007 | Predicting Your Customer’s Personality with Drew D’Agostino | Studio CMO

Podcast by | April 29, 2020 Interviews, Performance and Measurement, Positioning and Messaging

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The Episode in 60 Seconds

8w7, iD at peace, DC under stress, ENTJ. If you know one or more of those codes, you’re going to have a lot of fun in this conversation. If you don’t, stay tuned. We dig a little deeper.

Drew D’Agostino, founder and CEO of Crystal, joins us to discuss common assumptions and biases that disrupt the true art of communication.

This interview delves into:

Our Guest

This week’s guest is Drew D’Agostino. He’s the Founder and CEO of Crystal Knows, an online application that uses AI to predict personality so users can communicate effectively, resolve conflict, manage stress, influence others, and make better decisions in their professional lives.

Previously, Drew was CTO of Attend.com, an event management software company. He is a thought leader in Personality AI and has been featured in Inc., Fortune, CNN, Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, Wired, and the Guardian.

Drew has been recognized by Forbes as 30 Under 30 in enterprise technology and is the co-author of Predicting Personality, published by Wiley in 2019.

Show Notes

Learn more about how psychological studies can help you shape your buyer personas.



After Drew and Crystal Knows COO Greg Skloot left their previous company, they became fascinated by the idea of using DiSC assessments in a predictive manner.

Drew dove into NLP and machine learning in order to create a prototype that could analyze a LinkedIn profile and produce a personality assessment.

The company sold its first subscription and officially launched in early 2015. Since then, it’s been off to the races.

“It was an emotional response to software that I’d never seen before.” – Drew D’Agostino

Drew and his team are now trying to build a foundation off of where Crystal Knows truly fits in the market.



When it comes to communication, there should be no blanket ideas. There should be no assumptions based on our personal preferences.

When sending an email, how do you know whether to use short, to-the-point sentences versus elaborate, colorful language?

Communicating and connecting with people in the context of marketing is more than just gut feelings. It’s a science.

“Most people think communication is saying what you want to say in the way you want to say it. The true art of communication is altogether opposite. It’s saying what you want to say in a way the other person can understand.” – Angus Nelson



Over the years, Crystal Knows has oscillated between markets because it’s generally a powerful, flexible personality tool.

Crystal Knows can be utilized by marketing professionals in micro- or macro-approaches. For example:

  • Identifying the communication styles that will be most effective in sales emails and pitches
  • Identifying common personality traits of their customer-base to develop effective messaging.

“Data can be your secret weapon.” – Drew D’Agostino

There’s a danger in making assumptions about people, in making assumptions about personality types.

“Making assumptions about people results in biases, which results in awkwardness, which results in miscommunication and just overall inauthenticity.” – Drew D’Agostino


“When you’re remote, personality differences seem to blow up.” – Drew D’Agostino

In written communication, what people really mean versus what is interpreted from the message can be dramatically different. It creates real problems.

Just like companies attempting to better understand their employees or customers during this crisis, Drew and his team are trying to understand how this remote shift is affecting how people are actually using Crystal Knows.

We’ve compiled four steps to fortify your infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn how your company can emerge from this crisis stronger than ever.



Although Crystal Knows is categorized under a blanket term (AI), Drew views Crystal Knows as technology that is enhancing human communications and relationships where technology may have previously stripped the humanity away.

“Technology is here to stay, but how do you re-inject emotional intelligence into where it has been taken?” – Drew D’Agostino


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Mark Whitlock (00:00): So when it comes to marketing, one of the most important things to know is your customer, and wouldn’t it be great if we had a secret code to decipher all of the things our customers think and feel and do? John Farkas, the host of Studio CMO is with me and John, It’s hard to get to know the customer.

John Farkas (00:20): It is hard, but it’s really critical because marketing is essentially about telling a story that will somehow change how that person sees their world, and it starts with and it centers on a clear, empathetic understanding of your buyer’s needs. We talk about that here all the time and that is what you need to communicate. It’s essential, but writing a really close shotgun with that focus is another important element and it’s how when you’re telling a story, you have to know what kind of story is best going to resonate with your audience. How do they best receive the message? That’s what we’re going to be talking about today on Studio CMO.

