How our OnPoint platform helps bridge the gap with human decision making

There is a problem I’ve struggled to crack my entire career that you may be familiar with. It’s partly about marketing, partly about biology, and partly about content personalization — and it’s what attracted me to Pinpoint. The problem goes like this:

Picture a torrent of ones and zeroes flowing across a map that comes crashing into a computer and then it all stops. The marketing stimulus loads, a person looks at it, and in that split second, billions of dollars of technology powered by incredibly sophisticated algorithms no longer have any say. They have already calculated the probability of engagement and presented the user with content, but the final decision is actually made inside the human brain. Does the person engage or not? Is it a good message or not? The algorithms can’t really know the deep down reasons why or why not.

If the individual doesn’t engage, you have to wonder, why did they pass? And why did someone else of identical age and income click? To know, we have to delve into the realm of psychology, and that’s what we’re specialized in at Pinpoint.

What other algorithms leave on the table

The most advanced digital marketing platforms have algorithms that are really good at optimizing the alignment of product and audience. They establish a probability of engagement, and once the content is shown to a person, they just wait. It is at that precise moment where the human brain makes the final decision to engage or not—and this decision is based not only on the product being advertised and the degree to which it’s aligned with the audience segment, but also on the messaging: how the product is presented. There is a personalization opportunity at the individual level that these algorithms leave on the table.

Once the match between audience and product is established, these algorithms leave it to the marketer to try out many creative variants and then stick to the one that gets higher engagement on average; but there is a lack of visibility into exactly why one message works over another. This lack of transparency has a great deal to do with how the message aesthetics appeal to different personalities, but conventional algorithms label diverse people with the same attributes. And at that level, there is simply not enough resolution to answer the most interesting questions. I’ll go as far as saying that true content personalization cannot be done unless it’s based on personality. And for such an algorithm to work, we first have to quantify what makes people, people.

We have quantified the ineffable

To really know what combination of creative elements a given person will find compelling requires us to understand personality through the lenses of quantitative psychology and machine learning. It’s what we do at Pinpoint, and it’s a massive and daunting logistical challenge. But I’m thrilled to say that our OnPoint platform has begun blazing this trail, making these answers accessible some of the most advanced marketing and analytics professionals. We welcome you to try it out for yourself here.