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The Future Of Your Future Is Psychographic. Read All About It.



MisfitHas this ever happened to YOU?

Weeks of involvement drag by.  You’re not having fun.  Pouring yourself into it, people don’t seem to appreciate you.   You’re likable.  But, you’re not connecting. Relationships aren’t blooming.

What’s wrong?

This misfit story unfolds when the decision to join a group/organization/tribe/niche, is based on demographics, or worse, random happenstance.  What’s wrong?   Your Psychographic proclivities are not in alignment with the group you’ve selected — these people aren’t your kind-of-people, you know it and they know it. Ergo, nothing good happens.

The fix is simple and quick. When you engage with a tribe that has shared passions, interests, activities and opinions, you click and stick.

Now is the time to open your mind and imagination.  Let’s talk about how to enjoy, grow, nurture and profit from choosing the right tribes and crafting relevant and effective marketing, advertising and branding.  We’ll start with a momentary review of old school demographics, then we’ll dive into the in’s and out’s of new school Psychographics.

You’re familiar with Demographic selling?

If you type “definition: demographic selling” into the Google Search, it returns 4,720,000 results. Demographic selling is old school.

Google Search: definition: demographic selling

Crafting a written plan to develop and grow your business is smart.  Demographic considerations play a role in every effective business plan.

Want to slingshot your business from misfit and unfun, to popular, appreciated and wildly brilliant?

Learn all you can about unlocking and unleashing the brilliance of Physcographic-Selling.

WTH Is A “Psychographic”?

If you type “definition: psychographic selling” into Google Search, it returns 66,600 results.  (My first thought, the sign of Satan, then, realizing it was Lucifer’s trick to misdirect, I quickly gathered my thoughts and continued…).

Google Search Definition: psychographic selling

That’s 4,720,00 results for old school “Demographic-Selling” and 66,600 for the lesser known, but brilliant, Psychographic-Selling”.

Why lesser known?  Because the power of” Physchographic-Selling” is most recently electrified by the omnipresence of the internet, social media, online sharing and boundry-less conversation. Facebook, blogs, Flickr, Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., all empower us to engage each other on shared Interests, Activities and Opinions (IAO).  Interests, Activities and Opinions are Psychographic variables. It’s easier than ever to find new friends and join new tribes.

Here’s more,  a snippet from on the definition of “Phsychographic Selling”.

Psychographic variables are also known as IAO variables – Interests, Activities and Opinions. The seller needs to analyze these 3 factors primarily in order to understand the psyche of the customers. Then he can adopt a suitable marketing strategy, or he can alter an existing marketing strategy. The habits that consumers generally display with regard to a certain class of products will determine their reaction to the product that a seller is offering them.

Psychographic Segmentation Variables
The variables that come into play when we speak of psychographic segmentation are primarily psychological in nature. The following variables could be said to be a part of the process of psychographic segmentation.

  • Interests
  • Activities
  • Opinions
  • Behavioral patterns
  • Habits
  • Lifestyle
  • Perception of selling company
  • Hobbies

Because the real estate business is personal in nature and success is won or lost on the basis of “trust”, when planning and strategizing on tactics to grow your real estate business success and profitability, Phychographic considerations add muscular-mojo to your plan.

Psychographic-Selling Mojo

People with similar interests, shared beliefs and in-common hobbies like each other. People trust people they like. People hire and referral recommend people they like and trust. This is why understanding Psychographics and it’s IAO (Interests, Activities and Opinions) variables is important.

To deepen connection, forge strong relationships, earn trust and have fun, it’s wise to analyze your SOE (Sphere Of Engagement) and segment them into tribes and niches of similar Psychographic makeup.  Taking this advanced step will insure that efforts to grow the size, depth of connection and your relevance (Top Of Mind Awareness & Trust) within your tribes, returns maximum results.

Here’s how:

Psychographic segmentation: Consciously group your Sphere Of Engagement (SOE) into tribes and niches with in-common IAO (interests, activities, opinions) variables.

When crafting marketing messages: Whether institutional, personal branding, property promotion, presentation or prospecting; understanding the Interests, Activities and Opinions (IAO) of the people you are addressing, will insure that you speak their language.  When conversing and marketing, it’s wise to choose an angle of approach that is relevant to the personality traits, interests, opinions, hobbies, passions and aversions of your defined and grouped Psychographic tribes and niches. Do this and connection, conversation, persuasion, trust and Top Of Mind Awareness will take deep root and your success will bloom brilliantly. You’ll have more fun too.

