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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

Amazon attracts advertisers from Facebook after Apple privacy alterations

(MARKETING) After Apple’s privacy features unveil, Amazon adapts by taking a unique approach to targeting, disrupting revenue for the ad giant Facebook.



Two African American women work at their desks, one viewing Amazon's advertising landing page.

As a de facto search engine of its own persuasion, Amazon has been poaching ad revenue from Google for some time. However, disrupting the revenue stream from their most recent victim – Facebook – is going to turn some heads.

According to Bloomberg, Apple’s recent privacy additions to products such as iPhones are largely responsible for the shift in ad spending. While platforms like Facebook and Instagram were originally goldmines for advertisers, these privacy features prevent tracking for targeting – a crucial aspect in any marketing campaign.

Internet privacy has been featured heavily in tech conversations for the last several years, and with Chrome phasing out third-party cookies, along with Safari and Firefox introducing roughly analogous policies, social media advertising is bound to become less useful as tracking strategies struggle to keep up with the aforementioned changes.

However, Amazon’s wide user base and separate categorization from social media companies makes it a clear alternative to the Facebook family, which is perhaps why Facebook advertisers are starting to jump ship in an effort to preserve their profits.

This is the premise behind the decision to reduce the Facebook ad spending of Vanity Planet by 22%, a home spa vendor, while facilitating a transition to Amazon. “We have inventory…and the biggest place we are growing is Amazon,” says Alex Dastmalchi, the entrepreneur who runs Vanity Planet.

That gap will only widen with Apple’s new privacy features. Bloomberg reports that when asked in June if they would consent to having their internet activity tracked, only one in four iPhone users did so; this makes it substantially harder for the ad campaigns unique to Facebook to target prospective buyers.

It also means that Amazon, having demonstrated a profound effectiveness in targeting individuals both pre- and post-purchase, stands to gain more than its fair share of sellers flocking to promote their products.

Jens Nicolaysen, co-founder of Shinesty (an eccentric underwear company), affirms the value that Amazon holds for sellers while acknowledging that it isn’t a perfect substitute for social media. While Nicolaysen laments the loss of the somewhat random introduction charm inherent on Instagram, he also believes in the power of brand loyalty, especially on a platform as high-profile as Amazon. “The bigger you are, the more you lose by not having any presence on Amazon,” he explains.

As privacy restrictions continue to ramp up in the coming months, it will be interesting to see how social media advertising evolves to keep up with this trend; it seems naive to assume that Amazon will replace Facebook’s ads entirely, tracking or no tracking.

Apple's privacy landing page showing iPhone users ability to shut off location services and a desktop image of a user's ability to control how their data is managed.

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Business Marketing

How many hours of the work week are actually efficient?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) Working more for that paycheck, more hours each week, on the weekends, on holidays can actually hurt productivity. So don’t do that, stay efficient.



Clock pointed to 5:50 on a plain white wall, well tracked during the week.

Social media is always flooded with promises to get in shape, eat healthier and… hustle?

In hustle culture, it seems as though there’s no such thing as too much work. Nights, weekends and holidays are really just more time to be pushing towards your dreams and hobbies are just side hustles waiting to be monetized. Plus, with freelancing on the rise, there really is nothing stopping someone from making the most out of their 24 hours.

Hustle culture will have you believe that a full-time job isn’t enough. Is that true?

Although it’s a bit outdated, Gallup’s 2014 report on full-time US workers gives us an alarming glimpse into the effects of the hustle. For starters, 50% of full-time workers reported working over 40 hours a week – in fact, the average weekly hours for salaried employees was up to 49 hours.

So, what’s the deal with 40 hours anyway? The 40 hour work-week actually started with labor rights activists in the 1800s pushing for an 8 hour workday. In 1817, Robert Owen, a Welsh activist, reasoned this workday provided: “eight hours labor, eight hours recreation, eight hours rest.”

If you do the math, that’s a whopping 66% of the day devoted to personal needs, rather than labor!

Of course, it’s only natural to be skeptical of logic from two centuries ago coloring the way we do business in the 21st century. For starters, there’s plenty of labor to be done outside of the labor you’re paid to do. Meal prep, house cleaning, child care… that’s all work that needs to be done. It’s also all work that some of your favorite influencers are paying to get done while they pursue the “hustle.” For the average human, that would all be additional work to fall in the ‘recreation’ category.

