Psychographics for 2020 and Beyond

When we are trying to improve our customer experience, we need to understand our target audience and what makes them tick. Demographics tell us where they live, their age, and what they earn.  The relatively new region of psychographics analytics tells us why they buy.

Psychographics tell us the Why

They reveal the customer’s interests, and activities or lifestyle. We learn about their opinions, their values, and their attitudes. And we discover their beliefs and emotional triggers. 

This information allows us to segment our audience and send them targeted marketing that aligns with their interests.  

Now the ads are everywhere?

A while back, I stumbled on an apparel company called Paskho on Facebook.  It looked interesting, so I went to explore.

They were starting the process to transition manufacturing from China to support underserved US communities. They used responsible sourcing and had a planet-friendly message.  This on top of having easy to wear comfortable clothes for travel or at home. Looked good.

The price points suggested maybe for dress, travel or occasional wear. I didn’t order although I did give them my email address.

The next day when I went online to Facebook, there were ads for the company in my feed.  And the next. And the next.  

Facebook AI had used the data it had collected on my hobbies and interests and decided we were a fit.  

When I did a Google search…guess who’s ad showed up. Sure enough.  The same company was there.

And my inbox? Yes, I started getting a well-written series of trust-building nurturing emails. They topped it off with a coupon and a great return policy. I finally succumbed and placed an order.

Why use them?

I’ve been following psychographics for several years and use it routinely when I create strategies and content.  It gets results.  

A couple of years ago I created a summer special for a list that I knew well. Small business owners, B2B, beauty.. 98% are women and love a good deal – if they like/need the product. 

It traditionally was a slow month for sales.  We did a special “Shh! The boss is away so we’re having a sale.” We offered a favorite popular product at discount.  The email received 24% opens and 17% click rate. 

I wrote for another client in the wellness sector who got even higher results. 

She hadn’t contacted her list in three years due to a serious medical issue. The email got 65% opens, a 20% click-through rate, and a full roster for a class she was offering.

Knowing exactly what your reader’s interests are, does make a huge difference in ROI.

Many people don’t know the rules

Psychographics have come a long way in just the last five years and they are evolving fast.  There are now online providers where you can source customer psychographics for a list. 

The big caution is it has to be done properly to protect privacy. Getting permission, some sort of opt-in is important.  

We know that Facebook has a huge system of AI that gathers information from us regularly. We voluntarily offer up hobbies and interests on our profile.  Facebook uses this plus our online habits to place ads we are most apt to respond to in our newsfeed.

They aren’t sharing our information with the advertiser. However, they are using it to place paid ads where we will see them.  If you want to see how it works check out Ad Preferences on your Facebook profile under settings.

What psychographics reveal

While the number of male and female shoppers is about the same, according to a study by Bloomberg, women make more than 85% of all consumer purchases in the US. They influence over 95% of total goods and services purchased. 

The notion that men are in charge of all decisions should have just fled your mind and marketing plan.  

If you want to sell a male-specific product…consider marketing to those who influence his buying triggers.

With all the social equality issues that have come out in 2020, it will be more important than ever to understand our prospects beyond demographics. 

Values, social, and is the company helping the environment opinions will impact decisions for both male and female buyers.  

To use psychographic marketing

Focus on their needs, concerns, interests, and passions. As a result of the pandemic, people are feeling stressed. Aches, pains, lack of sleep, poor nutrition. Now, all aspects of wellness are hot topics and emotional triggers.

Offer stress-reducing or stress-management solutions. Help them relax, restore or improve something in their life. Share something that will help them feel better about themselves. 

Talk to your customer service team and learn what they are hearing from customers. 

Interview some customers and listen to what they are asking for. Not sure what they are asking?  Use open-ended questions to enhance the dialogue.  Listening is key.

Read product reviews, and questions people ask, on similar Amazon offers. Haunt social media or forums and note the things people are talking about…what they need, want, think.

Use their interests to stay in touch…nurture

Provide information that answers questions they haven’t thought of yet. Keep them interest-specific.  I’ve noticed many wellness businesses offering more recipes. They are all tied into some aspect of what the business does. 

Simple things make a difference. Guides, how-to’s, charts, videos, apps.

People love validation. Customer success stories, testimonials, and other third-party information can help move them toward the purchase.

Be device friendly

Make sure your format works on all devices. While men have embraced mobile devices, the majority of women still prefer to work on a desktop or other device with a larger screen that facilitates research.


Women respond better to email offers than their male counterparts. They are willing to get additional information from you in exchange for their email address. A special offer in that email may well bring them back to your website again…this time with buying in mind.

Never assume a woman isn’t interested if she abandons her cart or suddenly leaves your website. She is a multi-tasker and you never know what interrupted her shopping.

