Understanding Personality Traits and Consumer Behaviour for the Benefit of Marketers

Understanding Personality Traits and Consumer Behaviour for the Benefit of Marketers


Marketers are usually concerned on how to deal with consumer behaviour in order to understand them and apply techniques to generate profit (Saren, 2013, p. 29). An individual’s inner characteristics make him a special and unique person (Schiffman, O’Cass, Paladino, & Carlson, 2013, p. 110).  The study on personality enables us to distinguish and categorise consumers into several groups with respect to the common traits they share (Schiffman, O’Cass, Paladino, & Carlson, 2013, p. 110).

The overall sphere of consumer personality is beyond the control of marketers (Brosekhan, Velayutham, & Phil). In order for products to be effectively conveyed, marketers focus on identifying specific personality traits that has influence on the consumers’ responses (Sarker, Bose, Palit, & Haque, 2013). In so doing, marketers are able to make an appeal to these inherent traits and reach to influence the decision of the consumers. This essay seeks to establish the different personality traits and consumer behaviours that marketers deal on a daily basis. In order to influence consumer behaviour, effective approaches needs to be applied in marketing and advertising approaches to make a credible approach to selling products and services.

Highly dogmatic consumers behave in contrasting ways with the inner-directed consumers and same is true with the behaviour between consumers with high optimum stimulation standards and consumers having high need for cognition, and also between the differing perceptions of consumers who are visualisers and consumers who are verbalisers on the basis of choices and personal preferences. Approaches employed by marketers in order to deal with the  differing nature of consumer behaviour and personality traits among individuals gives a certain degree of assurance for marketers to start their activities, sell their products, and profiting in the process.

Arguments and Promotional Messages

A highly dogmatic consumer is a defensive type of buyer who carries along the feeling of uncertainty and discomfort if new innovations or products are introduced (Sharma, 2008, p. 63). This type of consumer prefers to buy those products with established goodwill and reputation as a brand because of their close belief systems (Sharma, 2008, p. 63). Additionally, highly dogmatic consumers are close-minded individuals who makes rigid screening of information before he will become eventually convinced (Schiffman, O’Cass, Paladino, & Carlson, 2013, p. 119). Marketers are concerned with their brands’ image and reputation. Goodwill could not be built overnight as it is established by long periods of excellent service to consumers (Pillai, 2012). As a matter of strategy, marketers build on brand image to influence consumer buying motives (Wood & Hayes, 2012).  Not only will brand image create sales for the current period, it will also influence the future buying motives of consumers. One big challenge for marketers is the delivery of efficient promotional messages to influence different types of market segment (Belch & Belch, 2014).

Considering that marketers work outside an individuals’ domain, his main approach only leads how influence can be effectively delivered. Taking out finished products from factories down to the supply chain involves a lot of marketing and logistics support to eventually channel the product to the final consumer. Risks are faced in the process and failure to influence customers within relevant frame of operation would render the business to suffer unfavourable setbacks. A corporate marketing arm is considered as the prime watershed in the conversion of products into liquid resources (DeThomas & Derammelaere, 2008, p. 114). Marketers point to a sales transaction that is recurring to constantly feed the normal operating cycle concept in business. Highly dogmatic consumers particularly focus of rigid screening of marketing information (Majumdar, 2010, p. 106).

In order to convince this type of market segment, marketers need to develop promotional messages that are fitted to their line of interests. Making use of celebrities to endorse product innovations is an effective approach to deal with this type of market segment (Majumdar, 2010, p. 106). Being reluctant by nature, highly dogmatic consumers are receptive to an authoritative voice (Majumdar, 2010, p. 106), especially when a dignified medical doctor makes expert testimonial regarding the potency of a particular medicine (Singh, 2010). The authority of the physician to issue medical advices will project positive feelings toward the brand by this type of market segment leading them to purchase the product.

Inner-directed consumers rely on their own personal judgement in purchasing products offered in the market because of enduring feelings and sense of security, comfort or self-assurance (Keller, 2009). Ads that make up complete information regarding its related features and derived personal benefits are likely to be sold to this type of market segment. The introduction of product innovations would be effective to this type of market segment when own set of inner values and standards are met (Keller, 2009). This can be translated when a product such Apple computer “Think Different” (Lantos, 2015), get the feel of personal satisfaction by an inner-directed consumer.

When personal judgement dictates that Apple Computer would be a valuable electronic device, then eventual purchase will be consummated. Product specifications should be elaborated in the packaging to allow this type of consumer to review product benefits. Certain advertising laws and regulations in different countries prohibit puffery product claims without proven substance (Lang & Mueller, 2011, p. 302). Government regulating agencies are mandated by national governments to institute steps to push manufacturers to abide by established standards in the production processes and advertising activities. This protects consumers of different nations to be victimised by deceptive advertisements.

To continue further, this type of consumer does not rely on family and friends for direction. Instead, they prefer to have a decision on the basis of satisfaction. Inner directed consumers are careful buyers and are influenced by their own cognitive perceptions (Samli, 2012, p. 48). Although they do not rely on established brands, the mere fact that they favour satisfaction, presupposes a definite claim of their craving for the best product. To effectively deal with this market segment, marketers need to expressly stress promotional features about a particular product and how this product will benefit them in the end (Samli, 2012, p. 48).

