May 07, 2018

You've Got Personality, And Marketers Want It Too

John Muir once described himself as a “Self-styled poetico-tramp-geologist-bot. and ornith-natural, etc!!!” Years later Muhammad Ali said "I'm young; I'm handsome; I'm fast. I can't possibly be beat."

Environmentalists, athletes, artists, authors, and executives are commonly called on to describe themselves. (Some, like Kayne West, do it proactively too.) Either way, their self assessments are often greeted with great interest. Meanwhile, the rest of us do our navel-gazing via BuzzFeed quizzes, over lunch with a friend, or at a visit to the shrink.

If you fall into this latter group, and you’re still waiting for your 15 minutes of fame, don’t despair. There are people out there who really care about who you are. They’re called marketers and advertisers, and they’re trying to get to know you better through personality marketing.

Personality marketing allows for personal assessments and, then, targeting based on a variety of data, possibly including CRM data and/or a person’s “digital footprint,” including what he or she liked and looked at online.

This new data-centered science helps businesses better understand their customers and prospects, and thus more effectively match them up with the best campaigns, people, products, and services for their interests and personality. That provides businesses with an array of benefits.

For example, it allows businesses to spend their marketing and advertising dollars more effectively.

In fact, a company called CallSpace says its solution provides businesses 44 times the return on investment their on ad spend that they would’ve achieved using a traditional advertising method.

CallSpace’s Smart Advertising Attention Spend solution does that by identifying, segmenting, and scoring callers based on companies’ CRM strategies. That enables businesses to better target their advertising spends and deliver more engaging content to key customers.

IBM’s Watson Personality Insights employs natural language processing to analyze user blog posts and Likes, and map them to personality traits and values. “In addition to a description of your personality,” Business Insider explains, “the program gives you scores on the ‘Big Five’ personality traits: openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness, and emotional range (sometimes call neuroticism).”

And NICE recently announced plans to acquire Mattersight, which has interaction analytics that provide “a deep understanding of both customers and agents, and acts on these insights in real time to connect consumers with the organization in a personalized manner.”

Of course, he recent Cambridge Analytica and Facebook controversy cast a pall over personalization. But in a recent article for the Harvard Business Review, Christopher Graves of the Ogilvy Center for Behavioral Science and Sandra Matz of the Columbia Business School say that “It’s important not to judge a field by its worst actors.” And they suggest that both businesses and their customers and prospects have much to gain from personality marketing when it’s done with consumer consent. For example, the authors said, certain correlations arose between liking a certain kind of music or food and specific personality traits. And this method, they add, provides more accurate assessment of a person than even their co-workers, friends, and family could.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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