3 Ways Psychographics Will Shake Up Your Incentive Program


Until recently, the only consumer data retail marketers had access to was demographics. We all used this basic information as well as we could to define, motivate and engage with current and prospective customers.

Today, we have consumer psychographics to fill in the blanks. Psychographic data can provide deep insights that complement what marketers already know about their audiences from the demographics. By examining why an audience behaves a certain way or has certain preferences, in addition to having more information as to exactly who that audience is, you can more effectively reach and engage them.

Unfortunately, when psychographic data was still the new toy, its practical applications to marketing or incentive programs weren’t always obvious.

Below are three ways you can use psychographics today to impact how you communicate with, engage and ultimately motivate consumers and create a more positive customer incentive experience. And with the current climate of inflation, possible recession and general economic uncertainty, you need all the help you can get.

1. Transform participant data into deeper insights

Consumers today demand personalized, targeted rewards and offers. An effective incentive program can give shoppers what they want using psychographic information to offer relevant rewards delivered in a way that aligns with their preferences. In fact, according to a recent study, 80% of consumers are willing to share personal data to earn loyalty program benefits.1

Incentives like rebates and loyalty, thank-you and other rewards can provide you with tremendous data-collection opportunities. Consumers are glad to share personal information to receive a rebate or take advantage of a loyalty program. That data can be gathered to compile a wealth of insights.

2. Use your deeper insights to motivate action

Using the demographic and psychographic insights you’ve gathered, you can create user personas for customers to give you a clear, detailed view of their specific preferences and behaviors.

Deal-seeking behavior, for example, doesn’t appear to be limited to any specific range of household income, but does seem to be tied to inflation. Consumers see deals as a reliable source of saving during economic hardship.2

78% believe promotions add value to their purchase.
66% say using promotions makes them feel smarter.

You could use this information to target the customers who fit that profile and present a rebate offer at the right time to sway a purchase decision in their favor. This approach gives a customer the emotional satisfaction that comes from having found the best deal, while also allows you to collect data that will help promote future purchases and boost sales.

In the end, the result of data-driven personas is the ability for you to fine-tune incentive programs to cater to customers more effectively. Once you understand who your customers are and what they love or hate, you’ll know how to more effectively reach them-in-store, online or on their mobile devices-and how to motivate or reward them.

3. Forecast for future audiences

Knowing customers’ general age range, salary and geographic location-basic demographics-is still important, and there are certainly valid demographic segment preferences. But when you count on demographics alone, one entire demographic could be targeted identically to another.

Take Millennials, for example. Pew Research recently declared that anyone born between 1981 and 1996, or ages 25 to 40 in 2018, is considered a Millennial.3 Using generational demographics alone, a retail marketer might use the same incentive strategy to target a married executive who is also a mother of two, as well as a recent college graduate who is moving back in with his parents.

Adding psychographics and other indicators to the equation, like address changes, appliance purchases, first purchases of higher-value goods, etc., offers a more accurate view into new customer preferences and behavior and is more predictive. By looking at the current behavior of the recent college graduate, you are more likely to successfully identify, and thus target, the future preferences and behavior of college students.

Whether an organization is large or small, having psychographic information-along with demographic data and any existing data-driven insights-can lead to creating a retail incentive program that provides a positive customer experience each step of the way.

Now that your programs can directly reflect the attitudes and preferences of your audiences, you can finally be confident you’re reaching, engaging and motivating the behavior of your customers effectively.

Talk to Blackhawk Network

The best thing you can do to help fine-tune your marketing is talk to a Blackhawk Network. We’re pioneers and global leaders in incentives, rewards and payments. Just click here to get started or call 866.219.7533.


1. Sailthru’s Retail Personalization Index, Coresight Research, 2021

2. RetailMeNot Survey, 2022

3. Defining Generations: Where Millennials End and Generation Z Begins, Pew Research Center, 2019

Global BHN - Start A Conversation