Demographics, Psychographics, and Technographics

The job of a Marketer is to connect products with customers.

While it’s often native for marketers to know their products, they often fail at truly understanding their customers. Today, customers are much more than just recipients of messages, they create their own messages, share with their peers, and in some cases, are working very hard to keep marketers out of the picture.

In business school, I learned about understanding your customer, we learned about the concepts of Demographics (people’s lifestyles, habits, population movements, spending, age, social grade, employment). The goal was to create a model to understand who these people were, where they live, and what they do.

We also learned that beyond understanding the who, we needed to understand the why, therefore understanding the psyhcographics (lifestyles and behaviors, what interests them, what they hold valuable and how they behave) became of importance.

I first learned of Technographics from Steve Rubel’s blog, he was reviewing a report from colleague Charlene Li, who describes it as “Social Technographics is consumer data that looks at how consumers approach social technologies not just the adoption of individual technologies”. It’s important that before a company use a social media tool, they understand which tools their customers are using. Update: Julie Katz of Forrester has left a comment showing how the scope of Technographics is used beyond Social Media, and also see a brief history on Wikipedia

Sure, some of the really savvy marketers out there already know your audience, you’re involved in conversations with them all the time, or at one point you were a customer, but for many, that’s not enough.

How about me? How well do I know my community on this blog? Judging by the analytics, I know I have a lot of readers in North American and then in UK. I can tell who some of the readers are by the comments that they leave, but that’s only a small amount. When I announced that I’ll add anyone who ads me back in Facebook, I ended up really getting to know my community, it really brought a depth that I didn’t have before.

Some of you are saying, “that’s a lot of marketing mumbo jumbo”, but if you can’t define who your customers are, then how can you possible connect your products to people who you don’t know.

7 Replies to “Demographics, Psychographics, and Technographics”

  1. I definitely follow what Jeremy says moreso on Twitter as opposed to his blog. It’s quicker for me to process, consume than switch to blog. That’s just me.

  2. Well said Jeremiah! That is why analytics and mesasurement is so important when it comes to gathering customers insights. At the end of the day, you would want to effectively communicate with your target audience and understanding who they are will help you decide on what type of content to focus on and the tone that you deliver the content with.

  3. Thanks J, funny you point that out – I went to a seminar in Sydney about a month or so back where for the first time I heard the “top end gurus’ of IT/media (in aus) talk about “users” as “people”.

    The sharing of ideas, comments, posts, blogs, Twitters, Flicker photos, UTube videos and the new “branded content” concepts are certainly opening up a new way to view “people” as a whole being.

    I’m liking it xc

  4. Hi Jeremiah,

    Just FYI, Technographics is more than just Social Technographics – its Forrester’s whole approach to how consumers interact with technology in general and was first derived in the late 90s as a segmentation to predict technology adoption. Here’s a link to the Techno page in case you weren’t aware:

    Hope this helps,

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