Mark Whitlock (01:00): We are, and we’ve got a great guest to help us talk about that, but we’re going to be talking about some code. So let me give you mine. I’m an 8w7, Di under rest and a DC under stress, and an ENTJ. Now, if that means anything to you, you’re going to really enjoy today’s episode. If not, hang on because that stuff’s going to become clear as we talk to our guest today on Studio CMO.

Mark Whitlock (01:41): Welcome to Studio CMO, the personality edition. My personality is Mark Whitlock. I’m sitting next to the personality, the man in black, John Farkas.

John Farkas (01:50): I’m a Di and probably a serious 2. And if you don’t know what that means,

Mark Whitlock (01:58): By the way, the codes that I gave in the tease were mine. So there you go. And we’re here with our cohost Angus Nelson.

Angus Nelson (02:03): I’m a high iD, a 3w2 and an EFP–ENFP. I kind of blurred that all together.

Mark Whitlock (02:10): And who do we have on the podcast today?

Angus Nelson (02:17): Well. He is the CEO of Crystal, an online application that tells you anyone’s personality. Using artificial intelligence, Crystal accurately identifies a person’s motivations, communication style, and other behavioral traits. Thousands of professionals globally use Crystal to communicate more effectively, write more persuasively, and build trust faster with new people. Previously he was the CTO of Attend.com, an event management software company, and the company has been featured in INC, Fortune, CNN, Fast Company, MIT Technology Review, Wired, and The Guardian, and now here on Studio CMO,

John Farkas (02:55): I mean the pinnacle. Absolutely.

Angus Nelson (02:58): Welcome Drew D’Agostino!

Drew D’Agostino (03:05): Yeah, everybody applauding six feet apart from each other. Elbows out.

John Farkas (03:12): Well hey, Drew, we are grateful to have you here. And I’ll say it’s been really exciting to watch what’s going on with Crystal. I can’t. It was one week, and I can’t remember how — it was probably a month and a half. Probably that means it’s three months ago now, I was in my car, I think I heard you guys on a Wall Street Journal podcast and then I came in the office and saw you on another publication. I’m going, okay, this is fun. You guys are catching some really good traction right now. And it’s pretty clear why. I mean, you guys are so clear.

Angus Nelson (03:42): It’s Crystal clear.

Drew D’Agostino (03:44): I’ve never heard that one at all.

John Farkas (03:44): You haven’t heard that one? Alright, well no charge for that.

Angus Nelson (03:44): Dad puns all day long.

John Farkas (03:45): but you are helping people understand people. And I think that that is a really valuable thing in a world where we are trying to figure out engagement in some new and different ways. And so I would love for you just to give us the elevator pitch. Tell us what it is that Crystal is doing.

Drew D’Agostino (04:12): So Crystal is an app that tells you anybody’s personality. And by that we mean that for anybody who’s regularly interacting with people at their job. Um, so that could be in sales, recruiting, marketing, management. Um, Crystal has a way for you to get as accurate as possible on idea of their personality and their personality type and traits as you can given your any situation. So whether you know the person or you don’t know the person, or you just need to reach out to them for the first time. Um, so because that’s a pretty wide goal, we want to basically tell you the best way to communicate with that person and help you interact with people better. We offer like a whole set of tools to identify personality and then coach you through different scenarios.

John Farkas (05:01): Yeah, and if you haven’t heard about Crystal, if you’re one of the few folks that are on the planet who has not encountered Crystal yet, go to Crystalknows.com, dive in, get some understanding, understand what’s going on there and sign up because it’s a really cool platform. I would love to, uh, just get a little bit bigger backdrop, your story. What brought you to where you are right now?

