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How psychology can support targeted marketing for car dealers

Deriving psychological profiles from people’s social media footprints and combining the insights with an increasingly diverse range of communication channels spells enormous potential for the automotive sector.

Vess Popov of the University of Cambridge Psychometrics Centre will introduce delegates at this year’s AM Digital Dealer conference to big data tools and psychometric techniques that herald a new era of highly targeted marketing.

The cutting-edge tool developed by Vess’ team at the centre, called Apply Magic Sauce API, is a powerful prediction engine that turns people’s social media activity, such as ‘likes’ and, status updates and other digital footprints, into accurate psycho-demographic profiles. It means advertisers and marketers will be able to target highly specific content according to personality-driven keywords and deeper insights into individual motivations.

Popov is currently undertaking research into how online behaviour and social activity codes for car-buying decisions and will present initial findings at the conference taking place on 15th September at Silverstone. The conference focuses on online content and the analytics which help marketers devise the best content to stimulate desired actions, such as making a car purchase or a service booking. The conference will also take a close look at the customer experience itself, online and in the showroom, and how digital can bring the two together seamlessly.

Said Popov: “We compile a range of information from people’s digital footprints to create psychological profiles, which can help retailers create extremely personal and compelling messages. This understanding of individual attributes could help automotive brands create greater affinity with their customers.

“Psychological techniques further allow you to tailor the message you show to people according to personality type. For example, looking within an audience that we have identified as being most likely to be interested in a particular make or model, we can craft one message that appeals to well-organised people and another that appeals to spontaneous people. Personalisation not only improves the buyer experience but also drives business results by maximising the likelihood of positive engagement with a given message.”

He added: “Demographic targeting has been around for a long time and has become increasingly sophisticated over the years, but the psychological element is still missing for the most part. By combining both, retailers have a very powerful way of understanding the consumer and thereby finding the best way to communicate with them.”

Tickets are only available to dealers and vehicle manufacturers. To book, please contact Emma-Louise Kinnaird on 01733 395133, email or visit

Suppliers wishing to exhibit please email or call 01733 366467.

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