One thing has become clear in the sea of marketing data: the days of one-size-fits-all marketing are over. Psychographic targeting has become a must. It is the process of using psychological characteristics (e.g., values, interests, attitudes) to identify and reach a target market.

What is psychographic targeting?

Marketers have long used demographic information to target ads, content, and products. Yet, a more precise approach is to use psychographic targeting.

Psychographic targeting identifies and targets consumers based on their psychological characteristics. It goes beyond demographics and beyond things like age, gender, and income.

Psychographic targeting allows businesses to target customers based on their interests, values, and lifestyles. And even their personality types. It can help to understand many things. From people’s media consumption habits to the types of products they are likely to buy.

This method relies on understanding a person’s psychological profile. To better understand their interests and motivations. You can create more relevant ads when you know what drives people’s behavior.


Demographics vs Psychographics


This type of advertising has become popular in recent years. Businesses have realized the value of targeting customers based on their psychological characteristics. Psychographic targeting can help to create high-targeted ads. Or to create content that is more likely to resonate with specific audiences.

As digital marketing matures, so does the ability to target customers with more precise messages.


Big Five (OCEAN)

There are different factors that go into why someone might choose one product over another. For instance, some consumers are looking for security while others want performance. At the same time, others are looking for innovation and new experiences.

The “Big Five Model” (or OCEAN) has become the standard model for describing personality traits. It divides people’s traits into five dimensions:

  • Openness to new experiences
  • Conscientiousness
  • Extraversion
  • Agreeableness 
  • Neuroticism

Big 5 model



The strength of each individual’s personality traits varies on various measures. Psychographic targeting uses the Big Three besides the Big Five. In addition, the three primary motives that drive humans to act are present in this model:

  • The need for achievement (performance motive)
  • They want an affiliation (attachment motive)
  • The desire for power (power motive) (desire for autonomy and control)


Different groups have different values.

Research in the UK detected several groups of buyers. 

  • Activators are at the forefront of innovation, consumer activity, and change. And they are the most open to new ideas, products, and services. They have wide-ranging interests and a strong sense of personal identity. 
  • Traditionalists focus on preservation. They regulate social change, forcing a reassessment of new ideas. They like proven and established standards.
  • Achievers relate achievements to the fruits of hard work and professional efforts. They focus on success, status, and family. They value knowledge, influence, and qualifications.
  • Seekers want individuality, self-discovery, display, and action. They seek self-gratification, excitement, experimentation, and sociability.
  • Pragmatics like to play safe. They dislike standing out from their peer group. And they have a low attachment to any particular lifestyle. 
  • Constraineds prefer to try to hold on to the familiar and the past. Their world consists of immediate family and a few friends who reinforce rather than challenge or renew their opinions and ideas.



Why should you use psychographic targeting more often?

When you use psychographic variables, you can focus on consumer segments.

Consumers can share the same demographic attributes and still be very different people. For this reason, marketers need a way to ‘breathe life into demographic data with psychographics.

In conclusion, when you understand their interests and lifestyles, you can target them with messaging that resonates.

In our agency, we have a team of specialists. Digital strategists, copywriters, psychologists, digital analysts, designers, etc. This kind of team allows us to examine campaigns from different angles. Although we look at the same things, for each of us it represents something different, which has a positive effect on the end results.

If you need help with your marketing activities, contact us here.


Roberto Levak

Roberto is an advertising manager with a psychology degree. When he's not applying psychology for advertising, he likes to read books about it. Loves meat, vegetables not so much. Another proud father of two.