The Importance of Understanding the Psychographics of your Consumer

What’s more emotional than money?

The worry over never having enough.

The concern about securing a loan.

The nerve-wracking nausea of watching stocks plummet.

The terror in receiving a call from a debt collector.

All too often those of us in the finance world forget this and treat money simply as our trade. But to the consumer, money can and does dictate their mood, their security, and their ultimate happiness. The psychographics of your consumers — their activities, interests, and opinions — are the underexploited levers that could drive Finance Companies and Financial Apps…and they’re staring us straight in the face.

Demographics vs. Psychographics

Most of us focus on the former when creating our sites, our apps, and our marketing plans. We want to target men 35-54 for example or women 25-45 who run a household with small children. But we really should be focusing on what the customer feels — not who they are. In other words, their behavior.

  • Are they concerned about money?
  • Are they a first-time investor?
  • What keeps them up at night?
  • What will make them come back daily to our site or app?

People like looking at their assets, not their liabilities.

If you want people to visit often, you can’t bombard them with a potential negative when they sign on. So if they’re instantly confronted with their credit score upon login, they’re likely not to come back anytime soon, especially if they don’t like that number.

And while some liabilities are only tied to life changes (e.g., applying for a mortgage), others are more pressing, like monthly bills to pay (e.g., credit cards, loans).

Simply look at the frequency with which people visit an investing site versus a personal finance site. In this example, it’s more than double.

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Who wouldn’t want to see a growing number rather than a potential deficit? But it goes beyond simply showing them only the ‘good stuff.’ Obviously, that’s not real life.

Create an overall positive user experience.

Of course, we all want to do this and we think we are. But take a look at your home page and ask yourself ‘what are the barriers to entry?’

If you’re a company with personal finance management tools or assets and liabilities, lead with assets as a daily habit. Get your customers to come back and feel good about their long-term growth but be sure to schedule and educate on liabilities so you don’t scare people away. You can also think of this as the infamous “sandwich” method: say something positive, then point out a criticism, then end with something positive. We’re not saying you can’t ever show someone their deficit or liabilities, just do it in a way they’re receptive to. And in a way that could create change and daily action.

If you’re in the business of assets’ investing, own it. In other words, don’t throw other stuff at a user and distract them from why they came in the first place — lean into your strength. That’s what they came for.


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