Why You Must Know the Four Personalities of Design

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Perception is reality. How your customer perceives and receives your message is just as important as the message you intend.

The telephone game shows us that what is heard is rarely what was said. We send and receive communications in many ways, depending on our personality types (Personas).

Marketing requires we make broad assumptions about our audience while targeting them enough to get them to act. The complication is that we are all a mix of 4 personas.

  • Get to know the 4 personas and how they buy.
  • Understand your customer's personality.
  • Talk to them the way they want to hear it.

Here are the 4 Personas and how to engage them…

Director (Competitive)

This persona doesn't have much time, wants to get down to business, and move on to the next challenge. These are the 'Natural Leaders' that are awesome at their best, and insensitive at their worst. This crowd has an eagle-eye view. You won't find them in the weeds.

Who are they? CEO's, Owners, Upper Management

What they want? Achievement, Control, Winning

Best ways to engage them?

  • Authenticity. Don't pretend you're not trying to sell them.
  • Clarity. Give it to them in bullet points.
  • Efficiency. Tell them on the cover of the brochure and above the fold on your website.
  • Challenge. Let them think it's their idea.
  • Get out of the way. Allow them to act fast and decisively.

Socializer (Spontaneous)

This persona is great at brainstorming. They love coming up with ideas and discussing them. Similar to a Director, they don't spend too much time on one idea. These are the 3rd shelf shoppers; they won't be searching the bottom shelf at the grocery store for items they have to reach for.

Who are they? Public Relations, Salespeople, Entertainers

What they want? Attention, Peer Appreciation, Persuading others

Best ways to engage them?

  • Activity. Give them something fun to do.
  • Ask. Get their ideas.
  • Specials. "Free", "Buy now", "Save" work well. Starbursts on your site.
  • Shine. Be the shiny object that gets their attention.
  • Fast & Easy. Don't make them jump through hoops to purchase.

Thinker (Methodical)

This persona does it correctly every time. These are spell checking, spreadsheet formula writing dynamos. Unlike Directors and Socializers, Thinkers take a long time to purchase while analyzing all of the information. The Director set the goal of getting man on the moon but the Thinkers got us there.

Who are they? CPA's, Engineers, Scientists

What they want? Precision, Accuracy, Dependability

Best ways to engage them?

  • Proof. Graphs, Charts and Research.
  • Solutions. Exactly how does this solve their problem?
  • White Papers. They will scroll down on your site for details.
  • Information. Feelings have very little to do with their buying habits.
  • Time. Don't rush them. They are a slow sale.

Relaters (Humanists)

This persona wants to know what others think. They frequent online forums and seek out groups for their opinions. Relaters look at your testimonials from other satisfied customers to support their decision. They will go out of their way to avoid buyer's remorse before they purchase.

Who are they? Negotiators, Counselors, Customer Service

What they want? Stability, Consensus, Friendship

Best ways to engage them?

  • Predictability. Don't surprise them with an up-sell.
  • Stories. Let others tell your story and listen to theirs.
  • Testimonials. Share feelings from other satisfied customers.
  • Modesty. Flashy, boasting messages are a turn off.
  • Time. Once again, don't rush them. They'll get back to you in a few weeks.

It's likely that you see yourself in more than one of these personas. You may be a Director-Thinker, or a Socializer-Relater.

Analyzing the titles of your current customers can reveal a lot about their personality types and how to talk to them through the sales process.

DESIGN TIP:

Your designs should include bullet-points for your Directors and an easy to understand offer for your Spontaneous types on the cover or above the fold on your site. Then for your Thinkers and Relaters, place testimonials and statistics inside or below the fold on your site because they will do their research and find them.

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