When adding a new tribe or niche to your existing Sphere Of Engagement (SOE), using Psychographic segmentation will keep you from beating your head against the “you’re NOT one of us”, steel-clad-security-door.  When you engage with a tribe that has shared passions, you click and stick.

Immediately quit mis-chosen tribes and scoot to a tribe that is involved in something you’re passionate about, a tribe with compatible Interests, Activities and Opinions.  I know the women get it.  Dudes, YES, I said “passionate”!

Now is the time to open your mind and imagination. What legal passions singe you.  What passions do you think you don’t have time for?  Cooking classes, yoga, book club, bunco, ballroom dancing, PTO, tennis league, coaching little league?  The real estate business is one of the few business that allow positive people to engage in people centric passions.  Forget about joining the traditional and professional organizations, unless you’re passionate about them, and join the tribes and niches that you love. They’ll love you back.  When this happens you and your tribe win.  Yea!

Psycho Action Plan

A Simple 4 Step Action Plan

  1. Identify Psychographic tribes and niches within your Sphere Of Engagement.
  2. Craft your marketing messages, promotions and conversations to speak directly to each tribe and niche in their language, based on your shared Interests, Activities and Opinions.
  3. Expand your Sphere Of Engagement by joining new tribes and niches that share your passions.  Avoid or quit engagement with tribes and niches that don’t share your passions.
  4. Be yourself.  Participate, share and have fun with your new tribe members and you’ll grow trust, attract, uncover and discover new opportunities.
  5. Have fun, live it up, share, serve and succeed brilliantly.


Thanks for reading.  Share with your friends.  If you’d like to share with the Agent Genius tribe, leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you.


Photo Credit

Ken Brand - Prudential Gary Greene, Realtors. I’ve proudly worn a Realtor tattoo for over 10,957+ days, practicing our craft in San Diego, Austin, Aspen and now, The Woodlands, TX. As a life long learner, I’ve studied, read, written, taught, observed and participated in spectacular face plant failures and giddy inducing triumphs. I invite you to read my blog posts here at Agent Genius and On the lighter side, you can follow my folly on Twitter and Facebook. Of course, you’re always to welcome to take the shortcut and call: 832-797-1779.

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  1. Ian Greenleigh

    December 28, 2009 at 8:57 am


    Love the call to action here, get in with those of similar passions. If we read what you’ve written carefully, you do address this, but I just want to make sure: You’re not advocating marketing to different tribes without first belonging to them or engaging with them, correct? This seems like the crucial message many do not get. It’s not just about IDing the tribes out there and slinging stuff at them, it’s about selling to those that *share* your interests.

    Great stuff, thanks.

    • Ken Brand

      December 28, 2009 at 6:52 pm

      Good eye. Seems are few universal threads that weave success. You are correct, after identifying tribes, figure out which are yours. If you’re not one of them, don’t bother trying to connect/market/prospect with them, it’s like swimming up stream, in wet sweats. Stick with people who like things you like, then you’re having fun and success.


  2. BawldGuy

    December 28, 2009 at 12:20 pm

    Ken — I’m more than a little intrigued, he said, making use of intense understatement. 🙂

    I suspect combining this principle with both NLP and Conceptual Selling would be a nearly unbeatable hat trick.

    Would love to see a short version case study, even if you had to construct it out of whole cloth.

    • Ken Brand

      December 28, 2009 at 6:57 pm

      I’ve read about Psychographics, what there is, and my personal experience is on where, instead of joining the Chamber of Commerce (nothing wrong with them, it’s an example of a typical choice) I did what I loved. I played basket ball. Basket ball at noon with a bunch of guys, Bball on weekends and evenings in the park, 3on3 leagues at the Y and 5on5 at the rec cener and church. Made dozens of friends, played games and listed and sold a ton of homes. Why? Because we shared the same passion, people get to know you well by how you win, lose, hustle, etc.

      So for me, what I’ve experienced and seen, connecting with people who have the same IAO is the fast tract to connection and trust.

      What do you think.

  3. Janie Coffey

    December 28, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    Ken, I have to come back and read this when my brain is free not to multi-task. It looks great and I am with you 100%. Connect with those you connect with. I’ll be back, but camping out here for a bit to digest it all.

    • Ken Brand

      December 28, 2009 at 6:58 pm

      Thanks. It’s a long post. I’m including in a book I’m writing, so I wrote a bit more indepth than I might usually. Hope you find it useful.


