Lists: Shatter the Crystal Ball

4 steps to using psychographics to focus your prospect lists

There is no single right formula; the optimal choice depends on your business and your marketing goals. For auto insurers selling annual policies, for example, frequency will not have much meaning. On the other hand, if your goal is retail traffic, frequency becomes an important attribute.

Begin with attributes that are tracked in your customer database, looking to those that bring the most value to your company. The most commonly used factors include recency, frequency, monetary value and loyalty or tenure.

You can also tap other resources to add customer data that may not reside in your database—for example, visitors to your website or competitors’ sites.

2. Identify Insightful Data Sources
Your next step is to enrich your customer data by pairing it with psychographic data sources:

Online click-stream data: This provides an extraordinary window into consumer psychology and behavior by tracking millions of panelists online—including domains visited, length and frequency of visits, and online purchases. Using secure identify and de-identify processes that maintain the privacy of the panelists, data providers can match this data to your customer data to uncover behavior patterns and audience segments. Are your best customers upscale, professionally minded LinkedIn users, for example? Or on-the-go, leading-edge foursquare users?

Purchase data: This includes in-store and online purchases, compiled and aggregated from thousands of national retailers. Knowing what else your customers buy, how they buy it (e.g., online vs. in-store; premium credit card or bank card), where they buy (discount or high-end), how much they buy and how frequently they buy helps you build your profiles and segmentation.

Syndicated segmentation: In recent years, information from surveys has become more prevalent and expansive, with segmentation schemes that consolidate information to develop deeper psychographic profiles. Examples include healthcare attitudes (Are they leading the way in health and nutrition or just getting through the day?), technology adaptation (Are they aspiring early adopters or struggling minimalists?) and Web usage (Are they career-oriented online shoppers or social extremers?).

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