Is digital marketing trapped in limbo?

Imagine if a customer walked into your store – let’s say a large department store – and you immediately knew that they were graduating in 3 weeks, they like American football (specifically the Longhorns), and that they go out with friends a lot. Armed with this knowledge, you could then guide the shopper through the store predicting what they might be interested in looking at, and therefore creating a more efficient and overall better experience for them, while increasing ROI for your business. Nowadays, with so many consumers, it is near impossible to know anything like this about who shops with you, let alone identify them when they walk in the store. However, with 51% of purchases now made online, there are ways that you can come close to providing this one-to-one high-quality shopping experience digitally.

Currently, digital marketing and user experience is stuck in limbo between reliance on traditional and demographic profiling, and more advanced interest and behavioural targeting. Forty-nine percent of consumers expect brands to customise offers to suit their needs and interests but demographic data provide nothing more than assumptions about the consumer loosely based on research into that age-group, gender, or location- assumptions which can often be wrong and lead to a largely generic shopping experience. Research has shown that when marketers rely on demographic data alone to reach consumers miss out on up-to 70% of mobile shoppers. The technology is out there in order to provide users with a bespoke and personalised experience based on anything from interests, to travel habits, to personality, so why is it that more businesses aren’t adopting it?

What do you need to know?

When it comes to what data you should get to know as a marketer, everything from personality traits to where they go on holiday can hold advantages, and together make for a winning combination. Knowing when a customer’s anniversary is, when and where they usually go on holiday, and what they’re interested in can help you predict what they want and when, and gaining insights into their personality type and most active channel of communication can help you predict how is best to market to them.


How can you utilise it?

One example is driving loyalty through personalised incentives and rewards. What makes Starbucks rewards program so enticing is that it plays on exclusivity – members have access to regular rewards and one-off offers that non-members do not get, and once these members purchase at least 50 barista drinks per year they are upgraded to a ‘Gold’ account, for which they get access to more rewards and even more exclusive deals. The idea that you, as a consumer, have access to something that not everyone has access to makes you feel more valued and drives you to purchase more from that company. While this example doesn’t utilise behavioural or interest-based profiling, it shows exactly what consumers like- unique and exclusive experiences- one-size-fits-all just doesn’t cut it anymore.

Why is personalisation so vital?

56% of consumers say that receiving personalised incentives would improve their brand loyalty – with insights into their interests and more, you can create incentives and rewards exclusively for them. This could include 10% off online purchases for their birthday, the chance to win tickets to Man United (or Liverpool, or whichever team they support), 2-for-1 on swimwear the week before they go on their summer holiday, and half price birthday cards leading up to their son’s 10th birthday.

These insights into your consumer base shouldn’t just be used at one touch point (like a digital advert or a marketing email), they should be used throughout the user journey to ensure that each customer feels valued throughout the entire relationship. A huge 85% of Millennials are more likely to make a purchase if it is personalised to their interests, regardless of whether this is in-store or online, and 39% will actively go out of their way to use a customised offer.

Interest-based targeting is now a very-much achievable goal. People live their lives through the internet, with 3.17 billion internet users and the amount of data available is continuously growing. Not only is there an exponentially growing pool of digital data, but consumers want to leverage this data in return for personalised experiences. Now is the time to invest – and benefit – from personalisation.


The future of marketing and how to make your brand stand out

Imagine being part of a generation who grew up with the ability to get anything they wanted from the touch of a button. That’s Generation Z. Now imagine trying to market to them.

When considering the future of your marketing methods, it is important to not only consider current spenders, but future spenders as well. On average, a loyal customer is a lot more valuable to a business than a new customer, with many sources saying it costs 5 times more to attract a new customer than to sell to an existing one. With this in mind, it is vital to build a meaningful relationship with your customers from the first point of contact, which will likely be when they first start spending.

Generation Z are the cohort born after 1996, meaning the eldest of which will soon be turning 20. The late teenage years are the time when people start to take control of their own finances, and with many heading to university at the age of 18 or 19, this might be the first time that they have had to consider things like gas and electric providers, internet companies, bank accounts and credit cards, as well as getting their first job and having full access to shopping without parental oversight.

That being in mind, there is a huge opportunity for these businesses to commence potentially lifelong relationships with these consumers, but how do you stand out from the crowd when the crowd is so huge? There are 37 Gas & Electric providers listed on Which? in the UK alone, and 131 internet providers on the ISPA. To get a customer on board with you from the beginning, you need to tailor your approach to give them what they want and what they need.

This generation have grown up with personalisation being standard among services like Netiflix and Amazon that it is increasingly expected as the norm. They don’t want a bank that will block their card because they are abroad longer than they said they would be, they want a bank that can recognise that they are stuck in Egypt following the ban on flights to and from Sharm el Sheikh and extend their overdraft to help them out while they are there. Personal touches like this can mean the difference between that customer being long-term and loyal, and leaving you for a bank that will make them feel more valued.


