Consider Jane a college student who loves biking. She joins biking teams, searches the Internet for biking attire, purchases bike parts off off Amazon, and tries to sneak away to bike anytime she can. She became such an enthusiastic biker that much of her life revolves around biking.
This is where psychographics becomes very important. Jane is a lover of biking and she perceives herself to be an athlete. She may actually be past her prime to professionally compete but nevertheless pushes her practices to the maximum everyday! What type of products might she be interested in?
She may need shoes, pants, knee braces, supplements, bike parts, insurance.....etc....etc.....etc... Her beliefs about herself impact where she spends her time and money. Tapping into their inner needs will give you a pretty solid indication of what they want out of life and their products.
Understanding and Segmenting Customers
You can gain insight into customer desires and beliefs by asking them what they believe. Surveys, direction discussion, complaints, etc... give you some hint into what someone wants. It is this customer feedback that allows you to align products and services to their needs.
When you are dealing with a large population of people there will be segments. Some will be Democrats and some Republicans. A few might like the Packers and others the Lions. There are people who love the outdoors and others who prefer the excitement of their televisions.
Look at Customers from Multiple Data Points
Gather as much background information about your customers as you can. You may not be able to do it all at once but you are certainly able to gather at certain points. The goal is not to overwhelm people with information gathering, or slow down transactions of sales but to instead gather over time as your relationship blossoms.
Sometimes you can gain information from face-to-face conversation (works better in small businesses), purchase history, purchase amount, zip code, etc.... Think of creating a profile that allows you to not only understand a particular customer but also your core demographic. The amount you want to collect will depend on the life-time value of that customer.
Pick the Strategies Based on Customers Needs
After you have collected enough information about customers and had a chance to analyze them you should consider using that information to make better strategy. Use the channels your customers are mostly likely to be reached and in which you are most likely able to get them to take an action. As new information becomes available you should continue to change your strategies for maximum return.