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Using Psychographic Segmentation to Effectively Market to a Smaller Crowd


Yesterday morning, as I sat on my porch sipping a fresh cup of coffee, I watched the world drive by my little slice of Nirvana. While most in my position would not have been thinking about Direct Mail Marketing as the sun continued to gloriously rise and the normally peaceful neighborhood reluctantly awakened, it was the perfect time as far as I was concerned.

A frazzled Mrs. Schwartz drove her mini-van full of sleepy children past Miss Julie. Miss Julie was performing her morning power-walk. iPod blaring, the music keeps pace with her steps, as her Golden Retriever woofs a hello seeing Mr. Cummings. Mr. Cummings opens his garage door and waves, ready to begin another day of repairs on his ongoing house remodel. In the space of a few moments the microcosm of life, known locally as Oak Hill, begins a new day.

Like most neighborhoods, Oak Hill is a blend of young career couples, growing families and long time residents. Diversity is everywhere. How then would a smart company market to such a neighborhood: with direct mail marketing and Psychographic Segmentation.

Psychographic Segmentation are lists that group customers according to their lifestyle. Activities, interests and opinion surveys are some of the tools used for measuring lifestyle. It looks at a number of potential influences on buying behavior. This can include the attitudes and expectations of marketable consumers. If these behaviors are known, then marketing campaigns can be customized for more appeal. Those kind of marketing campaigns are a dream for businesses and direct marketing agencies alike.

There are six main types of psychographic segments.


As in my neighborhood, different people have different lifestyle patterns. Behavior changes as we pass through life’s stages. Direct mail marketing to Miss Julie would be different than direct mail marketing to Mrs. Schwartz or Mr. Cummings: and vice versa. With the sagacity lifestyle model, marketers can identify four main stages in a typical lifestyle:

* Dependent (children still living at home with parents)

* Pre-family (own household but no children)

* Family (parents with at least one dependent child)

* Late (parents with children who have left home or older childless couples)

Each group can then be further divided according to income and occupation if necessary.

Opinions, Interests and Hobbies

If you have ever attended a neighborhood cookout or just taken the time to chat with your neighbor across the fence, you know that most people have political opinions, views on the environment, sporting or recreational activities, the arts and other issues. Oak Hill has a plethora of people willing to share those opinions. Direct mail marketers can use Psychographic Segmentation lists to market to consumers based upon those opinions. While Mr. Cummings might be interested in knowing where to find the best deal on hardwood flooring materials, Miss Julie would rather hear about where she can find information on the most reliable vet in the area.

Degree of Loyalty

Valuable to companies are customers who buy one particular item all or most of the time. Direct mail marketers can then use this type of Psychographic segmenting to adapt their marketing to retain loyal customers, rather than focusing on constantly recruiting new ones. It has been said that it is ten times more profitable selling to existing customers than trying to find new ones. Ask the Oak Hill children’s recycled clothing store. Mrs. Schwartz has been a customer of theirs since her oldest child was in diapers.


This Psychographic segmentation uses the basis of when a product is purchased or consumed. Some consumers might only purchase wine, flowers or tickets to the symphony for celebratory occasions. Others may buy these things on a weekly basis. Smart marketers could use this information to try and change consumer perception of the best time to purchase a product by direct mail marketing and promoting optional uses for a product. Mrs. Cummings wouldn’t mind sliding a postcard under the nose of Mr. Cummings showing that her favorite restaurant has a “buy 5 meals, get one free” offer available. It is nice to be taken there for her birthday every year, but going once a month would be nicer?

Benefits Sought

A local day care center has a discounted weekly fee for multiple children registered with their location. The local dentist has enacted an annual free cleaning by signing up for his oral health preventative package. Your neighborhood insurance company now offers annual rebates if you use their company for both home and auto insurance. Benefits sought Psychographic segmentation requires direct mail marketers to identify and understand the benefits consumers are looking for in a product or service.


While all of us here in Oak Hill enjoy the convenience of both local and national businesses in our neighborhood, some of us use them in varying degrees: light, medium and heavy. Direct mail marketing to those that fit your businesses focus is more efficient than attempting to market to those who would rarely, if ever, use your services.

It would be easy to sit here and continue talking about the benefits of Psychographic Segmentation and direct mail marketing with you, but the mail has just been delivered. Evidently the local garden center is having a special on hanging baskets this week. I want to get over there before the best ones are already taken.


Source by Grace OMalley

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