A new role for psychographics in media selection

Document Type


Publication Date





Matching between media audience and target market membership in media selection often involves the use of demographics to define the target markets. This is an indirect matching process and it has been argued that media selection directly matched to the target markets may be more appropriate. A possible method for better indirect matching is the use of psychographics (self-concept and buying-style) when conditions necessary for direct matching are not present.The efficiency of psychographic indirect matching is tested using 20 randomly selected product usage categories as target markets. Data were gathered from the 1975 Target Group Index report. The research followed a 3-step approach: 1. Direct matching was used to select the 25 most efficient media vehicles for each target market. 2. Indirect matching using psychographics was used to select 25 different media vehicles for each market. 3. The direct and indirect media selections were compared. Results show that the change from direct to indirect matching causes a 65% loss of matching efficiency. Psychographics do not appear to perform any better than demographics as target market surrogates. The fact that they perform as well as demographics indicates that psychographics can be used to supplement demographics when indirect matching must be used.