Psychographics play an important part in product management. While most people are familiar with demographics, it is often psychographics that drive product definition and marketing decisions.
Demographics break a population down by such straightforward attributes as age, gender, and ethnicity. Often, demographic information is readily available from census data and other sources.
Psychographics break a population down by the problems that drive their buying decisions. The only way to truly understand your market is to understand its psychographics. Gathering psychographic information requires interviewing and surveying prospective customers.
So what is the proper role of demographics and psychographics in product management? Focus on the psychographics to understand your maket. When you segment the market for your product, segment it along psychographic lines. Correlate demographic attributes with psychographic attributes, and then use demographics to help you determine the size of each segment.