But I digress. Is 40 hours a week really enough in the modern age? After all, average hours in the United States have increased.

Well… probably not. In fact, when hours are reduced (France, for instance, limited maximum hours to 35 hours a week, instead of 40), workers are not only more likely to be healthier and happier, but more efficient and less likely to miss work!

So, instead of following through with the goal to work more this year, maybe consider slowing the hustle. It might actually be more effective in the long run!

This story was first published in January 2020.

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Business Marketing

Jack of all trades vs. specialized expert – which are you?

(BUSINESS MARKETING) It may feel tough to decide if you want to be a jack of all trades or have an area of expertise at work. There are reasons to decide either route.



jack of all trades learning

When mulling over your career trajectory, you might ask yourself if you should be a jack of all trades or a specific expert. Well, it’s important to think about where you started. When you were eight years old, what did you want to be when you grew up? Teacher? Doctor? Lawyer? Video Game Developer? Those are common answers when you are eight years old as they are based on professionals that you probably interact with regularly (ok, maybe not lawyers but you may have watched LA Law, Law & Order or Suits and maybe played some video games – nod to Atari, Nintendo and Sega).

We eventually chose what areas of work to gain skills in and/or what major to pursue in college. To shed some light on what has changed in the last couple of decades:

Business, Engineering, Healthcare and Technology job titles have grown immensely in the last 20 years. For example, here are 9 job titles that didn’t exist 20 years ago in Business:

  1. Online Community Manager
  2. Virtual Assistant
  3. Digital Marketing Expert
  4. SEO Specialist
  5. App Developer
  6. Web Analyst
  7. Blogger
  8. Social Media Manager
  9. UX Designer

We know that job opportunities have grown to include new technologies, Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, consumer-generated content, instant gratification, gig economy and freelance, as well as many super-secret products and services that may be focused on the B2B market, government and/or military that we average consumers may not know about.

According to the 2019 Bureau of Labor Statistics after doing a survey of baby boomers, the average number of jobs in a lifetime is 12. That number is likely on the rise with generations after the Baby Boomers. Many people are moving away from hometowns and cousins they have grown up with.

The Balance Careers suggests that our careers and number of jobs we hold also vary throughout our lifetimes and our race is even a factor. “A worker’s age impacted the number of jobs that they held in any period. Workers held an average of 5.7 jobs during the six-year period when they were 18 to 24 years old. However, the number of jobs held declined with age. Workers had an average of 4.5 jobs when they were 25 to 34 years old, and 2.9 jobs when they were 35 to 44 years old. During the most established phase of many workers’ careers, ages 45 to 52, they held only an average of 1.9 jobs.”

In order to decide what you want to be, may we suggest asking yourself these questions:

  • Should you work to be an expert or a jack of all trades?
  • Where are you are at in your career and how have your skills progressed?
  • Are you happy focusing in on one area or do you find yourself bored easily?
  • What are your largest priorities today (Work? Family? Health? Caring for an aging parent or young children?)

If you take the Gallup CliftonStrengths test and are able to read the details about your top five strengths, Gallup suggests that it’s better to double down and grown your strengths versus trying to overcompensate on your weaknesses.

The thing is, usually if you work at a startup, small business or new division, you are often wearing many hats and it can force you to be a jack of all trades. If you are at a larger organization which equals more resources, there may be clearer lines of your job roles and responsibilities versus “the other departments”. This is where it seems there are skills that none of us can avoid. According to LinkedIn Learning, the top five soft skills in demand from 2020 are:

  1. Creativity
  2. Persuasion
  3. Collaboration
  4. Adaptability
  5. Emotional Intelligence

The top 10 hard skills are:

  1. Blockchain
  2. Cloud Computing
  3. Analytical Reasoning
  4. Artificial Intelligence
  5. UX Design
  6. Business Analysis
  7. Affiliate Marketing
  8. Sales
  9. Scientific Computing
  10. Video Production

There will be some folks that dive deep into certain areas that are super fascinating to them and they want to know everything about – as well as the excitement of becoming an “expert”. There are some folks that like to constantly evolve and try new things but not dig too deep and have a brief awareness of more areas. It looks safe to say that we all need to be flexible and adaptable.

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