The Driver Marketing Personality: Onward and Upward!
by Chelsea Taele • October 20, 2020
Most online marketers fall into one of four personality types: Initiators, Implementors, Drivers and Refiners. Every marketer is a unique blend of traits from all four of these personality types, but most of us have a dominant personality type that guides most of our decision-making.
When you understand your marketing personality type (along with the marketing personality types of your coworkers), you know how to set yourself and your business up for success. Every personality type has strengths and weaknesses, and by leveraging those appropriately, you can maximize the effectiveness…and profitability of your marketing.
With all that in mind, let’s take an in-depth look at the Driver marketing personality type. What are Drivers like? What motivates them? What sort of role do they play in marketing? Let’s find out.
The Driver Marketing Personality Type
Drivers are the movers and shakers of the marketing world. With their tireless determination and thirst for success, they’re the classic marketer—ready to do whatever it takes to produce profitable results.
However, while Driver’s fit marketing stereotypes nicely, they aren’t ideal for every marketing role or challenge. They’ve got a lot to offer, but they do their best work when you understand their strengths, weaknesses and what makes them tick.
Drivers love progress. These action-oriented men and women love setting goals and working hard to achieve them. They enjoy a good challenge and have a gift for “cutting through the crap” and overcoming all kinds of obstacles.
These personality traits make Drivers a perfect fit for marketing, which—more often than not—is full of challenges and obstacles.
As per their name, Drivers are often the driving force behind most business’s marketing. Many Drivers are great at getting other people to help them achieve their goals and keeping others on task, so they have a knack for building shared vision and recruiting support for their initiatives.
In addition, a Driver’s dogged determination gives them the grit they need to figure out ways around, over or through obstacles. Marketing challenges are exciting for them and they eagerly throw themselves against every difficulty until it finally yields.
All of that determination is not without its disadvantages, though. Drivers might be great at achieving their goals, but in their single-minded charge towards success, they often miss out on important opportunities or make unfortunate mistakes.
Most Drivers tend to be a bit shortsighted. Anything beyond their current goals and priorities falls by the wayside. Sacrifices must be made in the name of progress, but Drivers sometimes have difficulty recognizing the long-term implications of those sacrifices.
As a result, while Drivers rarely fail to reach their goals, their results or methods are often unsustainable. If Drivers aren’t conscientious of this critical weakness, they can leave frustration and destruction in their wake as they move from “success” to “success”.
For example, Drivers are often more dogged than creative in their problem solving. Their solutions tend to be more “work harder”, not “work smarter”—which can create a lot of wasted time and effort.
In addition, many Drivers have a tendency to prioritize goals over people. They are often blunt in their pursuit of progress and treat objections as obstacles to be dismantled, rather than helpful feedback or warning signs.
Altogether, while Drivers are great at making things happen, they produce the best results when their drive is tempered by the strengths and insights of other personality types. Drivers are a lot like a strong bull: with the right yoke and harness, they’re a powerhouse that can go the distance. But without the right feedback and direction, you can quickly find yourself in a “running of the bulls”-type situation.
Drivers on the Marketing Team
Depending on their mix of personality traits, Drivers can thrive in almost any online marketing role, but they really shine in a few specific capacities:
- Leadership: Good marketing is all about taking calculated risks, pushing through obstacles and doing whatever it takes to grow. As mentioned earlier, this is all right up the Driver’s alley, so it should be no surprise that Drivers are regularly found in leadership roles. CMOs, marketing directors and marketing team leads are often Drivers. With their knack for getting people to help them achieve their goals, Drivers are a great fit for leadership—provided that their gung-ho nature is counterbalanced by a team filled with other personality types.
- Video Marketing: Video advertising is incredibly challenging, which makes it a great fit for Drivers. Putting together good video content—especially in a timely manner—requires a lot of dedication, vision, an ability to prioritize what matters most and the tenacity to see things through to the end. While Initiators and Implementors are often drawn to the creative aspects of video advertising, they often have a hard time finishing or get lost in the overwhelming details, and it’s usually the Drivers who actually make sure that video projects make it across the finish line.
- Paid Social Management: Advertising on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms requires a lot of tenacity. While these platforms may seem too “touchy-feely” for the Driver’s often blunt personality, the Driver’s intensity often allows them to get results through sheer determination. Paid social advertising can be a bit of a moving target and that’s just the sort of challenge that Drivers love.
Regardless of the specifics, Drivers do their best work when they have clear goals, expectations and the resources they need to achieve them. As long as they have a good challenge in front of them and a way to measure success, they’ll move heaven and earth to get results.
Working with a Driver
Like all of the marketing personality types, Drivers do their best work as part of a team that incorporates all four personality types. Depending on your personality type, you’ll want to keep the following in mind:
Drivers either love working together…or drive each other crazy. It all depends on whether their goals align or put them at odds with each other.
