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Winnie Pua

Marketing by personality – MBTI’s 16 personalities

We have often segmented our target audience by demographics, psychographics. We have also mapped out various customer journeys predicting thoughts, emotions and responses. But wouldn’t it be logical to assume consumer’s personality play a huge role in our shopping attitudes and behaviour? Can we market by personality? Using the well-known MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator), as well as interviewing some peeps, let’s see how different personalities shop.

The 16 personalities when shopping

1. Do the right thang!

ENFJs count Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey as their club members so marketers should not gloss over messages with them. While not the frugal nor detail-oriented type, they take in marketing messages on products and services intuitively, absorbing high-level information. Armed with information (or knowledge, they feel), this personality wouldn’t hesitate to share with others to benefit them.

Tip! – Best roped in as micro-influencers, they can be a force to be reckoned with once convinced.

2. Yeah… i’ll get this!

To ESFPs, spontaneity is the game. Seeking fun and exciting experiences, they want to be sold “the dream”. How enjoyable can it be? ESFPs are most likely to buy on the fly. eDMs and videos on “what’s new”and programmatic ads are designed for them.  Best timing for online shopping? During their relaxed time at night or simply when they are mindlessly scrolling on mobile are the best times to catch them. And yes, ESFPs typically don’t set a budget, because it is more carefree that way.

3. Yes, my comparison table agrees

ISTJs belong to the practical group of consumers. While this personality appreciates the top-line messages, they will sort it out into a criteria list, and analyse and check off with logistical precision. Most likely to experience a product in retail but move to line for price and other comparison, ISTJs seek to convince themselves that this is the best purchase decision.

4. When your Christmas shopping is done by September

ISFJs are one of the most organised and efficient shoppers. Valuing convenience and speed, they are natural mobile / online shoppers who can digest information quickly and make swift decisions according to their shopping list. If you are targeting this personality, offer to help maintain their shopping list, last year’s Christmas gifts, and they will reward you with peals of ker-chngs.

5. Tell me more, tell me more …

ISTPs will offer you more questions than what your best salesperson can answer. Your chatbot will most likely frustrate them. They enjoy a more detailed understanding and are not satisfied with some copy or reviews on your eshop. Instead, unboxing videos and if possible, showrooms and labs are where they can be found touching, feeling, and understanding what you offer.

6. It feels right so let’s do it

ESFJs are touted to be one of the most altruistic personalities. Always supportive and enthusiastic, they deem it a responsible act to take up that time-limited offer or members-only special. We can help them feel special and justified in their purchases through direct marketing.

7. The drama of shopping

ESTPs live in the moment and dive into the action. They relish a challenge. Getting Christmas shopping done in the next 24 hours, no sweat. They love the rush and adrenaline. Bold and risk-taking, this personality hates the boring and mundane. To target ESTPs, message style can be more challenging. Promotions can be packaged in forms of challenges like contests, brand participation.

8. Different is good, weird is better

ENTPs are contrarians who like products or brands with attitudes or strong messages. A touch of off-beat humour wouldn’t hurt too.  Beware if you receive negative feedback from this group, especially online. They are ready to argue it out, enjoying the discourse. When customer service engages ENTPs, it is important to engage them sufficiently so they get a good ‘chat’, and yet agree with them in the end, acknowledging that they fight the good fight, and still win.

9. I love to try new things!

ISFPs are adventurers who live in the present. They go with the flow and appreciate beauty and pleasure. When entrenched in a great brand experience, they are easy to upsell. Tickle their imagination correctly, and you may get yourself a charismatic brand influencer.

10. I know what i want, and how to get it

ENTJs are commander-style shoppers who need control. They think they purchase efficiently and decisively. To market to this personality, building brand presence is important as they have no patience for tactical messages. Sure….we’ll let them believe all decisions are their choice!

11. Oooh…. yes… I think i need this!

Most ENFPs suffer from impulse purchases, as they are easily inspired by recommendations. We can ensure heavy OTS (opportunity to see) to remind them of products and services they can consider. Different from ESFPs, beneath ENFPs carefree exteriors, they crave deeper meaning in life. ESG goals become important to them and they are more likely to support brands who are active and aligned in ESG activism. This ensures stronger brand recall and brand love.

12. Mistrust for even zero party data

INTJs are original thinkers who go into greater depth in what they do. Not one for small talk, they may prefer transactions with lesser human interaction. That said, they bond with brands and people who share similar values or who can engage them intellectually. Customisation may attract INTJs and it allows their originality to thrive. It may be necessary to ensure product information are readily available to them and it is necessary to ensure data security and consumer privacy if they are to feel comfortable on your eCommerce platform.

13. Possibly tighter than your customer service

ESTJs thrive within set structures of law and organisation. They are the most likely to know details of how refunds, late delivery waivers work, they will exercise their society-endorsed rights to set things right! They thrive on establishing good shopping habits and will share (or like enforce really) these habits with others. Maintaining a wish list, setting price alerts, or simply no-shopping rule a month before major discount festivals like 11.11, are surely mantras everyone should follow!

14. Heal the world

One of the most compassionate personalities, INFJs don’t care if 99% of product reviews are positive. What about the 1%? Their views matter! All humans matter! yes, INFJs’ famous alumni include Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela. With this perfectionist personality, most things fall a little short. You can get them on your side with brand campaigns, CSR activities and other ways brands truly impact the world.

15. I feel the magic

INFPs are an empathetic lot. Coupled with their artistic skills, in words, music, art, they are highly sensorial and stimulated. Multimedia storytelling works best for them. Think movies, docu-series and other emotive formats. Their preferred shopping channels often yield emotional returns e.g. online shopping with great packaging; seeing it delivered is a joy! Special packaging sets and gifts that are customised e.g. mugs for left-handed are appreciated by them.

16. Drrr… drr… that’s just my brain CPU processing data

INTPs have one of the strongest mental prowess and clarity. These scientists enjoy thinking through vigorously before arriving at firm decision. The trick is to give them sufficient data points to develop decision, but not too much to create “analysis paralysis”. Given their strong logic, it is likely A.I. automation tools can help offer them what they need, at the right time.

Did you spot yourself in any of the above scenarios? Please drop us a comment below to share your personal shopping quirks.