Gently remind and invite her back again…with the respect of a valued friend, not someone you’re trying to hammer into a sale.

Follow current best practices

Stressed people are less tolerant of poorly crafted or pushy messages. Make sure your message is modern, and politically and socially correct.

Psychographics in a nutshell

Men are raised that they need to be a winner. Use techniques to reinforce their self-esteem and self-value. 

Many men don’t enjoy the shopping process. Make buying easy.

Women are stressed multi-taskers looking for solutions. They want to improve their quality of life. Women are nurturing influencers. They need both emotional and logical input to make their decisions.

Women not only buy for themselves but are the buyers for children, extended family, friends, and the elderly. This isn’t just true in the USA but in nearly every society.

Even when they don’t make the purchase themselves, women influence it. They are caregivers, relationship builders, and communicators.

With the pandemic, some online businesses have still not adjusted to the increased need for customer support.  The need is greater and expectations for customer service are higher than ever before. 

Elevate your customer service to raise your like and trust value, as well as your wellness brand.

Need help to enhance the ROI on wellness marketing? Contact me:

The Power of Giving

Man handing something to woman sitting on the ground.
Helping is as easy as reaching out. Photo by Tom Parsons

In my blog last week, I shared the story of a friend who was living In Paradise, California at the time of the worst wildfire in history.  She and her Mom were trapped with no way to escape.  They joined a few others and sheltered in a stone building with steel doors.  It was their only hope…and it worked.

She and her Mom survived but lost absolutely everything.  I didn’t want to just leave the story there.  I wanted to share the amazing things that happened after she experienced all that loss.  From the news stories, what happened was repeated for many of the town folk.

After the fire, the survivors were housed in shelters while they figured out where they could go.  Her friends were posting on Facebook and very concerned about her.

And the giving started…

Then a go-fund-me page showed up on Facebook and we all chipped in.  We gave what we could to help her have a fresh start…but it didn’t stop there.

The news spread throughout the industry she worked in, which happened to be the field of permanent cosmetics.  Suddenly, anonymous packages were being delivered.  Her peers, her tribe sent her equipment, supplies… literally everything she would need to get started in a new life. 

It was amazing.  It was overwhelming…and it shows exactly what can  happen when we’re in a pinch.  The days of helping our friends is not over.  It is alive and well.  It happens on a community or neighbor scale…and it happens on abroad scale when there is a disaster.  

There are some incredible side effects to this helping, this giving.

Funny things happen when you give…

the giver gets something in return.  You get that good feeling down inside that you’ve helped another human being.  But giving also impacts your business.

Have you ever noticed at your local bank, at the teller’s windows there are little signs indicating how that teller gives back to the community?  Your community wants to know about your involvement. Why?

We live vicariously.  We get a good feeling about you…and about ourselves when we see something you have shared. Something nice you have done to help others.  It ties you to them, your neighbors, your tribe.

People like doing business with givers. People who don’t just take or sell us stuff… but those who are philanthropists…giving back.  People like Oprah Winfrey and Bill Gates.

Locally, the University of Oregon benefits tremendously from the philanthropy of Phil Knight – (think Nike.)  He has donated millions and millions of dollars back to his alma mater. Not just sports but across the board. Guess you know Nike is a very popular brand to support when it comes to buying athletic gear.

Your takeaway?

The next time you see an opportunity to help someone else do it. You get the good feeling…the glicken in return.  But remember…don’t hide it. Put it out there, show your involvement, your generosity and let others share that warm glow with you.

Need some help getting your message out there to the Alternative Health and Wellness community…Send me an email and let’s schedule a quick chat.

Choose your words carefully video…

Don’t let weak word choices undermine your meaning.

Hi, I’m Judi Culp. I have a question for you.

How often do you say, I’m sorry.

Most of us use it way too often so that it’s lost its meaning and doesn’t really say what we were trying to express. Let me tell you a story.

