Every day, enormous amounts of money around the world are spent on advertising tailored for socio-demographic groups. But demographic analysis is only part of the story about your customers.
If you want to get the whole story you must start considering your customers as people, rather than merely seeing them as someone buying the product that you’ve got. To do so, you need to stop relying solely on an objective-based perspective and start getting a more in-depth view of your customers.
Qualitative information such as customer personality can show you more clearly what is important to them and how they make buying decisions. Moreover, as customer personality relates to their attitudes and behavior, it can be useful for developing your products and services as well as for creating powerful communications.
For example, you probably didn't know that extroverts:
- Look for the hedonic value of products (see notes 5; 4)
- Feel more positive consumption emotions and affective commitment towards brands (6; 7)
- Use more word-of-mouth communication (11)
- Tend to be highly fashion-conscious (9)
- Are more favorable toward transformational ads than informational ads (8)
While if you are dealing with conscientious customers, you should mind that they:
- Look for the utilitarian, functional, task-related, and rational value of shopping (4)
- Tend to be prestige-sensitive (9)
- Manage their money more because they are future oriented and have positive financial attitudes (3)
- Are more favorable toward comparative ads than non-comparative ads and informational ads than transformational ads (8)
And if your customers are open-minded, consider that they:
- Support technological innovation (13)
- Place greater importance on reliability rather than on style when buying a computer (10)
- Are less prestige-sensitive (2)
- Tend to make more online purchases (1)
- Are more favorable to recycled and sustainable products (12)
These are some of the personality traits included in the Big Five Model, also known with the acronym OCEAN: Openness to experience; Conscientiousness, Extroversion; Agreeableness; Neuroticism.
One of the major arguments against the use of the Big Five Model - and personality traits in general - in marketing is the difficulty of obtaining such kind of information about customers.
However, the expanding of digital and social platforms makes available terabytes of data about users, including subjective qualitative data. This gives marketers the unprecedented opportunity to understand customer personality and deliver AI-driven personalized contents on a large scale.
This is more than moving from a partial view of customers to a more comprehensive one; it is shifting from a merely commercial approach, what we know as "customer-centricity", to a more intimate and long-term relationship, what we will call "people-centricity".
To enter this new era, start thinking about it: how will you enhance your marketing when you also get the human side of customers?
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(2) Casidy, R. (2012). An empirical investigation of the relationship between personality traits, prestige sensitivity, and fashion consciousness of Generation Y in Australia. Australasian Marketing Journal (AMJ), 20(4), 242-249.
(3) Donnelly, G., Iyer, R., & Howell, R. T. (2012). The Big Five personality traits, material values, and financial well-being of self-described money managers. Journal of Economic Psychology, 33(6), 1129-1142.
(4) Guido, G. (2005). Shopping motives and the hedonic/utilitarian shopping value: a preliminary study. ACR European Advances.
(5) Matzler, K., Bidmon, S., & Grabner-Kräuter, S. (2006). Individual determinants of brand affect: the role of the personality traits of extraversion and openness to experience. Journal of Product & Brand Management, 15(7), 427-434.
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(7) Mooradian, T. A., & Olver, J. M. (1997). “I can't get no satisfaction:” The impact of personality and emotion on postpurchase processes. Psychology & Marketing, 14(4), 379-393.
(8) Myers, S. D., Sen, S., & Alexandrov, A. (2010). The moderating effect of personality traits on attitudes toward advertisements: a contingency framework. Management & Marketing, 5(3), 3.
(9) Myszkowski, N., & Storme, M. (2012). How personality traits predict design-driven consumer choices. Europe’s Journal of Psychology, 8(4), 641-650.
(10) Nevid, J. S., & Pastva, A. (2014). “I'm a Mac” versus “I'm a PC”: Personality Differences between Mac and PC Users in a College Sample. Psychology & Marketing, 31(1), 31-37.
(11) Ranjbarian, B., Forghani, M. H., & Ghafari, M. (2013). Personality traits and the use of word of mouth communication as a source of travel information among inbound tourists who visited Isfahan. International Journal of Academic Research in Economics and Management Sciences, 2(3), 20.
(12) Sandy, C. J., Gosling, S. D., & Durant, J. (2013). Predicting consumer behavior and media preferences: The comparative validity of personality traits and demographic variables. Psychology & Marketing, 30(11), 937-949.
(13) Wood, S. (2012). Prone to progress: Using personality to identify supporters of innovative social entrepreneurship. Journal of Public Policy & Marketing, 31(1), 129-141.
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