Guest Contributor: Matt Hillman, Creative Director
It’s hard to truly understand what it’s like to be someone else, to see things from their perspective. As marketing creatives, my team and I work to empathize with our audience so we can make stronger connections through our messages and designs—these words not those, this palette not that.
But even then, without the ability to survey everyone you’re marketing to, it’s often an educated guess. And at the end of the day, you simply have to let go, understanding that sometimes people make odd choices that are hard for us to fathom.
So what if you could—as a marketer—get a better grasp of why some people choose one course of action over another? What if you could more effectively predict behaviors and focus on what is most important to your audiences? Well, as it turns out, you can.
Utilizing Jungian psychological principles like those employed by the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the team at Personality Hacker, it’s possible to better understand what’s behind the decisions that people make, to gain valuable insights into the most important triggers for various personalities.
For this exercise, we’re focusing on what Jung called the “Judging functions.” These are the ways our minds weigh options and make decisions, whether those are based in objective reason (i.e., what’s true/false) or subjective values (i.e., what’s right/wrong).
(It’s important to note that human psychology is complex enough, and even people with same personality types don’t share the same environments, experiences, and opportunities, so while the following are true more often than not, they are generalizations.)
GROUP 1: The Sorters
Function: Extraverted Thinking
For Sorters, the world is pretty clear-cut—things are black or white, up or down, A or B. The Extraverted Thinking function at work here values efficiency above all else and is very well-suited for making quick decisions when options are presented.
Look for: snap decisions and a desire to “move on”
Promote: efficiency, impact, progress, ROI
Avoid: popularity, delay, emotional appeals
Weakness: understanding human relationships
GROUP 2: The Theorists
Function: Introverted Thinking
Like their Extraverted Thinking cousins, the Theorists value things being true or false, but this group wants to understand what makes things tick. For them, precision is core to how they make decisions—decisions that can be delayed when inputs are missing.
Look for: thoughtful consideration and requests for inputs
Promote: analysis, study, logic, accuracy
Avoid: opinion, vagueness, uncertainty
Weakness: dismissing viewpoints contrary to their own
GROUP 3: The Supporters
Function: Extraverted Feeling
Supporters put their value system to work when it comes to making decisions, seeking paths that mean the greatest benefit for the greatest number. They see the world in terms of “good and bad,” and work to bring harmony to relationships.
Look for: concern for others and self-sacrifice
Promote: collaboration, agreement, contribution, community
Avoid: systems, data, impersonal approaches
Weakness: remaining objective where people are involved
GROUP 4: The Individualists
Function: Introverted Feeling
When Individualists make a decision, they first look inward, evaluating the pros and cons against a highly developed value system that is uniquely their own. They place great significance on being genuine and true to themselves.
Look for: highly personal connections to people and things
Promote: uniqueness, eccentricity, ethics, causes
Avoid: indifference, over-generalizations, deception
Weakness: abruptly reactionary when values are violated
There’s a lot more to each of these groups—especially how these preferences are used and to what degree—but bearing in mind that not everyone views the world around them the same as you do is a valuable approach. Different types react differently to the same inputs, and different inputs are valued by different types. Knowing what each group prefers and how they make their decisions can go a long way in crafting the right message to appeal to their inner selves.