Drew D’Agostino (05:22): I guess I’ll start with where Crystal kind of started. My co-founder and I have the first company that I was involved in is an event management software company. I was a CTO and he was CEO. We basically built the company when we were started, when we were 23, we were up in Boston, grew this company about 30 people or so. And we honestly had no idea what we were doing. So we were finished figuring out management on the fly and we hired an executive coach to help us through it and he showed us a lot of the personality frameworks that are, they’re all common then, not rocket science, but we learned how to apply them in business. And it was kind of like a light switch turned on, you know, we can start to predict what would happen if this person ended up interacting with this person on a team. Like what would the dynamic be like?

Drew D’Agostino (06:12): So we started to use that on our own. And particularly DiSC was the personality framework that we kind of fell back on. And eventually, and you can read about this a little bit in the book, it’s the whole first chapter. The coach we had hired predicted our downfall with our, with our board and we um, didn’t again, we were pretty young and in these executive positions and we were hardheaded, did not really understand how to communicate well or or communicate in the way that for example, our board would uh, be aligned with us on ’cause we had our own ideas and it was just basically we did not understand people as well as we understood technology. And we ended up over the course of a couple of weeks just being like fired from that company and kicked off the board and just figuring out what to do next. But the funny thing was this coach who had been with us the whole time, he predicted the whole thing like months before. It’s like this is probably going to happen, just warning you, because he’d seen all the dynamics that were playing out and saw the personality differences. I found that just fascinating and I was kind of consumed with this idea for a couple of months after. Both of us. So Greg is the previous co founder of that company who now helps me run Crystal. But we were trying to look for the next thing to do and I couldn’t let go of this idea of using DiSC in like a predictive way or to try to understand people without an assessment. So we were kind of working on that and I was playing around with different prototypes and different algorithms and I was also personally just learning about NLP and machine learning.

Drew D’Agostino (07:54): So this was a really good project for me to dig in and eventually came up with a prototype for a product that can analyze a LinkedIn profile with a reasonable degree of accuracy. And it shocked people I showed it to. It was a super janky website, but it was, people would like, I would show to somebody and they’d pick up my computer and we were working right. And we were, we were working out of the Harvard Innovation Center. It was like the startup incubator. We pretended to go to Harvard for a couple of months. Yeah. We made friends with the, with the Proctor and he would just let us in. But people would pick up my computer and then show each other, Hey look at this thing. And I was like, there’s, I’ve never built anything that people do that with, you know, where they physically pick up my computer, go across the room and–

Drew D’Agostino (08:38): Right. So like there’s something here that it’s like an emotional response to software that never seen before. So I was hooked on that. That was in late 2014 so over the next few months finalized an actual version of the product, sold a version, you know, sold a subscription to the first couple of customers and then was I think by March was the official launch of the company. And that was when we got some press and things started picking up pretty quickly in 2015 raised a series a round of funding. And since then it has been kind of off to the races. I mean we haven’t yet hit that point where it’s exploded. I mean our team is pretty small and lean and, but we’re a profitable company. We figured out a lot of important things in this product and refined it. And now we’ve punched above our weight class up till now where there’s a lot of people who have at least used the free product and many who use the paid products that we offer.

Drew D’Agostino (09:38): So that’s kind of the story now and at this point we’re hitting the next phase of Crystal where it becomes more than just this SaaS tool that’s nice to have for a bunch of people. I think we’re trying to identify like where does this really fit in the market as a must-have and building from there as a foundation.

Angus Nelson (09:57): Well, I think one of the critical components that I see in the product that I love, and I’ve said this as someone who does a lot of dabbling in psychology and human dynamics, is looking at the communication. So first of all, most people think communication is saying what you want to say in the way you want to say it. And the true art of communication is altogether opposite. It’s saying what you want to say in a way the other person can receive how they understand. And Crystal gives you insight into how someone could receive best the communication you’re trying to make. In other words, if you’re talking to someone who’s a very type A and they want to get stuff done, it actually recommends you short sentences. Let’s get to the point, don’t tell sir. Whereas another person who might be a little bit more creative and more artistic then Crystal’s going to say, tell a story, you know, be colorful in your language and all of a sudden you get this insight about how to communicate to your customer or to the sales person or to that other party in a way that they can receive.

