Every business owner wants to know their customer’s wants and desires to sell more to them. They want to know more than customers will tell in simple daily interactions.

How can you get inside your customer’s head?

Psychometrics. It is a term referring to ways of measuring an individual’s motivations, preferences, and interests without directly asking them. The IAOs or better known as interests, activities, opinions. Knowing the IAOs bring a level of authenticity to the data since you are observing the customer’s natural behavior. Psychometrics is thought to be a better method of information gathering than if you were to have a direct line of questions.

Marketing has moved away from just using demographics and now focus on studying IAOs for better market segmentation and advertising. Demographics show you only who is sitting in your sales funnel, but psychographics tells you why they are there and why they are interested in your company. It may even tell you when they will buy from you. To efficiently sell you need to know more than a person’s gender or zip code, you need to know what is the emotional tie or motivation for the customer to look at your product. Traditional demographic market segmentation methods usually make incorrect assumptions about people’s lives and what they desire. As a test, look at what ads Facebook serves up to you. Does it fit you? Or is it a stab in the dark, missing the mark?

There are few different models available to understand the personality of your customers. Myers-Briggs questionnaire categorizes people into 16 sets depending on how they view the world and make decisions. The Keirsey self-assessment also divides people into 16 personality types; however, while Myers-Brigg looks at how people think and feel, Keirsey focuses on they behave. The last model which based on valid numerical methods and describes an individual is Five Factor Test.

Customer behaviors need to drive marketing activities.

Customer behaviors need to drive marketing activities, but how do we get that information?

You have seen the answer on Facebook and may have taken one even last night. It is the quiz. They are all on Facebook. You have seen them: What were you in a past life? Or what is your favorite food?

Let us be honest. A quiz is tough to resist. We want to know who we are reflected back to us with answers as to where you really should be living or who is the best mate. It validates who we think we are and then we share that with others.

How do you turn a quiz into a marketing tool?

Many brands sponsor these sorts of quizzes. They can get a lot of interesting information from them. The basic structure of a branded questionnaire looks something like this:
– first questions are about product preferences and customer needs.
– then they move to asking what their favorite color is, how they would prefer to spend their evening, or what their best trait is.
– the quiz generates the answer with the product recommendation.

The thoughts behind this are that quizzes tie a new self-awareness to a sales pitch and customers cannot resist buying a product when they have taken this self-assessment, and it shared what is perfect for them.

Psychometrics provides you the insights you need to customize your approach to different personality types. You can formulate different messages or use varying formats to appeal to diverse personality segments.

This knowledge not only lets you be more creative in your marketing, it means the right message gets to the right person and selling more to those customers.


This column was originally published in the Lexington Herald-Leader on October 29, 2017, and nationally distributed to over 300 media outlets through the Tribune Content Agency.