated, the better the opportunity of consumer receptiveness.
01) Simplicity: Use small words

02) Brevity: Use short sentences

03) Credibility is as Important as Philosophy

04) Cosistency Matters

05) Novelty: Offer something new

06) Sound and Texture Matter

07) Speak Aspirationally

08) Visualize

09) Ask a Question

10) Provide Context and Explain Relevance

Luntz does political consulting, and regardless of what you may feel about the particular company he keeps, he does get results. So ask yourself if you can fail to heed his advice on this particular matter. Remember, your consumer target may not be exactly like you. Discovering how broad the base is for the product/service’s potential use determines the context of the message.

Obviously, you want the best return possible from your product/service, so you want to appeal to as many potential consumers as possible. Hence, the above list. The potential consumer may have a need for the product/service, but doesn’t realize it. They will continue this pattern of behavior if your marketing message does not connect to them.

Try these rules and see if your marketing message doesn’t increase its reach. (Bonus points if you can diffuse a negative like Global Warming by replacing it with Climate Change.)