Drew D’Agostino (11:00): Right. So I think we can make a lot of assumptions about how people communicate either based on the way we like to communicate and we can go into, into the world with this blanket idea that yeah, short emails are always better. They’re actually not. For some people. Some people really like thoughtful long emails or lots of details or we can go into the world with another assumption that’s not based on ourselves but based on a job, like all sales people are super outgoing and funny. If the salesperson can make me laugh in an interview, I’m going to hire them. That’s not exactly true. These are assumptions that we can build up because we have some bias that got built in along the way and what Crystal is doing is not, I mean we are prescribing things to do like instructing, but I think the more important part of Crystal is that it’s, it’s just giving you a common language to data that was not previously or is not inherently quantitative. These are just usually gut feelings. We’re doing our best to take as much of the validated psychology and then just put it there on the page for you so you can see here are the traits I can expect from this person and then what do I do with that? That changes based on the situation.

John Farkas (12:09): Coming into this, I was thinking there’s about 16 different ways we can take this interview because at the end of the day our audience is people who are trying to connect with people in the context of marketing. Right? And boy, you know there’s not a more critical component in what we are talking about here than understanding who your audience is, what their problems are, how they, you know, how is the best way to engage them? So I’d love for you to spend some time talking about how you’re seeing people using Crystal in the context of the marketing environment. You know, how are you, how’s Crystal helping them understand their audience better?

Drew D’Agostino (12:46): I think it’s important to note that Crystal, we have oscillated between markets. So there’s been times when I’ve been very focused on sales, times when I”ve been very focused on marketing times. We’ve been very focused on the recruiting and HR space. So I have learned over the last five years that Crystal is a more general powerful, flexible personality tool. So we’re not just selling to one group–marketers. And so when I say marketers, I’m also kind of including more marketing-minded sales reps and people who are just people who are thinking about customer personas and messaging. So that I know that that spans beyond marketing. But there are, there’s a, there is a group, certainly a group of people who are within our top users of Crystal, like of the product, who are using it, um, for lots of, lots of ways to connect with their customers better and to understand their customers better.

Drew D’Agostino (13:41): So that there’s two main buckets I put it in. It’s people who are using it to identify specific people’s personalities. So I want to know this group of customers like Steve, Jill and Sam. We’re going into a meeting with them. So it’s like an account-based marketing approach. Let’s understand them on the deepest level as possible and see how we should go into this meeting. Let’s see what sales reps should be in with them because they’re going to work well together. Let’s try as best we can to message our emails to them. So there’s like a very micro approach to that. You want to find out what those people’s personalities and communication styles are, but then there’s the more macro perspective in it. General persona. So for that there’s marketers who take a big list of their customers are their best customers and in the exercise of trying to create messaging or put them in persona buckets, they’ll go through Crystal and try to collect the data and aggregate it and find out, okay, all everybody is different, but where are the trends?

Drew D’Agostino (14:39): What personality traits are common across our customer base? For example, are our customers more risk averse or more risk tolerant? And if you build up a group of these customers over time, you’ll see that you can actually visually see that in Crystal. There’s like a little meter that’ll go, it’ll show you. Okay. Our customers air more towards the side of risk averse. We should really keep that in mind in our messaging. And you can see this on almost on every important psychological trait that is an area I’m actually digging into personally a lot right now because I think every company needs to understand their customers better. And there are no really, there’s a lot of really good tools to understand customers on a factual level. Like how many of our customers are in this job title or at these companies or in this country example. But the psychological traits, that’s mostly gut feel. So, yeah.

John Farkas (15:29): And the thing that’s interesting for, for B2B solutions is so often the targets are a very distinct group of humans, you know, that are in the, that have made it into these positions that are buying these type of solutions. It might be a cybersecurity leader. It might be somebody in an operations in a bank, it might be somebody you know and they are, I mean there are some pretty dialed in personalities that we look at as part of the personas that we end up targeting and understanding not just you know, who they are and what their problem set is, but how they’re wired and how communication can best find its way into into their psyche. That sounds like a really powerful opportunity.

