We live in a hype cycle. First, there was the dot com era and any business with a website was going to rule the world. Then it was social, and he who has the most likes, friends, followers wins, right? Remember that? Somewhere in between it was all about Google search rankings and website visitors and duration of site visit (if you were more sophisticated).

All these metrics to track and report, yet no one gets customers. Did you hear me? No one gets revenue or the customer. Do you want likes and engagement and page views and server-melting numbers of website visitors, or do you want customers?

For the sake of argument, let’s assume you want customers. If you think “well, likes and engagement LEAD to more customers”, just think different for a few more minutes. Keep an open mind.

So you want customers. Or, more accurately, you want sales. Where do sales come from? They come from customers. Who are your customers? Do you know? You have a CRM, that’s good. You know their names and purchase history. What else do you know about them?

Personality Predicts Desire. Desire Drives Purchase Decisions.

We already know that personality predicts things like career choice, success in school, what kind of person you’re going to marry. It predicts what Netflix will script (oh yes, they get this).

So, it follows that personality would predict…purchases! Right?

What do you know about your customers’ personalities? How would you even begin to know that? It’s hard to suss out personality traits based on the data you have in your CRM. How does one’s name, or zip code, or credit card transactions over the last 30 days translate into personality?

What makes a human being a human? More importantly, why do you care?

Personalities - Why Bother?

If your main goal is to increase revenue, customers, volume, it might strike you as silly to be talking about personality traits. Fair enough. You have a choice: keep doing what you’re doing and hope for the best as you watch Amazon continue to take over the entire f*cking global retail economy, or you can do something about it.

Demographics vs Desires

Your CRM, if you’re a company that’s fairly sophisticated in their customer data management, is probably divided up into a variety of buckets. Your customers have detailed profiles including all the information that you’ve gathered on them over the course of your relationship, like how many purchases they’ve made, and when. Where they live. What they do for a living. The various ways you can harass them with your latest marketing offer — via email, physical mail, push and so on…

You know things about your customers. And you store this “customer intelligence” in your CRM. You may even have developed customer personas based on what you think you know about your customers, to help the marketing department tailor messaging based on the 3-5 different customer personas so you’re speaking to each person’s needs using language they understand.

That’s great. If you’re doing these things, or even if you’re not but you realize that this is the current state of best practices for marketing and CRM, then you are the kind of person who will understand this next bit. This is where it gets complicated.

You’re an experimenter, you’re an early adopter. You at least know that doing the same things over and over and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity, and you also know that you’re miles ahead of all the other companies who are obviously doing it wrong. It stands to reason that there’s an even better way — the next next step — and you may even be one of the very first people who learn what it is.

You understand that what you’ve been doing is working…sort of. Sometimes. But not as well as you’d want. And you’re not always sure why.

Quantifying Human Desire: Your CRM on Steroids

We’ve talked about personality. Now let’s talk about how all of this comes together.

Clicks and cookies do not equal behavior. Much less intelligence. What does real Customer Intelligence mean? Can you predict customers? By quantifying human desire you can do things that normal CRM “order history machines” can’t do. Predict based on theories.

Clayton Christensen speak a lot about theories and why the wrong math ship wrecks. We get that.

Our technology is a data set consisting of millions. The primary key is a calculated (predictive) personality type of each person based on real world data. Most people attempt to extend click and cookie data as “behaviors” or personas. True personality is the closest we have to predicting why people cry, laugh and buy.

Personality is the combination of traits that form an individual's distinctive character.

Some aspects of personality are inherited, but most are learned through experience, much of it early in a person’s life. Once formed, personality changes very little during later life. It turns out that calculating a noninvasive personality defines who our best customers are. When coupled with CRM data, it places ‘guard rails’ on how that personality sees the business.

You can perform (prescriptive) merchandising and recommendations far better because suggestions are based on desire, personality and expectations of future customers. Sales go up because you are “delighting” and surprising customers and using elements of the past to drive the theories of future profits.

By allowing a business to have a precise view of their best customers and a clear “go to market” strategy. Brands stop wasting time on unprofitable personality types. Just like dating, some people don’t get along. Same for business.