Psychographics – Use & Abuse

OCEAN is an effective representation of the Five-Factor Model of personality traits.

Cambridge Analytica CEO Alexander Nix

Determining our own personality type against standard models is helpful for self-awareness and improvement.  If you run a business, determining individuals and audience psychographics is an effective way to reach and engage people with messages that will resonate with them.

Using this engagement to tap into negative biases, manipulate, and mislead people is abusing this effective tool set.

Profiling like this happens to us every day — as individuals and business owners. We're being profiled, segmented, and targeted when we use Facebook, Google, or Amazon, when we visit, read a magazine, or watch TV.

Distinguishing the tools and capabilities from the application of them is important. Acknowledging that these tools & capabilities are being used every day should compel us to understand them well enough to know if they're being applied to our benefit or detriment.

  • Using a hammer to drive nails into 2x4s to frame a wall is a Good application of the tool
  • Using a hammer to hit people in the head is a Bad application of the tool
  • Acknowledging hammers exist is essential to avoiding being hit in the head with one and to use them to your advantage