Drew D’Agostino (16:13): Yeah, I think so. And the danger in saying that the people that work their way into this job title have this personality type. That’s when you end up with a whole lot of false positives and that’s actually how a lot of people end up making really bad assumptions in their marketing. You know, everybody hates when they get an email. That’s an outreach email that is just making I, this is one of my pet peeves. When someone assumes something about me and the email will start with, you know, Hi Drew, I’m sure you’re really thinking about your IT infrastructure right now because they see, I work at a technology company. That is like number 864 on my list right now. Granted, we do buy infrastructure. I probably am in the market for that. Or if you could improve it in some way, but even just you making the assumption about me before that, it just, it kills the entire interaction, you know?

Drew D’Agostino (17:03): So it’s like this weird balance between we don’t want to make assumptions about people because that results in these biases, which results in awkwardness, which results in mismatched and miscommunication and just just overall inauthenticity. But we can’t personalize all of our communication to every single customer in a way that a person writing an email to them that already knows you would, that’s impossible. It’s just not scalable. So it’s how do you get your customer base and understand where are these trends and then adjust the messaging accordingly in a way that’s not like trying to overshoot the target but really can, you know it is definitely different than a, than you messaging to a separate segment.

Mark Whitlock (17:43): Talk to us about a company that’s had an epiphany, you know, they, they plug Crystal what they’re doing and then all of a sudden they’ve got a greater sense of wow we were missing our customer and what happened when they were able to, to move their communication to be customer focused on their true customer.

Drew D’Agostino (18:06): So this is a really interesting one. I’ve got a customer who works at a technology company in Boston and they’ve been using it for, they’ve been using Crystal for a lot of ways, but one thing is with this really like account-based marketing approach, and they have been going through a lot of their customers and sorting them by how high quality they were, like retention and using metrics like that and putting together and just having a whole team, a whole team of people going through these profiles and creating them and putting them in a spreadsheet and then analyzing like, all right, well where do most of these types fall? And then learning that these fall into a few actual like very distinct psychological personas and actually the ones that they didn’t expect. So in this case, I think it was, um, selling into like, this is a technology company that sells into a lot of technology companies, assuming that you’re going to peep in DiSC terms.

Drew D’Agostino (19:05): And I don’t want to get too caught up on the psychological stuff, but really your message, I’ll go there with you. Right? Yeah. So really the messaging was all “C,” you know, we’re talking about technology, we’re talking about it. Everything’s just going to,

Mark Whitlock (19:17): Slow paced, task oriented.

Drew D’Agostino (19:17): Right. So everything’s going to be detailed, methodical. And then the messaging kind of reflects that. It’s all very technical. But learning that, Oh the customers we’re selling to, they’re actually not on that part of the personality map. The ones we’re selling to are towards the top or like the Di area, which those are not people you want to sell long detailed emails to. These are,

Angus Nelson (19:42): ain’t nobody got time for that.

Drew D’Agostino (19:44): Right. These are the visionaries give the high level. You really don’t need to sell the details. You need to sell the emotion of it. And I haven’t dug in too deep with this partner and the actual change they made to messaging. But this just happened to be, it was just top of mind cause it was like a, I was up till like one in the morning, LinkedIn messaging them the other the other night cause nothing better to do or I’ll say.

Drew D’Agostino (20:06): Yeah that was really cool. That was really cool to see. So it’s actually impacting a lot of the way I view product development movin forward. It’s like how do you, how do you put together those personas more easily?

Angus Nelson (20:15): And you know, speaking of this, so for all of you listeners at home, we’re actually having this conversation while we’re all cooped up here. And the uh, the, the, the great, uh, what are we calling it right now? Nobody knows what to call it.

Mark Whitlock (20:27): The Great Quarantine of 2020.

Angus Nelson (20:28): That’s a good idea.

New Speaker (20:31): You can’t call it the Coronavirus because it’s more the response to the virus. So it’s like–

John Farkas (20:39): Corona avoidance. Yeah, yeah. The great avoidance.

Mark Whitlock (20:42): The Great Avoidance.

Drew D’Agostino (20:44): The Distancing.