  4. Lisa Roth

    December 28, 2009 at 1:46 pm

    I totally agree with you. I’m not into dogs and yet consider it every time I see an agent using a dog in their marketing 😉 Hope 2010 is a great year for you. I believe it will be fun and profitable!

    • Ken Brand

      December 28, 2009 at 7:00 pm

      That’s the thing isn’t it. To an outsider, what the insiders do and understand is completely different. I’m with you on the Dog thing, yet some LOVE it. Since I don’t, pet lovers would know I’m a poser and never trust me. You make a good point.

      I think the same thing applies to things like Facebook Farmville, Mafia Wars, etc. While I’m not interested in playing, I know people who love it and have developed relationships with others that do as well.

      Thanks for sharing.


  5. Katherine Carrier

    December 28, 2009 at 3:38 pm


    Thank you for this enlightening perspective. As I have studied where I predominantly got sales, I was thinking there was a magic “at least two times a week” face-time denominator (softball practices and games, tennis lessons and matches, fitness camp, church), and I still think that’s true, but I see this is linked to common passions.

    As we broaden our business and seek more non-sphere leads, it would be good to understand better how to craft our marketing messages to speak to our tribes!

    Great content!

    • Ken Brand

      December 28, 2009 at 7:09 pm

      Thanks for the comment and good point. Sounds like you know what you’re about and it works great. Amen.

      In the future I will write a post that addresses your interest in crafting messages that resonate with a particular tribe. Basically, the approach centers around Persona Based copywriting. Over simplified, what you do is write your advertising/presentation/promotional copy as if you were writing a single person in the tribe. This technique is perceived a personally speaking to the reader/prospect and because you’re writing to a tribe member, most of the tribe can relate to it. For example, your copy/story would sound and feel different and you’d most likely or rather, you should use different metaphors, symbolism, verbs, nouns and context if you were addressing your tennis league pals than you would if you were addressing soccer league tribe.

      I’ll go into more detail in a future post.

      Thanks and Happy New Year to you.

  6. Paula Monthofer

    December 28, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    Great article! Love it and will be incorporating some psychographic marketing into my 2010 business plan. Thank you!

    • Ken Brand

      December 28, 2009 at 7:11 pm

      Great. Psychographic is smart and when you name drop the word, you’ll get funny looks, then you can impress them with your well rounded, world of marketing and communication knowledge. Cheers and thanks for the comment.

  7. Elaine Reese

    December 28, 2009 at 11:17 pm

    Ken, this was a very good article.

    In my corp mktng career, we used psychographic marketing for specialty products. When I got into this RE business I recall an agent telling me that eventually I would realize that all my clients were ‘just like me’. I developed my target market to be a demographic that I am comfortable speaking with. As you say, we speak the same language – use the same type of terminology. I prefer using a rifle strategy rather than a shotgun. I was pleased to see you suggest that we write our blogs as if we were speaking directly with our phantom target client. I do that and it’s very helpful to keep me focused.

    On a side note, I’m one of those “dog” people and obtain business because of it. I’ve had blog readers make, buy and send gifts to my dog. If I were to try to target joggers, or health nuts, it would be a complete failure … that’s just not me. 🙂

    • Ken Brand

      December 29, 2009 at 8:04 am

      Thanks and thanks for sharing your experience. It seems obvious, but there are tons of people who think meeting as many people as you can is the key to success. Nope. The rifle strategy is the way to go, it’s easier, funner and more profitable.

      Cheers Elaine, here’s to a BIG 2010.

  8. Houstonblogger

    December 29, 2009 at 12:06 am

    Couldn’t agree with you more, Ken. I don’t know if it would be possible for me to even be successful in marketing myself to a “tribe” that I don’t believe in, enjoy or even want to be around. I put myself in front of those that amuse me, make me happy and share my love of life, experiences and specific hobbies and interests. Not a bunch of groups that mean nothing to me nor I to them. Great post from a great person!

  9. Ken Brand

    December 29, 2009 at 8:07 am

    Life’s to short to work with people you don’t click with.

    I think you’re criteria “I put myself in front of those that amuse me, make me happy and share my love of life, experiences and specific hobbies and interests.” sums it up.

    Cheers to our working with cool people in 2010. And speaking of working with cool people, next time you’re in The Woodlands and you have a free few minutes, give me a buzz and let’s grab a cup of coffee or lunch.


    • Houstonblogger

      December 29, 2009 at 8:19 am

      I will do so! I’ve been meaning to head that way, it just hasn’t happened yet. Looking forward to it, though!

