Psychographics, Simplified

Tyler Borders Jul 21, 2020 Tyler Borders Chief Strategy Officer Persona The Innovative and Confident Visionary

I have been obsessing over psychometrics for years. As of recently, it’s a buzzword you’re starting to hear a lot in higher education; the industry is about a decade late to the party. Let’s break this concept down simply and explain how psychographics can be the silver bullet for your upcoming class and beyond.

Demographics vs. psychographics

We all know what demographics are: the data about a population based on factors such as age, race, and gender. Macro stuff. Segmenting a population using demographics allows organizations to determine the size and type of a potential market.

Demographics are, frankly, easy to get. It’s all the macro stuff that any basic database collects, and they’re certainly necessary and useful. But guess what’s worth their weight in diamonds? Psychographics.

Human personality is wonderfully complex. There are no two people who are exactly alike in this world of nearly eight billion. Our values, the opinions we hold, the personality we express, our interests, desires, and our attitudes are as unique as our fingerprints. The study and measurement of all these psychological factors are what we call “psychometrics.”

If every brand in the world could gain access to accurate psychographics about their buyers, they would pay virtually any price to get them. However, few brands actually have them, in part because they’re difficult to acquire. Ask any researcher or marketer and they’ll tell you that it’s much, much harder to get good psychographic data than demographic data. Higher education—due to its unique access to students—is in a rare position to deliver accurate psychographics, opening up a whole new world of understanding and connection for universities.

Why are psychographics so valuable?

Psychographics are invaluable because they tell you what people want, what people feel, and what people are truly motivated by. Psychographics get to the emotional reaction, where decision-making actually happens. Psychographics are the most critical stuff that a demographic database can’t tell you. 

Demographics can tell you where a person lives and the basics about their profile, whereas psychographics can tell you what a person actually wants. And THAT is everything. When you fuse these two spheres of data, you have the most valuable audience targeting intelligence you could ever hope for.

As an enrollment marketer, leveraging psychographics for your comm-flow is a total game changer. Reach out to Carnegie today to learn how you can use psychographics to find the right students and personalities for your institution.

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