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Rethinking Demographics: The 16 Personalities of Marketing

letstalksoon This shouldn’t surprise you, but understanding yourself better allows you to find the career that best fits you, the friends you’ll get along with, activities you will most enjoy and overall increased self awareness. But have you ever taken an unbiased personality test? You may find answers to questions you’ve been asking yourself for a while.

I recently had a birthday that I took as my cue to get to know myself better. I wasn’t trying to “find myself” or ponder how I’ve changed over the years – I was most interested in the specific traits that make me who I am, the characteristics that overshadow every decision I make. So, I turned to the influential, modern psychiatrist, Carl G.

Jung. Jung created the theory of psychological types, stating that human consciousness is characterized by an extraverted or introverted attitude, sensing/intuition or thinking/feeling mental function and a preference for judging or perceiving. After taking the Jung Typology Test, you will find you are dominant in four of these divisions so that you fall under of 16 personality types.

(It’s 72 questions long – but they’re quick!) Are you surprised by your results? My results were pretty much as I suspected. They reaffirmed some things about myself, but more importantly, made me think about the impact this new “awareness” could have on my life.

Market to real personalities

As a marketer, I not only need to understand personality types for smooth client and coworker relationships, but to market my clients’ brand or products to real people. This is especially true when managing social media campaigns. I am not just marketing a brand to these individuals – I am forming relationships with them.

And, unfortunately for us, they are not all the same. They don’t fit into a strict box – and wouldn’t want you to treat them like they do. In May 2012, researchers from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management found that consumers are more likely to be persuaded by advertisements that target their personality type than ones targeting their  “demographic”.

We need to stop thinking in terms of demographics – the target audience’s age, gender, location and similar metrics. Do you have a grandparent who doesn’t act their age?  Do you know a friend who moved to a new city but kept up their interest in sports?


Demographics 2.0

It’s smarter to align your brand or product with one or a few personality types. Most people’s personalities do not change much from the time they are adults through old age, though their demographics certainly do.

If you focus on personality types, you have a better chance of finding the envied “life long customer”. This isn’t to say demographics should be disregarded entirely – if you’re selling women’s perfume, don’t start advertising in Men’s Health. But, ask the questions: What types of personalities are we marketing to?

Which ones actually buy from us? Are there any that would absolutely not buy from us? Knowing the answers to both of these questions will help you market your brand and manage your business better.

Check out a high-level view of the 16 personality types and start rethinking your audience’s “demographics”.

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