  10. Janie Coffey

    December 29, 2009 at 8:16 am

    Hi Ken,

    OK, I am back. Psychographic connections are the real deal. It is being your authentic self. It works because you make the connections and build relationships built on a common ground (IOA). You know the lingo and share common bonding elements.

    I find it important to go for depth, not breath with this kind of engagement. To create the strongest bonds, it can’t be superficial or occasional connections. If it’s a sport, social media, or whatever, pick a few you LOVE and get in there, be involved, help out, and grow your connections.

    Great ideas, as always Ken! Janie

  11. Ken Brand

    December 29, 2009 at 8:43 am

    Thank you Janie;-) There’s something sorta liberating about the love me, like me or leave me approach.

    One of the things that I try to remember is that I “choose who to lose”, meaning, do what you do with gusto, the people who are attracted will really like it, the people who don’t, wouldn’t get it or enjoy it anyway. Cheers to you and the best ever in 2010.

  12. Jes Extender

    January 5, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Interesting, never really though in this way…

  13. Claudia Gonella

    January 11, 2010 at 2:01 pm

    Great article and congratulations on winning this week’s CORE hoted by Mike:

    It’s hard to answer the question “who are your writing for?” in precise terms, hold that person in your head and then write to them, and only to them. The internet and social media is perfect for that kind of precise targeting (communicating with the masses is much harder online) so that’s what we should use it for.

  14. ColoradoHomeFinder

    January 25, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    So many times in my life I have been presented with something at the very time when I needed to have it presnted to me. Finding and reading this article is another one of those times. Great article, great subject matter. Thanks.

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Business Marketing

Marketing amidst uncertainty: 3 considerations

(BUSINESS MARKETING) As the end of the COVID tunnel begins to brighten, marketing strategies may shift yet again – here are three thoughts to ponder going into the future.



Open business sign being held by business owner for marketing purposes.

The past year has been challenging for businesses, as operations of all sizes and types and around the country have had to modify their marketing practices in order to address the sales barriers created by the pandemic. That being said, things are beginning to look up again and cities are reopening to business as usual.

As a result, companies are looking ahead to Q3 with the awareness they need to pivot their marketing practices yet again. The only question is, how?

Pandemic Pivot 1.0: Q3 2020

When the pandemic disrupted global markets a year ago, companies looked for new ways to reach their clients where they were: At home, even in the case of B2B sales. This was the first major pivot, back when store shelves were empty care of panic shopping, and everyone still thought they would only be home for a few weeks.

How did this transition work? By building out more extensive websites, taking phone orders, and crafting targeted advertising, most companies actually survived the crisis. Some even came out ahead. With this second pivot, however, these companies will have to use what they knew before the pandemic, while making savvy predictions about how a year-long crisis may have changed customer behavior.

Think Brick And Mortar

As much as online businesses played a key role in the pandemic sales landscape, as the months wore on, people became increasingly loyal to local, brick and mortar businesses. As people return to their neighborhood for longer in-person adventures, brands should work on marketing strategies to further increase foot traffic. That may mean continuing to promote in-store safety measures, building a welcoming online presence, and developing community partnerships to benefit from other stores’ customer engagement efforts.

Reach Customers With PPC

Obviously brick and mortar marketing campaigns won’t go far for all-online businesses, but with people staying at home less, online shops may have a harder time driving sales. Luckily, they have other tools at their disposal. That includes PPC marketing, one of the most effective, trackable advertising strategies.

While almost every business already uses some degree of PPC marketing because of its overall value, but one reason it’s such a valuable tool for businesses trying to navigate the changing marketplace is how easy it is to modify. In fact, best practice is to adjust your PPC campaign weekly based on various indicators, which is what made it a powerful tool during the pandemic as well. Now, instead of using a COVID dashboard to track the impact of regulations on ad-driven sales, however, companies can use PPC marketing to see how their advertising efforts are holding up to customers’ rapidly changing shopping habits.

It’s All About The Platforms

When planning an ad campaign, what you say is often not as important as where you say it – a modern twist on “the medium is the message.” Right now, that means paying attention to the many newer platforms carrying innovative ad content, so experiment with placing ads on platforms like TikTok, Reddit, and NextDoor and see what happens.

