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By Tamara Irminger Underwood

Here’s a pop-quiz for our regular readers.

Q: What’s the difference between psychographics and customer journey mapping?

  1. There’s no difference. Psychographics tells you why your customers buy, but so does customer journey mapping.
  2. The difference is subtle. Psychographics tells you why your customers buy, but customer journey mapping gives you the roadmap for how they came to their purchasing decisions.
  3. Psycho-Huh? Customer Journey What?

If you chose number 2 for your answer, you’re right! If you chose numbers 1 or 3, keep reading!

Last week’s blog covered the differences between demographics and psychographics and some of our savvier followers asked how psychographics differed from customer journey mapping. A great question that warranted its own blog post!

It’s almost impossible to get a handle on the psychographic profile of your customer, or complete customer journey mapping without directly observing and interacting with your customer. While both psychographic profiling and customer journey maps may help answer why your customers choose your product or service, they are not interchangeable exercises, although they definitely dovetail! Let’s explore the subtle differences.


Think about what you already know about your customers. You likely know if your buyers skew toward a certain age bracket, geographic region, or income bracket, but these data points don’t necessarily reveal why they’re your customers. This is where psychographic profiling comes into play.

Once you’ve nailed down the demographic profile, you build from there to learn more about your customers’ lifestyles, habits, and behaviors. Learning more about the other features and factors of your customers gives you a much fuller sense of why they choose your product or service, and gives direction to marketing strategies.

For marketers, psychographics is the study of consumers based on such cognitive and psychological attributes as their values, goals, thoughts, beliefs, and dreams.  From here, marketers will often create personas, to better assist with qualitative studies.

Customer Journey Mapping

 Customer journey mapping would be near impossible to complete without the input of psychographic measures. With a more complete picture of who your customer is and why, you can begin to build a map to understand their customer journey.

Think of customer journey mapping as the visual roadmap to understand all the decision points a customer is faced with along the way to making a final purchasing decision. Customers rarely go from knowing nothing about a product to becoming a consumer. There are many defining moments that lead a person to make a purchasing decision, from social media influencers, to pop-up advertisements, to word-of-mouth, to television ads.

When our team is commissioned to complete a customer journey map, we use a mix of online tools and in-person interaction. From there we carefully chart out how customers discover your brand, make purchasing decisions, interact with or contact support, and engage with various departments. Each client has a unique product framework, and we tailor each customer journey map to reflect this.

As you’re likely figuring out, customer journey mapping and psychographic data have a yin and yang aspect. They are complementary to each other and the whole is greater than its individual parts.

If you’re ready to learn more about your customers and what most influences their purchasing decisions, request a proposal today!