Both Demographics and Psychographics information play an important role in market research. They both provide insights into the customer and are fundamental inputs to a business’s marketing strategy.

In fact, the ability to mine demographic and psychographic information has given rise to the Long-Tail Economy.

But what’s the difference between demographics vs psychographics?

Key Takeaways on Demographics vs Psychographics

  • Distinct Data Types: Demographics provide measurable data like age and income, while psychographics delve into attitudes, lifestyles, and values.
  • Complementary Insights: Both demographics and psychographics offer complementary insights for deeper understanding and precise targeting in marketing strategies.
  • Enhanced Targeting: Integrating demographic and psychographic information enables highly specific customer targeting for more effective marketing and engagement efforts.


Demographics have long been the standard for identifying the characteristics of your target audience. Demographics are measurable characteristics of an entire class or target market, including items such as age, race, gender, income, religion, education, etc.

However, sometimes demographic measures do not provide an adequate level of data to target a potential prospect.

For example, consider that you have an advertisement-supported website that provides tips for skiers.

Audience demographics will not provide any really meaningful market segmentation. Skiers can be men or women, young or old, rich and not so rich, so skiers cross almost all demographic measures.


Psychographics is the study of personality, values, opinions, attitudes, interests, and lifestyles.

Psychographics are less measurable characteristics and can represent either profiling at a national level or be attributed to a single person known as psychographic profiling. Increased computing power and repositories of large data sets of consumer information have propelled data mining to a whole new level.

Today, nearly every product sold has a UPC code, and most purchases are made using some form of either electronic payment (credit/debit cards) or loyalty cards that connect the exact purchase identified by the UPC code of a product to a specific person- including their home address.

These billions and billions of transactions exist in big-data sets and can be mined to provide a single psychographic profile for an individual, or for an entire class of people.

One excellent psychographic tool is the Lifestyle Database included in ReferenceUSA, which can often be found at your local library for free.

The way the lifestyle database works is it tracks hundreds or purchasing categories, then a person spends more than the median in a category, that category is included in their profile.

The following is an example of my profile in the ReferenceUSA Lifestyle database and is a pretty accurate representation of things that are important to me based upon my spending habits.

Here are also a few other tools that might also be available at your local library or academic institution to access psychographic information:

Not only can you get specific psychographic information about a single person, but you can also combine your psychographic data with more traditional demographic information to create a very specific list of targeted customers.

Political campaigns and many businesses use demographic and psychographic profiling to conduct microtargeting campaigns to convince consumers to consider what they have to offer.

Demographics vs Psychographics

Demographics and psychographics serve as foundational pillars in understanding market segments and tailoring marketing strategies.

While demographics focus on statistical data related to population characteristics such as age, gender, income level, and education, psychographics delve into the psychological attributes of consumers, including their interests, values, lifestyles, and beliefs.

Demographics offer a starting point for identifying a target market by segmenting it into manageable groups based on tangible characteristics. This data is crucial for basic market segmentation and helps in determining the size and location of potential markets. However, demographics alone might not fully capture the nuances of consumer behavior or preferences.

Psychographics, on the other hand, provide depth to the demographic information by painting a detailed picture of consumers’ inner motivations. Understanding psychographics allows marketers to craft messages that resonate on a more personal and emotional level, leading to stronger connections with the audience. Psychographic data can also highlight why certain demographic segments may prefer specific products or brands, enabling more tailored marketing approaches.

The integration of demographics and psychographics leads to a more holistic understanding of the market.

By combining the ‘who’ of demographics with the ‘why’ of psychographics, businesses can develop more nuanced and effective marketing strategies that appeal directly to the desires and needs of their target audience.

This combined approach is especially useful in microtargeting campaigns, where the goal is to engage very specific consumer segments with highly personalized messages.

How can you use demographics and psychographics to help you better target your potential customers?