Angus Nelson (20:49): The Social Isolation. Um, and so while we’re here in this, here we are having a conversation about something that’s, you know, you guys are kind of differentiating the, the demographic from the psychographic. And people are at home right now wrestling with a lot of emotion and a lot of uncertainty. And now companies are trying to market to them in and amongst all of this because business, you know for most of us has to continue. And even for yourself and your business and how that’s all unfolding, what are the ways that Crystal is leveraging both as a company and fueling or equipping your clients or your customers?

Drew D’Agostino (21:25): That’s a really good point and I think when you’re, when you’re remote, personality differences seem to blow up. I don’t know if you’ve noticed this same thing.

John Farkas (21:34): You’re outside of all the context clues and things that can pad some of that world, right?

Drew D’Agostino (21:39): Yeah. So we’re face to face. We have a lot of differences, but because I’m looking at your face because we’re having an improvement or action. Yeah, we can, I can tell what you mean by something, but when you’re communicating, even if it’s Zoom or even or just text people mean totally different things when they write something. It’s, it creates real problems. Like even me who’s been thinking about this for years and my head of technology who we’ve worked together for almost four years, when he writes to me, Jonah, if you’re listening to this, not to name names, but Jonah. Um, I, it’s so funny, he’s from my perspective as somebody who’s very expressive in messaging, I’m usually pretty positive.

Drew D’Agostino (22:22): Like I try to be pretty, uh, yeah. I mean I, I’m an artist. I write and I like expressing things and I see words as like my thing, I love words. That’s all he is. But when he writes to me, it’s, it is, it’s like he’s writing command lines into, into, uh, into a terminal, no capital letters, no punctuation, just the raw facts. And I’ve gotten used to that cause I worked with him for awhile and because he actually has been working remote for a while. So we, we’re used to this. But if I was just jumping into that, and also the key here too is that when we’re in person together, he’s very different, very warm, kind of more similar to my communication style. But when we’re communicating remotely, it is just vastly different. And I could see how if we were tossed into that, suddenly that would be a challenge.

Drew D’Agostino (23:09): So what we’re doing first and foremost is trying to understand, hey, like how does this whole remote shift affect how people are actually using Crystal? Like this is just something we don’t yet fully understand. We can see that it has impacted a lot of the in person events and the way Crystal shared, but also this whole idea of getting more information about people you’re working with remotely. Now I’m kind of just trying to understand it. So I’m taught, I’m spending most of my days talking to our customers and learning. So that’s, that’s important. And then I think this is just my hypothesis is that the, where we’re going with our business, especially when it comes to the sales and marketing side, meaning like selling to marketers, there are people who are spending lots of their time thinking about personas and messaging and then using that information to like support a sales team or support a marketing team. So I’m trying to identify like who are the, you can have a sales team of a hundred people, but there might be one or two people in there who are really spending a lot of their time crafting a customer persona and providing the resources and insights to the whole rest of that sales team. So I’m trying to identify who those people are and then how to solve their problem.

Angus Nelson (24:15): So if you’re listening right now and you’re the person who’s giving attention to that persona, then you just–

Drew D’Agostino (24:20): Please email me: Drew@crystalknows.com.

John Farkas (24:24): Yeah. Cause it’s really, I mean, and it’s really important to, I feel like for people when they are looking at the creation of personas tend to go on the very surface level about you know, what some of their social preferences are, what, what, you know, and, and they’ll get into the problem sets that they’re facing in the context of, of their business case, but not a whole lot into how they, how these people think, how they make decisions, what does that anatomy look like and, and, and how you can best communicate to them past the topical levels, you know, get into what does that stream look like. And I think that that is a, you know, because we’re carbon-based emotional beings. Um, that’s a big factor that I think often gets overlooked, especially in our, typically we’ll say typically data driven culture because this is data that you guys are dealing with. But I would say it’s tied a lot closer to our humanity than some of the typical input.

