In the USA alone, $170billion is spent on direct marketing each year but it offers little ROI.

A recent study revealed that 3% of recipients of physical mail bought something as a result, while the conversion rate for online ads into sales was a mere 0.01%.

Rather than direct marketing itself being the issue, maybe it is the persistent habit of using demographic data. Using age and sex to target advertisements can result in your effort-laden ad being interpreted as impersonal junk-mail.

Not only is understanding personality a vital aspect of maximising sales, it’s hugely relevant to the effectiveness of marketing styles.

The study

A study by Jacob Hirsh found that advertisements targeted to personality were rated as more effective than universal advertisements.

Using 324 participants, they created five advertisements, each designed to target one of the Big Five human personality traits. These are: Extraversion, Agreeableness, Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, and Openness. Individuals high in Agreeableness value familiarity, compassion, and belonging. Those high in Openness value intellect and aesthetics, and people high in Neuroticism tend to worry and value security and safety.

The advertisements contained a picture of a phone beside text which was altered to target different personality traits. Extraverted participants received the tailored ad reading “With XPhone, you’ll always be where the excitement is”. Neurotics had “Stay safe and secure with the Phone” and participants were asked to rate the ads on their effectiveness.

The findings

Targeted advertisements based on consumer personality insights were rated more effective than the universal one.

Hirsh stated “This research has broad implications for the development of tailored communication strategies across industries. Personality-based message design may be useful not only for advertisers, but also for fostering any number of outcomes, from health promotion, to civic engagement, to environmental responsibility.”

Huge amounts of money is spent every day on advertising tailored for demographic groups. Using consumer personality insights to target ads can improve effectiveness and help you understand your customers needs and motivations as well as how your products should be sold to them.

How you can gain consumer personality insights

PROFILE gives businesses consumer personality insights as well as insights into hobbies, spending habits, due diligence and more. With this, you can target your advertisements based on the things that truly matter.

Dig deeper into your consumer base. Find out more about PROFILE today.

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