logo12[1] I became a huge fan of Whit.li today at Ad-Tech San Francisco 2013. This is because back in 2005, I learned that my Myers-Briggs Type Indicator was ISTJ and my co-workers had other indicator types. So, I built a demo with SharePoint Server that showed how employees could work and communicate with each other based on their own indicator types. Ever since then, I’ve been fascinated with the idea of leveraging this type of personality information for other business-related uses.

Whit.li has done it.

They’ve come up with a great solution to programmatically determine someone’s personality types based on their social media usage and comments. This can then be used in a variety of creative ways. For example, @WindowsAzure has 10.4% of their engaged audience who can be considered Daring (Spirited, Imaginative, Up-to-date People). Brands can use this to help direct their marketing.


However, there are a few other uses I can think of for a platform that programmatically determines the traits of someone’s personality. These include:

Offline Audience Targeting: Agencies and DSPs who use the APIs from Facebook, Twitter and others to place targeted ads could offer personality types via the Whit.li API as an audience segment and as a filter to other segments.

But since Whit.li was just at Ad-Tech, I assume they’re working on that, so…

Content: ReadyPulse can find (and assign a score) to advocates and content. But using Whit.li, they could segment their scored audience and content based on personality types. Then, taking a hint from the Piston agency and how they focus on the semantic web, a brand’s home-grown content could be tagged for the appropriate personality type. Combine this curated and home-grown content, both aligned to personality types, and you would have a great set of content for the Daring audience that I referenced above.

Cold Calling: LinkedIn has a product called Sales Navigator to help identify and get introduced to a new prospect. Using Whit.li, it could also indicate how someone works and how they like to be contacted before I ask for an introduction.

Offline Behaviors: Cardlytics has access to a massive amount of purchase data, now that most people buy things with debit cards instead of cash. They can identify Starbucks purchases and know where (a named store) or what type (an industry) of purchases people usually make before and after stepping into a store. If they can match that to someone’s online identity, then they could use Whit.li to apply personality types. My assumption is that a Daring type of person purchases something completely different after a coffee compared to a Sophisticated type. 

Ratings & Reviews: Imagine if Amazon.com’s customer review or Bazaarvoice allowed you to filter comments by personality types like your own? You might find the comments a bit more meaningful.

Online Profiles: Klout and Kred could automatically add my personality type to my profile with a link that goes back to Whit.ly explaining what type of personality I have. 

I could go on and on when I start thinking of Airbnb, Couchsurfing.org, Match.com, and of course how this information can be used for contacts in CRM solutions for lead management, sales and services.

Great job Whit.li – You showed me a new way that social information can be used, and I’m excited about it!


2 thoughts on “Programmatically Leverage Personality Types with Whit.li

  1. Hi Brian – great write up with very cool examples and all are very valid. At ReadyPulse we have seen our brands and retailers use our platform to determine social personas (gender, location, sentiment, brand likes, social engagement levels) as well as what social content they respond to, in order to optimize their social engagement. I like the notion of personality in addition to that – thanks for the post and great meeting you at ad:tech.

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