I have a dear friend that lived in paradise, California. You might remember. Paradise was the town that got wiped out by the worst, most horrific wildfire in California history. She and her mom were trying to collect their pets and rescue them so that they wouldn’t die in the fire. In the process, time slipped away. They didn’t get out as quickly as they should have. By the time they headed toward town, the smoke was dark. Black, acrid and billowing. They could see the fire moving toward them. It had to be terrifying.
They encountered roads engulfed in flames. People were fleeing on foot through the flames trying to escape. It was a little bit beyond that for them, so they turned around dashed back into town and into the strongest building they could find. It was stone with steel doors and all they could do was pray It would hold out during the fire. They and about 25 others huddled in their refuge. With the fire roaring, the power went out and then communications went out, cell phones died. Towers were down and it was black, but the fire screamed outside.
I went to look on Facebook trying to see if I can find some news about my friend. There wasn’t anything there, but there were posts from other people who like I were concerned about her. Some of them had really heartfelt feelings and many others said, I’m sorry, they didn’t know what else to say. Words can undermine our intent in what we’re trying to express and it doesn’t just happen in personal emotional situations. It can happen in our work context or even what we write.
So for example, if you were in a meeting and someone arrives late. What happens? Everybody scoots over and who apologizes. The people that are scooting over do. They weren’t late for the meeting. Better to not say anything. Just shift and let that person bear the responsibility.
Why me? Why do you want to hear this from me? I’ve worked in the SPA and wellness and service industry for over 25 years. I’ve been a teacher, a writer, and a mentor. I want to help you get off autopilot and whether it’s in words or copy, make your meaning, reflect what’s coming from your heart.
If you want to commiserate with someone… Maybe you have a client that comes in late because they were fighting traffic. Don’t apologize. Maybe something more like, I know that frustration. I’ve out there driving around too. It’s really nasty. Leave it at that.
Maybe you’re looking for a filler. Something with a project is going wrong. Somebody’s not giving you the feedback you expected. Maybe they’re wandering off track. Stop, pause and say something more like, hmm, maybe we should get some more input on that. Let’s schedule a meeting.
If you’re trying to add input in a meeting, don’t apologize instead… Those are great ideas. I have one I’d like to add or what do you think of this? I’d like to get your input.
Maybe you’re just trying to keep the peace. When you can see that there’s no common ground, don’t apologize for it. Maybe pause, reflect, get a smile on your face to lighten the atmosphere and say something like, maybe we should just agree to disagree on this and let’s change the topic. Then make your exits.
If you made a mistake, it’s the professional grownup thing to do to admit it, but it doesn’t mean you have to say, I’m sorry. All you have to do is own up. Oops, my mistake. Let me take care of that or I’ll fix it.
If you are writing something, you want to make sure your words really connect with your reader, sharing the message that’s from your heart. When I saw the posts on Paradise, California, I saw images like this…[holds up a picture of Paradise fire,]
I’m sorry, doesn’t begin to cover fire racing down to engulf, your homes. It doesn’t cover this [another image]. The devastation of over 17,000 buildings leaving people dead and homeless in Paradise, which wasn’t much of a paradise anymore.
I went to my Facebook friend page and I posted with tears in my eyes. I can’t even wrap my head around this. I cannot imagine what you went through and what you’re going through now. Yes, she and her mother survived. They had absolutely nothing.
I’ll tell you what happened to the next, next week. In the meantime, think about your message. Let it come from your heart. And… Let there be no mistake of your meeting. Bye.

“I’m Sorry”..Quit Saying It…

Do you say I’m sorry so often it means nothing?

There are times when I’m sorry just isn’t enough…

Dense smoke and fire swoops toward to engulf Paradise
Paradise under attack

Last summer, a colleague of mine, lived in Paradise, CA. A monster wildfire, the worst in California history, swept across forested ridges and down on the town. Those who took too long to leave were blocked from escape.

My friend and her mom escaped from their car with flames racing toward them. They dashed into the only possible chance to survive. A brick building with heavy steel doors. Others dashed with them while the inferno raged clouding the air with acrid choking smoke.

Cell phones died, communication lost. Outside, many of those who pushed to continue escape died in the conflagration.

As you can imagine, her Facebook page got many comments trying to find out if she was okay…

I scanned her page for news and all I saw was “I’m sorry”, over and over again. My heart lurched. I’m sorry didn’t do this horror justice.

In our communications with others, our vocabulary can undermine us.  Avoid using I’m sorry and you’ll enhance how others see you and build your own confidence.

It happens in the office too…

I was in a meeting recently when someone arrived late. People shifted to accommodate the latecomer. Every one of them used the same two words as they moved over…I’m sorry.

Why were they apologizing?  They weren’t late.

I’ve been in the spa and wellness industry for over 25 years. Coaching, teaching, writing and caring for clients on a daily basis. Many of them were women. 

We women are the biggest apologizers out there.  We use “I’m sorry”, without even thinking about it. It’s become an auto-responder. 

We use it at work, we use it at home, we use it at the grocery store.  We use it so much…it doesn’t mean anything.

Does it serve us to use it so much?  Using it when it doesn’t fit puts you in a position of being seen as weak, subservient.

Choose words that convey the message more clearly…  When you choose carefully, it shows you are listening and engaged in the conversation.

Get off autopilot!

Let’s explore some scenarios where we need better choices.