Drew D’Agostino (25:27): I stole this from Amazon, you know, like, so we, we call our technology “”personality AI” and AI is this giant blanket term. It’s like, okay, technically AI is a big question or that it’s using machine learning under the under the surface. So we call it personality AI. It’s a good sticky way to kind of classify the technology. But I like to view this as technology that is actually like enhancing human communication and really in relationships where technology has in most in lots of places kind of strip the humanity away. So yeah, it’s kind of using, using AI to fight the problems created by a lot of technology. Where know Slack has kind of an in many ways made us a lot quicker and more efficient. Also taking a lot of the humanity out of how we communicate. Granted not, not, I mean, I love Slack and um, it probably replaced a lot of emails, but that was happening anyway. You know what I mean? It’s, it’s, it, it is not as human of an interaction as us being here. So it’s like the technology is here to stay, but how do you re-inject emotional intelligence into it where that was kind of taken away.

John Farkas (26:29): As you’ve taken the blanket of learning that you have had in the pursuit of Crystal over these years and understanding how temperament affects how we communicate. If you had a piece of advice to give to a marketing professional, you know somebody who’s leading marketing efforts for a company trying to reach what we talk about a lot. Selling SaaS products into the B2B space is insanely competitive right now more than it’s ever been. Everybody’s solving problems. If you’re telling people, okay, you’re, you’re charged with marketing, you’re trying to find every advantage you can muster to communicate to your audience. What have you learned in the context of your pursuit of Crystal and what advice would you give them?

Drew D’Agostino (27:11): I would say as an individual marketer or somebody who’s leading a marketing team as a personality, data can be your secret weapon because we’re psychographic data because most marketers are not really using it. It’s again more driven by gut feel when people generate personas or kind of customer interviews, which helps a lot to understand them, but it’s still at the core, not really that quantitative. So if you can go into a meeting armed with solid data, with psychological traits that are legit, that you can demonstrate across a big list of customers. You’re equipped with this very compelling data source that your peers and the people who you know who are in your same kind of roles are simply not presenting. So I think that as just looking at, you know, the individual marketer, you can differentiate yourself, you know, when it comes to the job market and advancing at a company and like really identifying your customers and getting results very quickly by using personality data to your advantage.

Drew D’Agostino (28:10): Now when it comes to using it day to day, I would say that marketers are not often having these one-to-one conversations where they’re using Crystal in like the typical way that most communicators would use it. They’re looking at it more in this analytical personality identification way, trying to understand the customer. I would say that if you want it to like try a first step at really using psychographics effectively in your marketing, it’s just take your top whatever percent. It depends on your customer base. Like for me it’s pretty small segment. I I’ve taken like the top 2% of users. But at your company it might be like the top 20% whoever is driving like the 80 20 thing, wherever whoever, whoever’s driving like 80% of your revenue, take that list cause it’s probably not that large and it’s probably possible to get a list of those customers and understand the psychographics and run Crystal reports on them and just see where the personality data lines up. And you might be surprised and you might be surprised at your own, your own assumptions, like what you thought about your average customer. But they actually tend to be different. So that’s what I would say is try to just take that very top segment of customers, create a group of personality reports with them and just see what the data tells you. I’m not going to prescribe any kind of solution or anything like that, but you might be really surprised by what the psychological traits and trends are in your very top users.

John Farkas (29:30): That might just given me another little play that we might put into our, one of our playbooks from our plant. Seriously, that’s, that’s a uh, a great suggestion because I think that there are, I mean every client that we know, every client we have would be able to tell that list pretty quickly and, and uh, be able to discern who those are and they have some, some clear knowledge of that, the ability to get that and identify some trends. That’s probably, uh, as science goes in this realm that’s as close as we can get. Cause a lot of this is very subjective world and so you can objectify it like that. That is a super valuable insight and a great, a great tool to add to the arsenal.

Angus Nelson (30:12): And I would also say too, is when you, you know, look at some of the personalities of people, particularly at the Enneagram, which most people are probably not familiar with as they are with, you know, Myers-Briggs or DiSC profile, but the Enneagram, it speaks to people’s fears and their motivation. And so now all of a sudden you have that understanding of that potential customer, and you can articulate your solution in a way that speaks to those components. Now you’ve got a real conversation because now you’re pulling out of them the thing that’s gonna move the needle on the decisions they need to make. And as such, you’re not manipulating, you’re actually helping them make a decision. You’re serving them by helping them understand the power of their pain and that the fact that they can do something about it.

