A scientific proof that you really do need advanced web-monitoring
According to scientific research, psychological targeting increases conversion by 50%. Now all you need are the tools to implement it.
We all live by certain marketing truisms.
Don’t spray and pray.
Target smaller, more homogeneous segments.
Be customer obsessed.
Personalization creates higher ROI.
We hope they’re true, but with digital marketing literally inventing itself from day to day, occasionally it’s hard not to wonder: do we really need another audience analysis? Psychographic segmentation? Personalized messaging and creative?
That’s why it’s so refreshing to get some conclusive answers from none other than The National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. In a study published by the Academy’s journal PNAS and titled "Psychological targeting as an effective approach to digital mass persuasion," researchers set out to explore whether campaigns tailored to individuals’ unique psychological characteristics are more effective.
The first step in the study involved predicting the target audience’s psychological profiles from their online digital footprints. The research focused on the recipients’ extraversion, a personality trait reflecting the extent to which people seek and enjoy company, excitement, and stimulation. People scoring high on extraversion are described as energetic, active, talkative, sociable, outgoing, and enthusiastic; people scoring low on extraversion are characterized as shy, reserved, quiet, or withdrawn.
Than, professional creative teams tailored two distinctive campaigns for a UK-based beauty retailer, each targeting one end of the extraversion spectrum (high/low). The campaign ran on Facebook for a total of 7 days, reaching 3.1M users.
The results, which were repeated in two consecutive trials, were unequivocal. Averaged across the campaigns, ads that were matched to people’s extraversion level resulted in up to 40% more clicks and up to 50% more purchases than their mismatching or unpersonalized counterparts. In other words, users who viewed an ad that matched their personality were 1.54 times more likely to purchase from the brand’s online store than users who viewed an ad that was not tailored to their personality.
The study concludes: “Building on recent advancements in the assessment of psychological traits from digital footprints, this paper demonstrates the effectiveness of psychological mass persuasion—that is, the adaptation of persuasive appeals to the psychological characteristics of large groups of individuals with the goal of influencing their behavior… Our experiments demonstrate that targeting people with persuasive appeals tailored to their psychological profiles can be used to influence their behavior as measured by clicks and conversion.”
Reverse-engineering the digital footprint
The effectiveness of this method is of course heavily dependent on the accuracy of predicting psychological profiles from people’s digital footprints. While many social networks offer access to users’ demographic and geo data, behavioral and psychographic segmentation demands an added layer of analysis.
This is where cutting-edge social monitoring and listening comes in (‘monitoring’ is the process of tracking mentions and conversations; ‘listening’ refers to the analysis of this data.)
With the explosion of social media and networking sites, savvy organizations are embracing monitoring and listening for useful mining of business intelligence. Web monitoring, social monitoring’s younger and more ambitious sibling, goes beyond social networks to the open internet to include review sites and other sites where customers engage directly with products (since reviews impact 93% of purchase decisions and have thus become the ultimate source of validation for many products.)
Web monitoring uses advanced natural language processing and sentiment analysis to analyze and model audiences’ digital footprint according to their explicit and implicit traits, opinions and behavior. By understanding audiences and their experience on this deep level, brands can drive growth by improving customer satisfaction across a wide variety of use cases.
The targeting method in the above-mentioned PNAS paper is a case in point. While early stage social monitoring basically reported back to the brand on what audiences were saying about it, advanced platforms today analyze the digital footprint of audiences to also report on who those audiences are, and what characterizes them in terms of behavioral, psychographic and engagement data.
This is invaluable information for brands employing a data-driven marketing strategy. When utilized correctly, it can lead to massive growth in conversions, as been scientifically proven.
A wide range of use-cases
By conveying a clear picture of brand awareness and sentiment and of specific concerns about the brand, products, and competition—and about the people behind this data—social monitoring can be also used for analyzing and improving:
- Brand equity: How powerful, desirable, engaging is your brand among consumers, and what’s the gap between your desired equity and your measured equity on social media? Social media monitoring can be used to answer these and other key questions needed to measure your brand equity.
- Measurement of campaign effectiveness: Social media monitoring can be used to gather insights on audience purchase intent, measure the impact of your marketing campaigns, and benchmark them against competitor campaigns. Together, these insights can be used to improve the effectiveness of future campaigns.
- Product development: Product teams use social monitoring for insights that inform every stage of product development, from initial research to product feedback. Social media can be used as an idea generator, to aggregate product feedback, analyze competitor products, and monitor product releases.
- NPS - Net Promoter Score: Combining your NPS with social media monitoring can yield powerful results. Social media insights can be used to inform survey questions, quickly respond to detractor feedback, and identify and empower your biggest promoters with tailored marketing offers.
- Overall marketing strategy: Social media monitoring can be used to pinpoint precisely where your brand is underperforming in terms of product awareness and desirability, allowing you to focus on expanding and emphasizing marketing efforts in specific channels.
- Influencers and advocates: Identify the right influencers, micro-influencers and advocates for your product by tapping into the social networks they inhabit.
Powerful brands are listening to and analyzing the content on social media sites to help them build their reputation, products, and services. The most advanced web- and social-monitoring platforms on the market constantly scan and analyze consumer behavior relevant to the brand, products, and competitive landscape, exposing sentiment, sentiment trends, opinions, and concerns.
These attributes form the basis of effective communication and targeting, which lead to powerful customer acquisition and retention.