We came across an interesting article recently that hit on some good points revolving around how we market.
The article revolved around the concept known as “psychographics”, a word defined in Webster’s as “market research or statistics classifying population groups according to psychological variables (as attitudes, values, or fears); also : variables or trends identified through such research”.
The article, written by Alisa Meredith, a contributing writer for Hubspot, provides an even more interesting definition. “The best way to define psychographics is this: Demographics explain who your buyer is, while psychographics explain why they buy. Demographic information includes gender, age, income, marital status — the dry facts. Psychographic information includes things like their hobbies, spending habits, and values.”
So, psychographics adds the all important “why” to the equation of how people make buying decisions. What is the significance, you might ask, of psychographics in the marketing of business centers and coworking spaces?
It could be more significant than we might initially think. As older workers are replaced by younger Generation X and millennials, the buying personas will experience a paradigm change as well. So much so, that we are now seeing the term “business-to-business” and “business-to-consumer” more often than not replaced with “person-to-person” or even “human-to-human”, reflecting an approach to marketing that is much more centered around the individual. And psychographics are all about that.
Below is an example of the contrast between a typical demographic profile and a psychographic profile:
- Age 25-30
- College Graduate
- Into health; works out
- Enjoys brew pubs and wine bars
- Eco sensitive
- Favors quality over economy
- Likes to spend time with smaller groups of friends
- Career fulfillment more important than money
Curious to see how psychographics is being used to market in our industry, Officing Today conducted its own (admittedly somewhat unscientific) experiment, randomly selecting 5 business center websites and comparing the content with 5 coworking sites. Clearly, coworking sites tended to highlight more community and personal benefits and business center sites stressed more traditional features, such as location.
Coworking space owners and operators, in general, seem to understand the concept of psychographics better than their counterparts in the more traditional business center arena. Not surprising, given the popularity of coworking spaces with young entrepreneurs and start ups. Using a more psychographic approach leads to advertising more geared towards “benefits” that feed directly into lifestyle and personal preferences.
So we are seeing website content spotlighting the open networking areas and fresh squeezed juice each morning, rather than square footage and number of offices.
Will psychographics ultimately become the centerpiece of a new age of human-to-human marketing? Or is it a passing trend, whose pendulum will eventually swing back to the center?
While there is no final answer, the writing may be on the wall as the younger generation makes its way into the mainstream workforce and demands a list of amenities that may include more on the order of lifestyle and less on corner office footage. Arming yourself with a working knowledge of the dynamics of psychographics just might be a good idea.
Thanks to Hubspot Marketing for the image