In general, when Drivers are working together towards a shared goal, they love having a coworker (or subordinate/superior) who shares their determination and focus. They urge each other forwards and often feel a sense of friendly competition that urges them to work even harder.
However, when Drivers are working against each other—either because they are competing for something they both want or they have differing opinions on how to get to their goal—it isn’t pretty.
Unlike Implementors or Initiators, who are usually willing to adapt to the demands of a Driver, Drivers aren’t willing to sacrifice their own goals just to play nice. Instead, they view each other as obstacles to conquer and can waste a lot of time and energy trying to bring their opponent down.
The trick to successful Driver-Driver relationships is establishing shared goals and priorities. As long as Drivers feel like working together will allow them to hit their goals, things are usually fairly smooth, so the trick is to set things up so that both Drivers feel like working together is in their best interest.
Initiator-Driver relationships can be hard to predict. When Initiators and Drivers understand the differences in their personalities and the value they each bring to the table, amazing things happen.
Once they have an objective in sight, Drivers have a gift for staying on target and getting across the finish line. However, this single-mindedness often comes at the expense of creativity and adaptability—the Initiator’s strong suite.
When they work together, however, these personality types counterbalance each other nicely. In a pell-mell race to success, the Driver pushes the Initiator to come up with better ways to do things, while the Initiator appreciates the direction and helps the Driver stay flexible.
Unfortunately, without good communication, Initiator-Driver relationships can quickly become strained. The Initiator’s lack of focus can make the Driver crazy and the Driver’s dogged determination may seem frustrating and “out of touch” to the Initiator.
The key to preventing (or overcoming) these challenges is consistent communication. The better the Initiator understands and agrees with the goal, the more focused and relevant their ideas and behavior will be. And, the more the Driver understands how the Initiator is helping them get to their goal, the more they’ll appreciate the Initiator’s contributions.
Drivers and Implementors often struggle to understand one another. Drivers have a tendency to prioritize movement and achievement over everything else—including some important details that are critical to truly achieving their goals.
On the other hand, Implementors are all about the details…often to such a degree that they lose sight of the overall goal.
In a healthy relationship, these personality types counterbalance each other nicely. The Driver pushes the Implementor to stay focused on what really matters while the Implement makes sure the Driver’s vision is achieved in an effective and sustainable way.
Without good communication, though, this healthy balance can quickly fall apart. The Implementor’s prioritization of “meaningless” details is alien to the Driver and the Driver’s focus on progress above all else feels foolish and unsustainable to the Implementor.
To deal with these challenges, it’s important for Drivers to get buy-in from Implementors in advance. The better the Implementor understands and agrees with the Driver’s goal, the better they will be at focusing on the key details and processes necessary to achieve that goal.
Of all the marketing personality types, Drivers tend to butt heads most with Refiners. Drivers tend to err on the side of “the ends justify the means” and Refiners typically believe that “anything worth doing is worth doing right.”
With their strong wills and diametrically opposed viewpoints, Driver-Refiner relationships are often something akin to an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object—and the results can be explosive.
The key to preventing this kind of fallout is for both Driver and Refiner to actively recognize the value that they each bring to the table. These two personalities actually have very complimentary strengths and weaknesses, but because they have such opposing values, it can often be hard to see each other’s virtues.
In a healthy relationship, Drivers appreciate the way that Refiners keep them in check. Refiners make sure that the Driver doesn’t get so focused on achieving their goal that they sacrifice quality, sustainability or effectiveness. At the same time, Refiners understand that perfection can get in the way of progress and appreciate the Driver’s ability to keep things moving forward.
Maintaining this sort of mutual appreciation can take a lot of effort and regular communication, but when Drivers and Refiners work together, the results can be spectacular.
Online marketing is filled with Drivers—and for good reason. Their focus, determination and ability to overcome obstacle make them a perfect fit for the challenging world of marketing.
To make full use of all that potential, however, a Driver needs to be set up for success. They need to understand themselves and be mentored and guided by someone who understands their strengths and weaknesses.
If you’re a Driver, you’ll benefit from surrounding yourself with the other marketing personality types. You may be the one who makes sure that crap gets done, but without the ideas, reliability and insights of the other personality types, you may struggle to get the kind of results that you really want.
If you’re working with a Driver, you’ve got an engine of productivity at your disposal that will take you wherever you want to go. Just keep them motivated and pointed in the right direction and the sky’s the limit!
Either way, the better you understand your own marketing personality type and the personality types of those around you, the better equipped you will be to deliver great results for your business!
Are you a Driver? Do you agree with this breakdown? How will this information change how you think about your marketing approach? Leave your thoughts in the comments.