18 Apr Understanding Your Audience Using Personality Type
In 1998, David Keirsey introduced the book Please Understand Me II: Temperament, Character, Intelligence, a look into the psychology of personality. Since it’s release, the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) has become one of the most popular personality tests in the world. It’s used by millions of businesses and individuals around the world to help them better understand their personality and the personalities of their coworkers, friends, and family members.
While the MBTI is made up of 16 personality types, the Keirsey Temperament Sorter simplifies the system by sorting the personalities into four groups, or temperaments: rationals, idealists, guardians, and artisans. As a marketer or blogger, it’s important to know the personality of your audience in order to produce the most effective content for them.
Who they are: Rational people are all about strategy. They love anything that they can dissect, examine, and improve. Around 15% of the population falls into the category, but rational types are most commonly found in the fields of science and technology.
What they want: Logic. They seek information that is going to help them solve problems and are drawn to systems. At the same time their thinking is abstract, so they’re also drawn to concepts and ideas.
How to talk to them: Rationals are logical people, so you’ll need logical facts in order to convince them to try your product or service or consume your content. They value efficiency and are drawn to new and intriguing ideas that promote simplified solutions to complex problems. But they aren’t easily won over by salesman charm and flashy new products — they also want to know all the facts and details before making a decision.
Who they are: Like rationals, idealists are abstract thinkers, but instead of systems they prefer to focus on relationships. They are diplomatic and future-oriented. They make-up 17% of the population but are heavily seen in non-profits, education, and advocacy groups.
What they want: Meaning. Idealists are on a constant conquest to understand themselves and the world around them. They want to know that what they’re doing has a purpose and will ultimately benefit the world in some way. They’re drawn to concepts and ideas and aren’t as concerned with concrete facts and figures.
How to talk to them: Idealists are quick to see past inauthentic, business talk. They want personal and authentic communication. They are often touched by cause-related efforts and attracted to content that evokes emotion.
Who they are: Unlike rationals and idealists, guardians are focused on the here-and-now and take pride in contributing to society and implementing rules, systems, and regulations. They make up nearly half (46%) of the population and are often in professions such as teaching, law enforcement, and business management.
What they want: Security. Nothing is more important to a guardian type than to know that they are able to provide for themselves and their families. They also want to feel like they have an established place in society and have confidence in their professional abilities.
How to talk to them: Guardians are concrete thinkers and communicators, so the best way to communicate with them is by providing as many factual details as possible to help them in the decision-making process. They are detail-oriented individuals, so it’s important to be able to know how to answer all the questions they may have.
Who they are: Artisans are the quintessential live-in-the-moment types. They seek action, adventure, and any type of sensory stimulation. They are often social, spontaneous, and adaptable. They make up 22% of the population and are often in professions such as entertainment, sports, and sales.
What they want: Excitement. They want to know that whatever they spend their time and energy on is going to stimulate their senses. Easily bored, artisans often keep busy with many hobbies and interests outside of family and work, such as music, art, and exercise.
How to talk to them: Don’t tell them how your product or business is the best for them, show them. Artisans are the most hands-on of the four temperaments, so to really persuade you’ll need to physically show them how the product works, or let them test it out for themselves.
What temperament best fits your own personality? What about the majority of your audience? Do you take personality type into consideration when creating content for your brand?