Consumers with high optimum stimulation levels get the feel of purchasing innovative products while taking the risks associated with such purchase (Majumdar, 2010, p. 109). Marketers can easily capture this type of market segment through the use of current innovation and new retail outlets (Lantos, 2015). This type of consumer is thrill-oriented as evidenced by the desire to take risks and product innovations. They tend to be involved with finding information about brands and doing shopping sprees (Hoyer, MacInnis, & Pieters, 2012, p. 51).

Additionally, they tend to enjoy on those activities that gives them thrill and enjoyment like skydiving and other water extreme sports (Hoyer, MacInnis, & Pieters, 2012, p. 51). Promotional messages to be directed to this type of segment should make inclusions that provide lots of sensory stimulation (Lantos, 2015). Messages depicting a scene from a romantic movie would suit the kind of interest that this type of segment enjoys (Lantos, 2015). They crave for festive sensory and auditory styles of communication that gives them life and power (Hoyer, MacInnis, & Pieters, 2012). Having these types of messages will bring their might or power to the extreme.

Consumers with a high need for cognition is a type of market segment who are equally responsive to ads that provide sufficient product related information. They tend to think carefully first before responding to promotional messages (Babin & Harris, 2015, p. 116). This type of market segment show direct negative response to packaging design as the consumers who are visualisers instead, they are more responsive to cool colors. A good type of promotional message suitable for this type of market segment is the use of print media ads because of its characteristic of being information intensive (Lantos, 2015). Dull colors will not captivate their attention. The use of cool colors consequently allows them to feel relaxed as they enjoy viewing the product (Association of Consumer Research).

Consumers with a high need for cognition prefer to have product features that extensively elaborate product details. Promotional messages should direct to fill the craving for extensive elaboration of information by the consumer with a high need for cognition. Additionally, they prefer seek information about products to important channels like the educational resources, current events, and other pertinent product information (Schiffman, O’Cass, Paladino, & Carlson, 2013). What is most important to consumers with high need of cognition is to develop rationally convincing promotional messages. Sound claims would merit recognition to this type of consumer market segment.

Consumers who are visualisers are attracted to visual information in product offerings while consumers who are verbalisers prefer the application of written or verbal information (Lantos, 2015). In order for marketers to deal with consumers who are visualisers, marketing concepts should not only limit to ads rich in product information but should direct measures at improving background or peripheral dimensions of the advertisement (Hoyer, MacInnis, & Pieters, 2012). In contrast, consumers who are verbalisers prefer written and verbal information to dominate in the promotional message. The use of detailed information regarding a product offering is an effective promotional strategy for this type of market segment (Lantos, 2015).

Additionally, consumers who are visualisers are easily captivated when their eyes are caught by visually attractive displays or broadcast media, while consumers who are verbalisers easily notices that some products have printed labels that are enough to give full information regarding their usage and benefits (Lantos, 2015). On the other hand, effective medium for developing promotional content to consumers who are visualisers is the use of brochures (Chiou, Wan, & Lee, 2008). Ads depicting colorful combination of pictures and graphics will deliver favourable response from this type of market segment (Chiou, Wan, & Lee, 2008). Creative and colorful packaging sells to this type of market segment because they are visually inclined as an individual. Conversely, consumers who are verbalisers like print media and promotional content (Lantos, 2015). Suitable promotional message for this type of is a good blend of written and oral media that condense product information with known benefits.


Understanding personality traits and consumer behaviour can give strategic advantage to marketers in the field. Marketers deal with differences of individual traits to effectively sell their products to different market segments. There is no assurance that marketers can effectively sell these products given the degree of their effort in dealing with the complex nature of human behaviour. Efforts will be made through varying degrees and in different acceptable media depending upon specific behavioural characteristics of targeted segments. Marketers seek to influence consumer behaviour to a certain degree but an assurance that they can totally manipulate consumer buying decision is far from true.

No single promotional approach fits all types of market segments as individuals possess unique traits from each other. Highly dogmatic consumers prefer brands with established reputation and are receptive to brands indorsed by authoritative figures while an inner-directed consumer makes buying decisions for themselves with reference to inner values and personal satisfaction. Consumers with high optimum stimulation levels have interests equally in contrast with consumers with a high need for cognition, with the former so attached with risks and innovation while the latter satisfy themselves through rich supply of ad information. The degree of their receptiveness to a promotional medium varies with their preferences and way of thinking.

For those consumers who are visualisers, they favour visual information above others and focusing on attractive ad displays. On the other hand, consumers who are verbalisers have the passion for oral and the written word. They prefer print media that broadcast media. Given the knowledge on the specific behaviour of consumers, marketers constantly develop suitable advertising messages to attract and influence perception. All actions of the marketer revolve around the activities within his reach like the preparation of messages and presentation of captivating concepts in equally effective mass media outlets. Influencing the decision of consumers will eventually favour the efforts of marketers to the benefit of business in particular and society in general.

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