Which Marketing Personality Type are You?
October 27, 2020
In online marketing, we love to talk about all of the different platforms, tools and channels at your disposal, but we rarely talk about one of the most important aspects of your online marketing strategy: you.
That’s a real shame, because the fact of the matter is that who you are as a person has a big impact on how you approach online marketing. The way you respond to challenges and opportunities, how aggressive you are, the marketing channels you prefer and what you do with your data is all a reflection of your marketing personality type.
In this article, we’re going to help you get to know your marketing personality type and the marketing personality type of the people you work with. The better you understand how personality affects your marketing decisions, the better you will be at putting yourself (and others) in the
Your Marketing Personality Type
Your marketing personality type affects every aspect of your marketing—from the ad copy you use to how you interact with your coworkers. Every marketing personality type has specific strengths, weaknesses and preferences.
Unfortunately, most marketers don’t really understand their marketing personality type or how it plays into the decisions that they make. They simply do things in the way that makes sense to them. Sometimes that works out…and sometimes it doesn’t.
This is part of the reason why online marketing advice is so hit and miss.
If you’re an ideas guy trying to implement nit-picky technical suggestions, you’re probably not going to get the promised results. Similarly, if you’re a slow-and-steady marketer and your go-getter boss suddenly asks you to set up a bunch of “silver bullet” campaign ideas based on a webinar he just attended, you’re both going to end up frustrated.
One of the oft-unmentioned keys to online marketing success is getting to know your marketing personality. What type of marketer are you? What are your strengths and weaknesses? How do you fit into the bigger marketing picture?
To answer that question, let’s do a quick overview of each marketing personality type and what they bring to the table. We’ll include a link to an in-depth article about each personality type, but for the purposes of this article, we’ll just give you a high-level summary.
Initiators are the idea-generators of the marketing world. In a lot of ways, Initiators are what most people think of when they imagine marketers: clever, creative men and women with a gift for communication.
As marketers, Initiators “get” people. They’re typically well-liked, gregarious types who thrive in almost any social situation. That social intuition gives them a lot of insight into their customer base.
In addition, Initiators tend to be highly creative. Exactly how that creativity expresses itself will vary from person-to-person, but it’s always there.
As a result, Initiators are an incredible source of marketing ideas and insights. If you’re an Initiator, you probably have an ever-growing list of marketing ideas to try. If you have an Initiator working for you and you start to feel like you’re running out of ideas, talk to your Initiator for a bit. Before you know it, you’ll have plenty of suggestions to try.
For a more in-depth breakdown of the Initiator marketing personality type, check out this blog post.
Implementors are one of the less well-understood marketing personality types. While there are certainly plenty of Initiators out, they don’t always fit the classic marketer stereotype.
Implementors might not love the spotlight the way that Initiators or Drivers do, but they are the key to one of the most important parts of successful marketing: consistent, reliable execution.
You see, Implementors understand the power of slow and steady progress. They might not always be the ones coming up with new ideas or pushing things to the next level, but they are the ones behind the scenes turning exciting dreams into profitable realities.
In addition, most Implementors have a deep understanding of what makes people tick. They tend to be on the quiet side, but that’s because they are careful observers. They notice details—especially in terms of social behavior—and have a great feel for what motivates people.
These traits make Implementors wonderfully well-equipped for marketing. They “get” their audience and have the patience and attention to detail necessary to build sustainable campaigns that reach their target customers for weeks, months and years to come.
For a more in-depth breakdown of the Implementor marketing personality type, check out this blog post.
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.
In general, Drivers are action-oriented men and women who 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.
In fact, Drivers are often the motivating 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.
For a more in-depth breakdown of the Driver marketing personality type, check out this blog post.
Refiners love to turn potential into perfection. Online marketing is a pretty fast-paced industry that rewards adaptability, ingenuity and persistence, so Refiners are a rarer marketing personality type, but in the right roles, they really shine.
Most Refiners are obsessed with doing things the “right” way. They love to break down concepts, processes and theories, look at them backwards and forwards and find the truth hiding within. For technical analysis and insights, Refiners can’t be beat.
To a Refiner, it’s not enough to simply get results. You have to get the best possible results…and in the most effective and efficient way.
This obsession with optimizing and improving performance allows them to take good marketing campaigns and make them great. Need to take a paid search or email campaign to the next level? You can count on a Refiner to dive in, review the data, figure out what’s working and what isn’t and then test (and retest) until you’re getting truly incredible results.
For a more in-depth breakdown of the Refiner marketing personality type, check out this blog post.
A Unique Blend
As with any personality system, it’s important to emphasize that these four personality types describe general trends. Very few people will be perfectly described by a single personality type.
Most of the time, your marketing personality type will be best described as a mix of traits from each type. You might be 50% Initiator, 10% Implementor, 35% Driver and 5% Refiner.
That being said, most of us have a dominant personality type that guides our decision-making, which is what we will be focusing on here. You may not always understand the full blend of traits that influence your thinking or the thinking of others, but if you have a good feel for the dominant personality type at play, you can use that information to set yourself up for success.