So how can you make this happen?

Personalisation seems like a great idea, but how do you actually go about it? The good news is that this generation has grown up with the internet, as have many Millennials, meaning that there are vast amounts of data available to utilise in order to better understand your customer base, all you need is the right tools. 99% of consumers are happy to share data with brands in return for personalised communications, provided that they do it with their consent.

Big data analytics tools provide a particular advantage in that they take into account all available digital data with the consumer’s consent; they don’t scrape social media, and they are not social listening. This poses huge benefits for consumers and businesses, by offering more privacy and decision-power to consumers, and providing more detailed and predictive insight to businesses.

An easy mistake to make is personalising the acquisition process, for example through targeted marketing, without following through the consumer journey. Understanding consumer behaviour based on personality, interests, and life events gives you key indicators of what products and services they might be interested in. Imagine you are a T.V. and internet provider for example, with real-time insight into life events, you can identify if one of your customers is going back to university and therefore market your services as a student bundle, ideal for multiple users streaming at once. Likewise, a coffee shop can identify which of its customers have upcoming exams and offer them a revision deal of a ‘skip the library: get your 2nd coffee free for a stress-free revision session at Coffee World.’.

By harnessing the power of big data you can personalise the user journey from sign-up, throughout the entire relationship and adapt alongside your consumer’s ever-changing needs. Personalisation isn’t just offering a football fan football tickets, its offering a football fan tickets to their favourite team on their birthday.


Your consumers can buy happiness, when you use PROFILE

If money can buy happiness, you can sell it. That is with personality insights for marketing of course.

Researchers from Cambridge University found that segmenting and targeting consumers based on personality insights benefit customers and businesses. After all, a happy customer is a returning customer.

The recent research that has taken the retail world by storm has shown that money can buy happiness. The catch? The products or services bought must match that consumer’s personality. So how can you ensure that you target the right products to the right individuals? This is where personality insights for marketing help.


The Study

Researchers from Cambridge University collected data from 77000 UK bank spending transactions of 624 participants. They split the transactions into 59 categories including travel, coffee shops, sports, and eating out. They then gave these spending categories human characteristics and scored them on the Big Five personality traits. The participants completed questionnaires measuring their own Big Five personality traits and their life satisfaction.

They found that those who spent more money on purchases that matched their personality were happier and reported higher levels of overall life satisfaction. Perhaps even more significantly, they found matching spending with personality is more important for an individual’s happiness than total income.

A follow-up experiment directly supports these findings. Researchers randomly allocated either a £7 book voucher (low extraversion activity) or a £7 bar voucher (high extraversion activity) to a group of introverts (people with low extraversion) and a group of extraverts (people with high extraversion) and matched or mismatched the reward to their personality. They found that participants were significantly happier when the reward matched their own levels of extraversion.

The Implications

This study provides evidence that can enable retailers to provide more bespoke advice to consumers on what products might contribute to their happiness. This can be done through personalisation systems which enable the automatic segmentation of customers based on their personality traits. Then you can target ads and campaigns to the different audiences accordingly. For example, match highly agreeable consumers to products which fulfil their desire to help others by offering a charity donation. This is particularly relevant to today’s digital world where consumers are often overwhelmed with choice.

How to put this into practice

As this study has shown, personality is a key component in what makes an individual happy when it comes to spending their hard earned money. To get the best chance of a customer buying your product (and being happy because of it) you need to consider their personality traits.

With personality insights for marketing you can deliver ads for products and services that will directly contribute to their happiness. Therefore increase the probability of them associating your brand with happiness and positivity, brand loyalty, and brand evangelism.

Businesses can utilise these personality insights for marketing to target advertisements, personalise rewards and offers, and create tailored loyalty schemes. For example, if you offer all your customers the reward of 2-for-1 drinks at a pub, this may only appeal to the more extraverted consumers. Create happier customers by tailoring your rewards so that extraverts receive the above offer and introverts receive the reward of a 20% off book voucher. This is likely to result in customers who associate your company with their satisfaction and therefore are more likely to return.

Personality insights for marketing with PROFILE

PROFILE takes thousands of data points from consumers’ digital footprints and generates scores for each of the Big Five personality traits. These are Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism derived using psycholinguistics, Bayesian Belief, machine learning, and natural language processing

Personalise your automated processes and create happier customers with the click of a button. Increase customer acquisition, increasing revenue, and improve customer loyalty with PROFILE.

Contact Us to find out more about PROFILE’s personality insights for marketing and how we can help you help your consumers.


Using consumer personality insights to maximise marketing success

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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