Crafting a marketing message specifically to match the personality traits of a prospect is exciting cutting-edge technology. The advantage is that it cuts right through the natural skepticism that people have built up over their lifetime, and allows you to make an instant connection and a trusting bond. Once the bond is created, they’ll be open to hearing what you have to say in your sales pitch.

Are you skeptical? That’s OK. There is a lot of “art” involved in the science of personal behavior.

The underlying foundation of this kind of marketing comes down to this: groups of prospects share certain traits. That’s not so controversial, as marketers have been collecting demographic information for centuries. What is relatively recent is the identification and cataloging of ‘specific behaviors’ that are based on a person’s personality. In other words, knowing a person’s personality allow us to predict in advance what that type of person would do in a certain situation. As a simple example of this, we know that people that are introverts will behave differently than extroverts.

The conclusion to this, of course, is to set up situations (create a marketing message) that causes the person to act in the way we desire them to act – such as buying our product. We are not changing the prospect. We are changing how we create the marketing message, in order to merge up and come along side their natural desires. It makes us more efficient.

Behavioral actions are quite predictable when you know a person’s underlying personality. That is why the FBI uses people called “profilers” to help catch criminals. A criminal can change his name and appearance, but he can’t change who he is on the inside. That is, you can’t change a person with a lion’s personality into that of a lamb. He will still do what lions tend to do, and that is why he eventually gets caught.

Become Your Own Profiler

Nobody is teaching you how to be your own profiler. Which is why I want to walk you through the steps. Instead of profiling criminals, you’ll be profiling your customers. You’ll know more about them than they know about themselves. And with this knowledge, you’ll be able to create a specific type of bait that they like, and you’ll be able to catch them with your marketing message. That is the goal.

With that in mind, are you interested in learning more?

What are the Different Personality Types?

As we talked about in our previous conversations, the tool we are going to use is called the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). It has been around since the 1950’s and it is remarkably accurate in categorizing people to their personality type. Since the same personality types share so many common habits, we can then use this information to create our customized bait (our marketing message). That’s the goal. Understand so far?

The MBTI pigeon-holes people into basically 16 different categories based on four sets of personality traits. For example, the first set of traits is Extrovert versus Introvert. For shorthand notation, they are abbreviated as E or I.

Imagine or think of it as a teeter-totter. Your extrovert side might be high, or maybe you’re more of an introvert (like me). But it is more than that, your teeter-totter could be pegged at full-scale-deflection, or it may be more of a 51 to 49 percent tilt. In other words, you may not be such the extrovert that you’re comfortable running in a nude marathon. Nor are you such an introvert that you’re afraid to leave your bedroom. You’re probably somewhere less than either of those two extremes.

It should give you comfort to know that there is an infinite variation in just this one trait. That means there is still no one exactly like you.

However, there is still enough evidence that people that are on the introvert side of the pivot point have a lot in common with other people that are on the introvert side of the pivot. That is what makes this a workable system.

Other Personality Traits

The other three sets of personality traits are:

  • Sensation versus Intuition
  • Thinking versus Feeling
  • Perceiving versus Judging

Again, to abbreviate things, we’ll use letters: S=Sensation, N=Intuition, T=Thinking, F=Feeling, P=Perceiving, and J=Judging.

So, that is four sets of teeter-totters to describe a person’s personality. Again, it gives infinite variation from one person to any other person because each teeter-totter is positioned higher or lower than others. But there is enough similarities to put together a system to build a marketing message would appeal to the group that has a common category of traits.

For example, if you take the MBTI assessment, you’ll get back a short descriptor of your personality. It may be something like: ESTJ. That means you have the traits of: Extrovert, Sensation, Thinking, Judging.

According to the theory, you will have much in common with and will behave similar with other people that are classified as an ESTJ.

Or you may be an INFP, which means traits of: Introvert, Intuition, Feeling, Perceiving. Again, you will behave somewhat similar to people that are also INFP’s.

What it comes down to is 16 different types of personalities, because arranging all the letters, there are 16 different combinations. I’m an ISTJ, by the way.

Sounds impersonal, doesn’t it? Being reduced to a set of four letters that can be arranged into 16 different combinations.

While it may be impersonal, the concept of categorizing personality traits allows us to understand people, and to help them where they need it most. That is what is exciting. We get to help people to function better in society, and to enrich their lives.

The Basic Traits – Reduced to Their Simplistic Form

So, here are some basic (very basic) definitions of what these eight different personality traits mean.

Extrovert – This is all about “energy.” The person that leans toward the extrovert side gets energized by being around people and interacting with them.

Introvert – Again, it is about “energy.” The introvert person gets energized in solitude situations. Superman had a fortress of solitude to re-energize himself, right? Their energy is drained by being around others.

Sensation – This person is comfortable with facts and concrete things. They aren’t afraid of numbers (math), and are comfortable with physical things they can see and touch. They want to know “what” happened today; such as ‘what did the stock market do today?’

Intuition – This type of person is comfortable with invisible and non-touchable things. Things like theories, hypotheses, descriptions of feelings (like love), fantasy. They want to know “why” something happened; such as ‘why did the stock market go up or down today?’

Feeling – The Feeling type person is likely to display openly their emotional state. Their body language and the words they use to express themselves paint a vivid picture of what is going on inside them emotionally.

Thinking – The Thinking type person DOES have emotions. And they are just as powerful to them as the emotions of the Feeling person. The difference is that the person with the Thinking personality trait doesn’t display them outwardly for other people to see. It is harder to tell that they are hurting inside because it doesn’t show as much on the outside.

Judging – This trait has to do with making decisions. The judging type person likes to come to a definite conclusion to whatever situation they are in. They hate the cliff-hanger in a movie. They want to know how it ends.

Perceiving – This person resists coming to a definite conclusions. They want situations to be open-ended, so they have a variety of choices. The movie has to end with “happily ever after” because that is still open-ended. If the main actor dies at the end of the movie, and the love relationship ends, the Percieving person would pull their hair out and say the movie sucked.

With these basic descriptions of the eight personality traits, you have a good start on creating your marketing message. That assumes, of course, that you know what kind of customer is a best fit for your product or service.

What Traits Do Our Customer’s Have?

Next, we need to determine what our traits our customers have. And this is where most marketing gurus stop, because it gets a little confusing.

There are eight traits, after all, and how do you tell which one applies to your customer. On top of that, and as we said in our last conversation, there are also environmental factors acting on the person and are causing the prospect to act in ways that go against their natural inclinations. Therefore, picking up the clues is hard. We need some sort of cheat-sheet to help us simplify things.

Next time, I’ll begin laying out for you the cheat sheet. We’ll simplify the sixteen different personality types, down to just four categories. That greatly deflates the complexity of all this, and makes it much easier to filter through the prospects and find the type that will gravitate toward our marketing message.

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One Response to “Marketing Through Personality Traits”

  1. […] In our last communication, we gave a brief overview of the eight personality traits that make up the Myers Briggs personality test. They are: […]