How Your Personality Affects Your Marketing Style
Different marketing personality types approach marketing in different ways. You may not have thought about it up until now, but your personality type makes you more comfortable with certain channels and marketing philosophies.
Let’s take a look at how each of these personality types likes to handle marketing.
Initiators love new ideas and opportunities. In marketing, they’re always paying attention to new and upcoming strategies or marketing channels.
If you’re an Initiator, you may find that you tend to get distracted by exciting new options. Maybe it’s that new tactic you heard about in a podcast. Maybe it’s a new channel you’ve been itching to try. Maybe you always find yourself thinking, “What if we just…”
The great thing about Initiators is that they aren’t afraid to pursue new ideas. Success is just a matter of trying enough ideas. They’re willing to pursue new ideas, get things moving and then jump into the next idea.
So, if you’re an Initiator, your approach to marketing is variety. You’re always looking for something shiny and new to try. If it doesn’t work, you’ll move on. If it does work…hopefully you can pass it along to another personality type to see it through.
Implementors like consistency and predictability. Their preference is to do a few things well for a long time. They know that they might miss out on some opportunities with this approach, but with enough persistence, they’ll eventually get the results they’re after.
If you’re an Implementor, you enjoy making slow and steady progress. You believe in what you’re doing and you’re good at it. There’s no reason to get distracted by unproven ideas, mess up a good thing by pushing too hard or fix something that isn’t broken.
No matter what marketing channel you’re working in, consistent effort is one of the biggest predictors of success. If you’re an Initiator, you get that. You’re confident that your current efforts will pay off if you keep at it, so you stay focused until there’s a good reason to change things up.
Drivers want to achieve their goals as quickly as possible. They have little patience for things that don’t work (or don’t work quickly), but if they believe a marketing channel or campaign is keeping them from achieving their goals, they’ll push it until it either works or breaks.
If you’re a Driver, you probably have a few favorite marketing channels that you really believe in. These channels are reliable sources of leads, revenue or whatever else you’re focused on and you know exactly how to use those channels to achieve your goals.
You may be willing to try other things, but if they don’t produce the way you want, you go back to your stand-bys. Everything is measured in terms of its relative performance to your favorite channels and you have little patience for marketing that doesn’t produce clear results.
For Drivers, marketing is all about results. Either campaigns are producing what you’re looking for right now…or they aren’t. And if they aren’t, it’s time to put your effort into something more productive.
Refiners want to do things the right way. It doesn’t matter whether they’re tweaking an underperforming campaign or digging through a mountain of data for new insights, if there’s a better way to do things, a Refiner will find it.
If you’re a Refiner, you probably love to research, learn from others and apply their findings to your marketing. Rather than throw spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks, you prefer to take calculated risks and carefully expand from a position of strength.
Refiners are deliberate and like having “best practices” to adhere to (whether created by others or themselves). They may be on the cautious side, but that caution saves them from a lot of expensive mistakes.
To Refiners, online marketing is all about deliberation and optimization. Other personality types may be willing to waste money on mistakes and false starts, but if they were simply a little more thoughtful and patient, they’d save everyone a lot of headache.
Working With Different Personality Types
As you can probably imagine, online marketing works best when you bring together the strengths of multiple personality types. In an ideal world, most marketing teams would have someone with every marketing personality type to keep things balanced.
In this scenario, each personality type brings something unique to the table.
Initiators help the team explore new ideas, build out new campaigns and try new marketing channels. Implementors provide the stable, detail-conscious consistency needed to flesh out campaigns and channels. Drivers keep the team focused on making progress and achieving important goals and Refiners take things to the next level by optimizing campaigns and standardizing processes.
Of course, if your team is missing a personality type or two (or you only have 2-3 people on your team), you’ll have to adapt to cover certain holes. However, the important thing is to recognize that each of these aspects of marketing is critical to your business’s success. If you get overly focused on any particular personality type’s favorite areas of marketing and you’ll quickly get off track.
For example, if you’re a Driver, you love making forward progress. But, sometimes moving forward can be the wrong decision…especially if you’re moving in the wrong direction.
Without a Refiner to point you in the right direction, an Initiator to help you figure out what to do and a Implementor to keep things running smoothly, you may waste a lot of time and energy working on the wrong things.
Marketing works best when you understand your strengths and weaknesses and work together with others to play to your strengths. No matter how good you are at marketing, your personality predisposes you to certain approaches and decisions. That leaves you with holes in your marketing…holes that can best be filled by other marketing personality types.
At this point, you should have a feel for what your marketing personality type is. Hopefully, you are starting to get a feel for your coworkers’ personality types, too.
From here, we recommend that you read through our write-up for your specific marketing personality type. Better yet, have your coworkers read this article and their personality-specific article as well.
For quick reference, here are links to each of the specific marketing personality type articles:
The better you get to know yourself and your coworkers, the easier it will be to play to your strengths and make the most of your marketing. To effectively market to your target audience, you have to market in the right ways. And, to do that, you have to understand yourself, your inclinations and how to use your team to create the right campaigns for your target market.
What do you think of this analysis? Do you agree with this breakdown? What marketing personality type are you? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.