1. We try to commiserate…

A client comes in late because the traffic was awful.  We all know this happens.  But it isn’t your fault…don’t say I’m sorry. 

Instead offer, “That’s so frustrating and the traffic has been really tough lately.” 

See the difference?  You are showing compassion, not taking responsibility.

2. Some of us use “I’m sorry” as a filler when we’re not sure what to say. 

Don’t do it. 

Instead, stop, pause, and then say, what needs said.

Instead of: “I’m sorry, we need to get some more input on that.”   Take a breath, pause, and then say, “We need to get some additional input on that.” 

You come across much more professional, which is core to moving up and on in your career.

3. Maybe you’re at a meeting and you’d like to give input to a discussion. 

Instead of leading with, I’m sorry, try… “I’d like to ask….” or “Great ideas, I’d like to add to that…”

Again, much more powerful, much more professional.  “Excuse me,” or “pardon me” are great alternatives. Especially, if you need to get past someone, or need to interrupt something.  They are even more effective if you add a “why” tag. 

Here’s an example.  You need to make one quick copy and you can see the person ahead of you will be there quite a while.  “Excuse me; may I make one quick copy? I need to get it back to the meeting.”

This also works for long ques at the grocery store.  In field tests, an “excuse me, may I” got very high return of offers to allow the person to slip ahead. 

You and I have done it in the grocery store when we had a full cart. There’s a guy behind us with a gallon of milk and a little kid in tow. So we wave them to slip ahead of us and their face reflects their gratitude even if they don’t say a word.

4. Ever say I’m sorry… just to keep the peace? 

It’s pretty common.  Again, that phrase makes you look weak in a potentially tough discussion.

How about…”I appreciate what you’re saying, but I don’t really understand your position.”

“Could you explain that another way? It’s not making sense to me.”

“What I’m going to say might be controversial…”

Perhaps you can see there isn’t a common ground and don’t want it to escalate.

Take on a tone to lighten the situation, and make sure there is a sincere smile on your face. Meet their gaze so they know you’re engaged. “Maybe we should agree that we have different views on this.” 

Then change the subject or move away.  Don’t let them drag you into continuing what would just get worse. 

5. Made a mistake? 

We want, need, to accept ownership and not try to dodge responsibility. But we can do it with more effective word choices.

“My mistake, I apologize. Let me take care of that…”

“My error, I apologize. I can handle that…”

When saying “I’m sorry” is the right thing to do. Need to express sympathy for someone’s loss, or pain?  Your condolences will have a much stronger impact if they

1. Know you are “there” with them.

2. That you are really hearing, feeling and responding.

That is easiest done by saying something like… “I’m so sorry to hear your father is back in the hospital, again.”  Use words that confirm what they are feeling.  If there is another word you can use to replace poor, tired, worn out sorry…use it. You’ll have much more impact.

Sometimes you can’t really imagine what kind of pain they might be going through.  Saying so tells them that you are with them and that you recognize how difficult it might be.

Paradise apocalypse…

Paradise burning
Paradise burning, Courtesy Getty Images

The fire howled all through the night. The windows radiated outside heat and the air became stifling. The steel doors held but became as hot as a burner. No power, no lights, only the heat, the night and the roar of the angry fire. Exploding trees boomed around the stout brick building. I don’t think that anyone who wasn’t there can really get a grip on how awful and terrifying it had to be. I know I can’t.

My friend and her mother did survive along with the others. Everything around them was gone. It was a charred wasteland. The people? Many now suffer from PTSD.

Charred remains of Paradise
Paradise aftermath

With tears in my eyes, I wrote on her page…”My dear friend, I cannot imagine your horror and what you have gone through. I can only say I’m glad you are alive.”

Choose your words to express what you feel in your heart and what you really mean. You’ll probably find something much better than I’m sorry.

How Easily do You Ask for Help?

For most, asking for help is a challenge
Asking for help may be a personal challenge.

Answering the question, How easily do you ask for help? can be tougher for most of us than we want to admit.

In this fabulous revealing article by Judith Sherven, PhD, an executive coach, she talks about asking this question in workshops.

Turns out, the answer for most people, is not that easily. Asking for help exposes our vulnerability. We’re afraid of looking stupid or needy.

But exposing our vulnerable side, allows people to connect with us better. It shows our willingness to learn, grow and be part of a team. It helps us grow professionally as well as personally.

In a book I’ve been reading, Influence, The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini, PhD, he describes our need to interact and reciprocate.

People like to say yes, they like to be helpful. It’s actually a gift to someone to ask for their help.

If you find yourself needing someone’s help but blocking asking for it…it’s time to figure out why, then just go do it anyway.

Asking is a win-win situation and a natural part of our human interaction.


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