Drew D’Agostino (30:55): Right. And if somebody, I mean, that’s a really good point because at a certain point, I mean, there, there are definitely people that are skeptical and saying while using personality data to, in marketing messaging or in a sales pitch, isn’t that kind of manipulative?

John Farkas (31:08): I don’t think you’d ever hear a marketing person say that.

Drew D’Agostino (31:10): Yeah, not a marketing person but people say it when you know and no, that’s exactly what we’re driving. Right. But I just think about it like, well I mean I am a person who likes really short emails and who likes you to get right to the point and I don’t like when you send me all this factual attachments and slides and links, I really would prefer if the world spoke to me in that way and if you speak to me in that way, you certainly do have a much better chance of succeeding if you’re, if you’re talking in a casual way, you’re connecting me with me as a person.

Drew D’Agostino (31:38): You’re making it super clear that you’re just looking for a conversation and you’re not trying to press me too hard cause I’m a, I’m an iD which means that I’m on the right side of that. This map I’m toward very high in the top of this map. So that tells you about a few things really specific. Cut the details, please talk to me like a human being and skip the formalities. Show me that you are like relatable and usually you know, because –

Mark Whitlock (32:06): That you’re ready for a party.

Drew D’Agostino (32:08): Exactly. Yeah. Yeah. Meanwhile, if you’re talking to my business partner, Greg, like if you, if you send him an email, like you would send an email to me and you, and you started the email with like, Hey dude, like if you send me an email that says he does something like this is, Hey dude, at the top I’m going to say like, Oh yeah. I go, okay, this guy gets me. But if you were to send that email to him, delete before he reads the message, even jump in. Yeah, it’ll kill it. Totally kill it. So yeah, I think that’s, I think it’s a good thing to do because again, it’s about treating people the way you know that you would want to be, which is not necessarily style. You want to treat it.

Angus Nelson (32:41): Exactly the way you want to be treated. It’s you’re treating them in the way that they feel. Right. You want to be appreciated in the same way that you feel pretty sure.

Drew D’Agostino (32:50): Right. You want to be treated in your communication style, but their communication style is not the same as yours.

John Farkas (32:56): and that just summed up my marriage.

Mark Whitlock (33:00): Mine too. Mine too, and maybe even yours. Thanks for listening to Studio CMO today. You can find out more about Crystal, about drew, about his book, about your own personality when you come to studiocmo.com/Crystal at studiocmo.com/Crystal we’re going to link out to Drew’s book about predicting personality so you can get a copy of that on Kindle or a paper edition shipped to your house whenever Amazon gets around to it. We’re going to have links to Crystal’s free edition so you can try out Crystal and find out more about how you can learn more about your own customers for your own business. We’re going to link out to some of their descriptions. They have all sorts of great free stuff on their website about personalities and how to communicate with them. We’re so grateful you were on the podcast today. We’re grateful for it. The same crowd that was standing six feet apart at the beginning.

Angus Nelson (33:55): and as a 3 he really appreciates that.

Drew D’Agostino (33:59): Please lay it on me.

John Farkas (34:03): Not to mention handsome.

Drew D’Agostino (34:06): Well, you know nobody, none of you took the Enneagram joke cause you were all going around and saying your numbers saying, I’m a three, I’m a two. No one said I’m a perfect 10 but I’ll pause right there for you to know. He took it set. I didn’t take it because I figured that would just be a little too much.

Mark Whitlock (34:20): And as we leave you today, let us remind you of the three things that hold Studio CMOs together.

Angus Nelson (34:25): Always remember, understand your buyer’s problems,

Mark Whitlock (34:27): and lead with an empathetic understanding of your audience and their personalities,

John Farkas (34:32): and be sure to make your buyer the hero.

Mark Whitlock (34:35): We’ll see you next time on Studio CMO.

Angus Nelson (34:37): #Perfect10.

Mark Whitlock (34:37): Perfect 10.



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