What Can Internet Usage Tell You About The Customer?

It is the age of the computer, and while parents are busy fighting the never ending battle of trying to pry kids away from the computer screens, marketing professionals are trying to learn more about their online customer base. The business landscape has changed.  Some would argue that it is for the better, while others will rant about the damage done by the online marketplace.  Love it or hate it, it is here to stay, but people still want to be treated as human beings.  And, that places the pressure on the shoulders of marketers to find ways to learn more about their customers and to tailor their messages to individual preferences.

Tosun and Lajunen found that students who scored high on extraversion (agreeing with statements like ‘I am very talkative’) tended to use the Internet to extend their real-life relationships, whereas students who scored high on psychoticism (answering ‘yes’ to statements like ‘does your mood often go up and down?’ and ‘do you like movie scenes involving violence and torture?’) tended to use the Internet as a substitute for face-to-face relationships. Students who scored high on psychoticism were also likely to say that they found it easier to reveal their true selves online than face-to-face.  – World Economic Forum

This might seem an obvious conclusion to you.  If it does, then we offer our congratulations.  There are many business professionals who have failed to recognize the connection between online activities and personality traits.  However, those correlations can be very powerful pieces of information to have in the marketing world.  Understanding the customer on a personal level provides the opportunity to tailor the message to meet the particular needs of the individual, thereby better ensuring that they purchase the goods or services that you have to offer.

Understanding that the person extending off-line invitations to friends and followers is someone who is more likely to be extroverted, and on the go, suggests that this is a customer who might value in-store promotions, event tickets, special restaurant deals, and other interactive offers.


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