When demographic marketing is not available for web marketing purposes then it’s time to look at psycho-graphic marketing. And, as it turns out, psychographic marketing is a natural fit for marketing to an otherwise unidentifiable market, such as the web.
When marketing became a science back in the 1950’s (about the same time that psycho-graphic marketing research came into being) it was based on demographic markers. People were seen through demographic data that is based on tangible facts and verifiable records.
By using age, gender, race, income, mobility and address location these tangible bits of information provided marketers with the means to formulate a marketing plan. It works in the “real” world. But it does not work on the web in the same way.
The web is now a contender for the “real” world
The web does not offer tangible demographic markers. We do not know, in a material sense, just who our web site is connecting with. All we have is anonymous traffic and if that traffic is not very targeted then adding even more traffic just gives us more traffic, not more sales.
Traditional marketing is struggling on the web because the people doing the marketing are reluctant to forget all they know about demographic marketing and look at the web on its own terms, as something new and different.
I understand that when we let go of the only method we know it feels like we are totally lost, so we hang on to what we know. That’s human nature, but now it’s time to move into unfamiliar territory and learn to use new tools.
Using the right tool for the job
When demographics are not initially available for web marketing then something else needs to take its place. Psychographics is a new way to see your market, because it ignores material markers and looks at psychological motives and attitudes that stem from beliefs, values and habits.
Consider that the same person that walks into a store does not behave the same way when they visit your web site. Psychologically speaking the same person is now a different person. A walk in customer will wait in line, but your web visitor doesn’t see a line and they have little in the way of patience. Your web visitor is looking for a solution to their problem and they can’t ask for help. Does your page help them quickly find the information they need?
Traditional marketing does not know what to make of psychographics as it requires a frame of mind that understands psychological implications. You need a market “shrink”, you might say, where attitudes and behavior have significant meaning. It is also where motives, values and beliefs form profiles to be seen as a market type.
On the web people find their social groups and networks, and your market will find your web site once you claim your unique space on the web that is a becon to a solution for their problem.
Long term goals or short term goals?
Long term goals are not just slower to develop they are further reaching because that, too, takes time. And they are more trusted because that also takes time. If you require proof before getting started with psychographics then you will never get started. And so what is needed is not so much a change of mind as much as a change of heart.
When you want to market your solution, that has your values built in, then the long term goals work the best. But I’m not talking 10 years down the road, but more like 6 month to 3 years with 3 years being safer. In any case it is always less energy and less money than it is to run a short term campaign that will blitz the media with ads.
Short term goals work well when they are focused and energized. They serve the purpose of getting things accomplished quickly, in volume, at a higher cost. But the volume makes up for the cost, at least that’s the plan. It all depends on what your needs are, but for most small business owners the fast pace and greater expense of competing in a market is not their best marketing strategy.
The reality for most small business owners is that the slower, long term goals are more suitable for any business that wants to market its originality. This is not something you can do by marketing in heavy competition.
Decide in advance how to market (push or pull)
You always have a choice. But, what happens if you don’t make a choice?
Not making a choice means that you are not marketing to anyone. End of story. Either you push a competitive campaign with money supporting your marketing plan, or you choose to work by attracting your market. In either case, though, there are immediate goals that can be achieved, and the most important is search engine visibility.
No matter which marketing method is best for you it will be the search engines that you want your web site to be placed in their top 10. This is the first goal, and as a new web site can be indexed by Google within 24 hours then we find out very quickly if we’ve got that part right.
No worries. When you market your unique products and solutions you are standing almost on your own. Once you’ve quickly owned your place your market can find you when your business web site is unique and original in content. It is all so doable right now. Maybe down the road we’ll see business owners crowding a successful idea and unique and original gets flooded by look-alike web sites. But by then your site will be owning the terrotory you have staked out for yourself. Right?