Big Data & Psychometric Marketing

Psychometrics, sometimes also called psychographics, focuses on measuring psychological traits, such as personality. Psychologists developed a model that sought to assess human beings based on five personality traits, known as the “Big Five.” Big data correlated with personality profiles allows for accurate psychographic targeting by marketers.

Psychometric Marketing

Psychometrics is a field of study concerned with the theory and technique of psychological measurement. Psychometric research involves two major tasks. 1. The construction of instruments. 2. The development of procedures for measurement. Practitioners are described as psychometricians. The most common model for expressing an individual’s psychometric personality are the Big Five personality traits.

5 Personality Traits (Big Five)

  • Openness (how open you are to new experiences?)
  • Conscientiousness (how much of a perfectionist are you?)
  • Extroversion (how sociable are you?)
  • Agreeableness (how considerate and cooperative you are?)
  • Neuroticism (are you easily upset?)

Based on these 5 dimensions, also known as OCEAN(Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism) we can make a relatively accurate assessment of a person. This includes their needs and fears, and how they are likely to behave.

The “Big Five” has become the standard technique of psychometrics. The problem with this approach has been data collection, because it required filling out a lengthy, highly personal questionnaire.

With the Internet, and cell phones this is no longer a problem.

The Internet allows researchers to collect all sorts of online data from users and using Data Correlation they can associate online actions with personality types. Remarkably reliable deductions can be drawn from simple online actions. What users “liked,” shared or posted on Facebook, or what gender, age, place of residence they specified can be directly correlated with personality traits.

While each individual piece of such information is too weak to produce a reliable prediction, when tens, hundreds, or thousands of individual data points are combined the resulting predictions become very accurate. This enables data scientists and marketers to connect the dots and make predictions on people’s demographic and psychographic behavior with astonishing accuracy.

Smartphones are a psychological questionnaire on their users that is constantly being updated, both consciously and unconsciously. It is not uncommon for data analytics companies to have over 4,000 data points for each person in their target data set.

The strength of their psychometric modeling was illustrated by how well it could predict a subject’s answers.

It is now possible to assign Big Five values based purely on how many profile pictures a person has on Facebook, or how many contacts they have (a good indicator of extroversion).

Psychological profiles be created from this data, but the data can also be used the other way round… to search for specific profiles.

This allows for accurate psychographic targeting by marketers in ways that have never before been possible.

BriteWire Intelligent Internet Marketing facilitates building Psychometric User Profiles with purposefully designed content interactions, and automates marketing responses based on those triggers.

About the author: Craig Delger

Craig Delger has over 30 years experience with software development. He has founded numerous technology companies, and has worked for several publicly traded software companies including Red Hat and Microsoft. Craig has consulted with over 100 companies on Internet Technology and Internet Marketing. Craig is a long-time user and advocate of open source software. Learn more about Craig's background.