One advantage of marketing via smaller platforms is that they tend to be less expensive than hubs like Facebook. That being said, they are all seeing substantial traffic, and most saw significant growth during the pandemic. If they don’t yield much in the way of results, losses will be minimal, but given the topical and local targeting various platforms allow for, above and beyond standard PPC targeting, they could be just what your brand needs as it navigates the next set of marketplace transitions.

The last year has been unpredictable for businesses, but Q3 2021 may be the most uncertain yet as everyone attempts to make sense of what normal means now. The phrase “new normal,” overused and awkward as it is, gets to the heart of it: we can pretend we’re returning to our pre-pandemic lives, but very little about the world before us is familiar, so marketing needs a “new normal,” too.

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Business Marketing

Advertising overload: Let’s break it down

(BUSINESS MARKETING) A new study finds that frequent ads are actually more detrimental to a brand’s image than that same brand advertising near offensive content.



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If you haven’t noticed, ads are becoming extremely common in places that are extremely hard to ignore—your Instagram feed, for example. Advertising has certainly undergone some scrutiny for things like inappropriate placement and messaging over the years, but it turns out that sheer ad exhaustion is actually more likely to turn people off of associated brands than the aforementioned offensive content.

Marketing Dive published a report on the phenomenon last Tuesday. The report claims that, of all people surveyed, 32% of consumers said that they viewed current social media advertising to be “excessive”; only 10% said that they found advertisements to be “memorable”.

In that same group, 52% of consumers said that excessive ads were likely to affect negatively their perception of a brand, while only 32% said the same of ads appearing next to offensive or inappropriate content.

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This reaction speaks to the sheer pervasiveness of ads in the current market. Certainly, many people are spending more time on their phones—specifically on social media—as a result of the pandemic. However, with 31% and 27% of surveyed people saying they found website ads either “distracting” or “intrusive”, respectively, the “why” doesn’t matter as much as the reaction itself.

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Like most industries, advertisers have faced unique challenges during the pandemic. If there’s one major takeaway from the report, it’s this: Ads have to change—largely in terms of their frequency—if brands want to maintain customer retention and loyalty.

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(BUSINESS MARKETING) Without a brick-and-mortar store, building rapport and customer loyalty can be a challenge, but you can still build customer loyalty online.



Man and woman at kitchen table online shopping on laptop together, boosting customer loyalty.

With many businesses – both big and small – operating online, there are less opportunities for building those face-to-face relationships that exist in brick and mortar stores. According to smallbizgenius, 65% of the company’s revenue comes from existing customers.

It’s important to keep in mind the different tactics at your disposal for increasing customer loyalty. Noupe recently released a list of actionable tips for increasing this loyalty. Let’s examine these ideas and expand on the best.

  1. Keep your promises – Stay true to what you’ve agreed to, obviously contractually, but stay true to your company values as well. Even if you feel you’ve built a good loyalty where there is room to take a step back, don’t rest on your laurels and be sure to remain consistent. If you’ve provided a good experience, keep that going. The only change that should happen is in it getting better.
  2. Stay in communication – In addition to the ever-so-vital social media platforms, consider creating an email newsletter to stay in touch with your customers. Finding ways to have them keep you in mind should be at the front of your mind. By reaching out and being friendly, this will help retain their business.
  3. Be flexible with payments – No, don’t sell yourself short, but consider installment plans for pricier items or services. This will help customers feel more at ease when their wallet’s health is at stake.
  4. Reward programs – Consider allowing customers to accrue loyalty points in exchange for a freebie. The old punch card method is still an incredibly popular concept, and is a great way to keep people coming back. The cost associated with giving something away for free will be minimal in comparison to loyalty you receive in order for the customer to get to that point. Make sure that what a customer is putting in is about equal to what they’re getting out of it (i.e. don’t have a customer spend $100 in order to get $1 off their next purchase). If all of this proves successful, this can eventually be expanded by creating VIP levels.
  5. Prioritize customer service – A first impression is everything. By prioritizing customer service, you can help shape the narrative of the customer and how they view your business. This splinters off into them giving good word of mouth recommendations to friends and family. Be sure to keep positive customer service as the forefront of your mind, as giving a bad review is just as easy – or even easier – as giving a good review.
  6. Value feedback – Allow customers a space to provide their feedback, either on your website or on social media. Find out what brought them to you and gage how their experience was. Be sure to thank them for their feedback and take it into consideration. Feedback – both good and bad – can be vital in helping shape a business.
  7. Avoid laziness – Stay sharp at all times. Don’t treat all customers as nothing but currency. Include personalized touches wherever you can. This will make all of the difference.

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