Social media science: do you know your followers’ personality traits?

by | Jul 9, 2015 | Public Relations, Social Media

Science-Focused Study Reveals Non-Conscious Purchase Motivations

Communicators make it their job to understand audiences—for retail and B2C PR and marketing, this means knowing who is shopping at your store, and what and how much they’re buying. But one key CEX component has remained mysterious to marketers and analysts alike—why are they buying from you? SaaS platform MotiveMetrics, which uses the science of personality to improve marketing results, recently released new indexes that reveal key personality traits of buyers across several industries, including media and communications, technology and retail.

“Until now, it was impossible to reliably and easily uncover purchase motivations,” said the firm’s chief scientist Kyle Thomas Ph.D., according to a news release. “Traditional market research and analytics simply cannot get at the non-conscious decision-making processes where personality traits trigger buying behavior.”

The company recently conducted a survey of more than 125 marketers (31 percent of whom are CMOs), asking how they would characterize the personality of their company’s Twitter following. The findings demonstrate that most marketers are not able to accurately identify the key personality traits that trigger purchase decisions. While more than half (62 percent) of respondents indicated their following was susceptible to discount offers, the new data shows that only 12 percent respond to discount offers. In fact, 79 percent of the followers were coupon-averse—meaning at best they aren’t swayed by a coupon, and at worst, are turned off by products that are marketed with a coupon.

In addition, marketers from the media and communications industry characterized their followers’ personality type as “passionate, engaged, artistic, creative and design-conscious,” whereas the MotiveMetrics industry index found that they are actually “finance-savvy, sales-averse, deliberate, humble and indifferent to fashion.”

Likewise, retail marketers characterized their followers as smart, self-assured, loyal and passionate, whereas the MotiveMetrics industry index shows them to be indifferent to prestige, wanting to make choices that please others, agreeable and submissive. Get a closer look at survey findings here.

Currently, motivations are hard to accurately assess, and research methods are often cost prohibitive. Survey respondents indicated their primary methods for identifying purchase motivations are post-campaign analysis (56 percent), qualitative research (45 percent) and behavioral tracking (44 percent). Of these, qualitative research is the only method that can offer predictive insight into what motivates people. However, such research is also the most expensive, and often those findings cannot be scaled in a scientific way to apply to a large group.

By analyzing a person’s or group of people’s written communications (e.g., texts, tweets, email), the social scientists at MotiveMetrics have developed technology that provides quantitatively validated insights about customer buying motivations at a fraction of the time and cost of qualitative research.

Source: MarketWired; edited by Richard Carufel

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter


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