Behind The Mind’s Curtain: Part 2

31 Aug

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Guest Contributor: Matt Hillman, Creative Director

As mentioned in my previous “Behind The Mind’s Curtain” post, it’s hard to truly understand what it’s like to be someone else, to see things from their perspective. But as marketers, we’re all bound at the very least to try.

With resources like the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and the team at Personality Hacker—two practical examples of Jungian psychology at work—we can dive deeper into personality matrixes to better understand what makes this person tick where others might tock. What might energize or engage one set of personalities might, in fact, be toxic to another.

Where the previous blog touched on “Judging functions” of Jungian psychology—true/false vs. right/wrong—we’re going to explore the “Perceiving functions.” These are the ways our psyches literally perceive and process information, whether it’s based on sensory inputs to determine what’s real or based on ideas to determine what’s possible.

(Again, it’s important to note that human psychology is complex, and even people with same personality types don’t share the same environments, experiences, and opportunities, so while the following concepts are true more often than not, they are still generalizations and should not be used as substitutes to research and personae-based insights.)

 

GROUP 1: The Realists

Function: Extraverted Sensing

For Realists, the world exists as it is. They take in information with the senses and deal in the here & now, typically not distracted by “what if” and “it might.” Their minds are drawn to the concrete and the known, valuing facts and empirical evidence.

Look for: pragmatism, reference to statistics, seeking additional inputs

Promote: data, evidence, immediate results

Avoid: possibilities, metaphors, “gut feelings”

Weakness: “it is what it is” fatalism

 

GROUP 2: The Traditionalists

Function: Introverted Sensing

Think of the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and you’re thinking of Traditionalists. What has been gathered through experience, what is truly known, is what matters most. As a result, life’s certainties are not only predictable but comforting.

Look for: deliberate action, careful consideration, leveraging experience

Promote: proven results, comparison, history

Avoid: improvisation, interpretation, “change for change’s sake”

Weakness: resistance to new ideas or systems

 

GROUP 3: The Dreamers

Function: Extraverted Intuition

With Dreamers, everything contains possibilities, whether it’s found in systems, situations or people. The idea of “what if” is pervasive and irresistible, and it drives them to seek new approaches and consider information in different contexts.

Look for: rapid-fire ideation and brainstorming

Promote: possibilities, exploration, potential

Avoid: practicality, statistics, “tried & true”

Weakness: inability to stay focused on single issue

 

GROUP 4: The Perceptives

Function: Introverted Intuition

Working mostly in the subconscious, the Perceptives are always searching for meaning behind the ideas—connections and patterns—that often lead to “a-ha!” moments. They build and explore complex mental models to better understand the world around them.

Look for: heavy use of and appreciation for metaphor

Promote: connection, pattern, symbols

Avoid: details, dwelling on past experiences

Weakness: presuming mental models can provide all necessary insights

 

Understanding how and why your audience processes information is the first step to better connecting with them through your marketing—don’t expect Dreamers to respond to spreadsheet data and don’t ask Traditionalists to “imagine a world of possibilities!” Providing a variety of formats is the surest way to get your message through a broad set, but when space is tight and time is a premium, knowing what type of information your particular audience prizes most can help your marketing cut through the clutter and get noticed.

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