Customer Surveys: Consider collecting psychographic data

This may well be a somewhat overlooked aspect in customer surveying – I am referring to respondent information. Traditionally, the most often included questions are related to age, gender, country of origin, marital status and level of income (demographic data).

The primary purpose for collecting this type of data is to identify similarities within the customer segments that may give vital information for

creating better marketing strategies
succeeding in product and service development
improving overall customer experience, to name a few.

Collecting demographic data is useful for general customer surveys without a doubt.

However, in some business circumstances it might be beneficial to concentrate more on psychograchic data.

Psychographic data refers to:

interests
opinions
attitudes
values
principles
behaviour

To give an example – say you have developed a PC or console game. It has been out for 6 months and you would be interested in acquiring detailed user feedback. In this case, would it not be more meaningful to understand the attitudes, behaviour and interests of gamers rather than their age, gender and income.

To obtain more information about WHY rather than WHO.

Let me elaborate, according to BigFish game play statistics for 2017 – the average age of a gamer is 35. If we ask the same question and find out that the average is 33 – this information will have very limited practical value to us.

Another example, let’s assume there were 7 males at the age of 31 all married with children among the respondents. This information may seem valuable at first sight, especially if these respondents are grouped with other males from 30 to 35 also married with children, thus accumulating more responses.

Here comes the tricky part, what if the similarities end there and their psychographic profiles are entirely different. They might have completely different interests and motivations, what drives or triggers them in the first place.

Thereby concentrating on the psychographic data might enable to build more meaningful customer profiles e.g. leading to better results in target marketing. Especially if the game’s lifespan is estimated for 18 months and there is a need to improve the marketing efforts for the remainder 12 months.

Naturally, depending on the business in question, a combination of demographic and psychographic data might just lead to best results in the end.

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