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Getting the most out of Personality Insights

How to segment audiences using IBM Watson Personality Insights

Audiense Personality Insights uses the power of IBM Watson to understand and deliver rich psychographic insight into audiences. Personality Insights are a great way to understand your audience’s intrinsic characteristics to create a tone of voice your audience will respond to, useful when creating an ad or campaign.

Personalities can be broken down into The Big Five model, also known as the OCEAN model. These are the five primary dimensions that can be attributed to a person; Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. From this, each dimension can be broken down into six facets to further characterise an individual.


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Those who fall into the openness dimension have facets that include imagination, adventurous and being emotionally aware. This means they ‘value creativity, innovation, and intellectual stimulation’ (McCrae & Costa, 1997) therefore respond well to exciting brands.

Their adventurous nature and curiosity means they’re more willing to try new experiences and products. Not only are they more willing to try to new products, but they are more capable of adopting these products quicker than those in other dimensions who are less open to experience (Quintelier, 2014) .

Having a social media presence that provides regular updates on new products and services would therefore be a good strategy for those with an audience where the majority falls into the openness dimension. Using Best Time To Tweet to send out these updates would be a great way to maximise user engagement.


Similar to agreeableness, those who fall into the conscientiousness dimension care about environmental issues surrounding a product or brand, as well as social ones (Milfont and Sibley, 2012) . They practice ‘ethical consumerism’ and believe not only is a product important, but so is the ethical integrity of the company.

Innocent Smoothies is one example of a company which conscientious users respond well to as they target their ads with emotion and they focus them on their charity work rather than the product itself.

Using Insights Reports to find out what issues this audience are talking about and interested in and creating a campaign, charity or fundraiser around those issues could be a great way of engaging with your audience.


Extraversion can be broken down into the following facets; Outgoing, Sociable, Cheerful, Energetic, Assertive and Excitement-seeking. These characteristics means extroverts respond well to social brands (Mulyanegara, Tsarenko & Anderson) . It is important that brands who’s audience consists of a high number of extroverts have a good social media presence as these users respond well to social attention and social rewards. (Lucas et al, 2000) .

It is also necessary for social brands to be engaging and personal. Subsequently, implementing a chatbot could help increase user engagement. It has also been demonstrated that extroverts respond well to interactive surveys (Miles, 2018) , especially ones that emphasize reward (Lucas et al, 2000) . Creating Twitter polls and surveys alongside our Best Time To Tweet would be a good maximise this engagement.

Airbnb is an example of a social brand that engages with this audience through their award-winning social media presence and regular competitions and giveaways (Plumb, 2016) .


Users who are categorised under agreeableness tend to be more compassionate and cooperative towards others and the world around them. This leads them to display a more environmentally-friendly behavior (Milfont and Sibley, 2012) . Knowing that your audience is highly composed of those that fit into the agreeableness dimension means you can alter your product or campaign to become more environmentally-friendly which will increase audience engagement.

In addition to this, they also highly value family and community. Creating local ads and campaigns, for example, could be an invaluable way of engaging with this audience.


Users who fall under the neurotic category tend to be more emotional therefore generally prefer emotive brands (Mulyanegara, Tsarenko & Anderson, 2009) . This means if you have an audience that consists of a high proportion of users falling into the neurotic category, you may want to switch your marketing strategy to be more emotional and personal.  

In addition to this, users who are more neurotic don’t respond to threats and uncertainty so also prefer trusted brands which provide safety and security (Hirsh, Kang and Bodenhausen, 2012) .

Having a journalist or influencer write about your brand or product, for example, could be an excellent way to secure the trust of your neurotic users. You can use the Influencer tab to filter influencers or Dynamic Audiences to keep track of any new journalists/influencers that follow you and have an interest in your brand.


Hirsh, J., Kang, S., and Bodenhausen, G. (2012). Personalized Persuasion: Tailoring Persuasive Appeals to Recipients’ Personality Traits. Psychological Science . 23 (6), p578 - 581.

Lucas, R. E., Diener, E., Grob, A., Suh, E. M., & Shao, L. (2000). Cross-cultural evidence for the fundamental features of extraversion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. 79, p452–468.

McCrae, R. & Costa, P.. (1997). Conceptions and Correlates of Openness to Experience. In: Hogan, R., Johnson, J. & Briggs, S Handbook of Personality Psychology. -: Elsevier Inc.. p825-842.

Miles, K. (2018). Introverts Vs. Extroverts - Impact Of Personality Differences In Consumer Research. Available: https://gobranded.com/introverts-vs-extroverts-impact-personality-differences-consumer-research/. Last accessed 23rd August 2018.

Milfont, T. L., & Sibley, C. G. (2012). The Big Five personality traits and environmental engagement: Associations at the individual and societal level. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 32, p187–195.

Mulyanegara, Riza C., Tsarenko, Y., Anderson, A. (2009). The Big Five and brand personality: Investigating the impact of consumer personality on preferences towards particular brand personality. Journal of Brand Management. 16 (4), p234-247.

Plumb, J. (2016). 5 Exciting Brands Who Are Killing It On Social Media & How They’re Doing It. Available: https://moreniche.com/blog/5-exciting-brands-killing-social-media/. Last accessed 23rd August 2018.

Quintelier , E., (2014) The influence of the Big 5 personality traits on young people’s political consumer behavior. Young Consumers, 15 (4), p342-352.


IBM Watson further reading (PDFs):

Personality Models 

Personality Insights Dimensions Characteristics - Table

Personality Insights Facet Characteristics - Table

Science behind the service

Interpreting numeric results

Use Cases