Who Is Your Customer?


A prevalent myth about marketing is that the more you promote a product, the higher will be the chances of increasing sales. However, marketing enthusiasts know this statement is far from the truth.

The key strategy for promoting a brand is to identify ideal customers. This approach makes it easier to target customers and develop the right actionable marketing plans that are likely to attract customers. A lesser-known, yet effective way to build a customer base is to focus on personality tests, especially the DISC test.

What Is the DISC Test?

DISC test is an effective personality test, based on the DISC theory by William Moulton Marston. It explores behavioral characteristics of a person based on four categories: Dominance/Directing, Inducement/Influence, Submission/Steadiness, and Compliance/Conscientiousness.

With the help of this tool, marketers can identify their character traits and develop a plan to better fit into their job roles. For instance, if you are a shy person and find it difficult to interact with others, this tool can guide you about the best action plan for achieving personal and professional goals.

It indicates the general behavior of a person and highlights factors that motivate them. It offers self-awareness and provides you a chance to learn about your strengths and weaknesses. Being a marketer, you would benefit from learning about your tendencies. You can work towards managing those weaknesses and leverage strengths to succeed.

As you progress in your career and reach top management position, you may want your team to take the DISC personality test as well. It’s a great tool for helping managers understand the working style team members. This way, they can better manage them and assign tasks that best fit their strengths to get the desired results.

DISC Test for Marketers

Personality tests help individuals choose the most suitable goals in life. You may opt for a test to determine which career option would work best for you. But you may not be aware that this assessment can also add value for business marketing purposes.

If you have a Directing personality type, you may be strong-willed, persistent, and ambitious. With a strong mindset and the ambition to take on challenges, you can cross every hurdle and win your sales goals. Marketers with this personality type tend to focus on facts and figures. So, you may emphasize selling points to generate sales for your business and make a good impression on stakeholders through informative presentations.

Marketers with the Influencing personality type are good at communicating. They are usually extroverts, can easily impress others with their persuasive style, and find it easier to achieve marketing goals with help from your network. If you belong to this category, you are likely to be a very creative person who frequently comes up with innovative ideas to boost marketing campaigns.

Steady personality type makes a person stable, focused, and patient. Such marketers tend to be detail-oriented and are quite consistent with their marketing strategies. They may take their time in adapting to change and don’t get excited with the idea of updating the marketing plan based on its performance or customer feedback.

The fourth personality type Compliance makes the marketer completely opposite of the Directing personality type. These salespeople are research-oriented and prefer convincing customers to buy their products through a detailed message about the benefits of products. They tend to believe in educating customers about the brand and earning their trust.

Targeting Customers Based on Personality Types

A successful businessperson makes it their priority to understand the needs and wants of their customers. It enables them to choose products that solve a problem and make their lives easier. When it comes to the marketing plan, it’s equally important to know who your customers are and what personality traits they may have.

The DISC test gives an idea about personality types and you can choose which ones you want to target. This strategy is extremely helpful in creating marketing content that can get the attention of ideal customers and build a lasting relationship.

Directing personality customers are interested in facts about a product and brand. They carefully make buying decisions by evaluating its features. Before making a buying decision, they would want to learn about the experiences of other buyers. They may visit your social media pages and ask in their social circle for recommendations. Marketers can make the most of this opportunity and convert them into customers by offering them what they want.

For Influencing customers, the same strategy won’t work. They are driven by innovation and show interest in products that stand out. They are usually impulsive buyers who make buying decisions on the go. Regardless of whether or not they actually need it, the customer may purchase a product if an ad or other marketing collateral seems attractive at first sight. When a new product is launched, you may want to target these customers first.

Customers with a Steady personality are unswerving with their choices. They thoroughly evaluate a brand before giving it a try and stick with their choice in the long run if it suits their needs. They aren’t much interested in alternative products and are loyal customers. However, it’s important to note that it’s a challenge to bring such customers on-board in the first place. They may be loyal customers of your competitors and may not show interest in your products unless your market offerings are significantly better than competitors.

Compliance personality suggests that the customer is detail-oriented. Before they make a decision, they conduct a detailed research about every feature and aspect of the product. They may conduct online research and ask company representatives about its specifications before they make up their mind. They won’t purchase it until they are fully satisfied.

Which Social Platforms Work Best for Different Personalities

Traditional marketing revolves around mass marketing. When marketers promote products and services through traditional marketing, they consider the needs and wants of the general audience. For instance, if they place an ad in a newspaper, radio, billboard, or TV channel, they are aware that the ad would be noticed by people of all ages. Digital media, on the other hand, offers more flexibility and makes it easier to target specific audience groups based on demographics, interests, personality types, location, and other criteria.

Social media platforms are arguably the best methods for promoting products these days. They offer unlimited targeting options to ensure your advertisement content reaches the audience that is likely to be interested in the offer.

With so many social media websites available these days, it is quite a task to determine which platform is most suitable for you. The best bet is to determine which personality types you want to target and then choose platforms where those customers are present.

For instance, Dominant or Directing customers prefer Twitter and YouTube for information gathering and entertainment. They also listen to podcasts about their areas of interest. If you want to reach them, you may want to create a business presence on these platforms.

Next comes the Influencer. These people are outgoing and enjoy spending time in crowds. They join Facebook groups and chat with them through messaging apps. They may also be active on Instagram or Snapchat and making an impression on others with impactful content. Furthermore, they are also likely to be on TikTok, making videos for their followers.

Steady customers are old souls and seek stability. They are usually found on Facebook and LinkedIn even though these platforms have lost their charm with time. They believe in staying loyal to known networks and trusted friends. These customers may not be interested in the latest social platforms and stay with their choices for quite a long time.

Lastly, customers having Compliance personality type are less likely to create personal accounts on social media. They are interested in numbers. They may keep track of data and ROI and learn about various analytics tools for fact checking. These folks are often the only people who read the policy and terms of service for each network.

Creating Buyer Persona

Traditionally, marketers relied on buyer persona to streamline marketing efforts. They would create profiles of imaginary customers they want to target. The customer persona document would include detailed information about customers which helped marketers create a specific plan to make the product attractive to customers who fit the criteria.

In this digital era, nothing much has changed and buyer personas are still as effective as they used to be. Social marketers can better promote their products and convert leads into customers by optimizing the ad or social content as per their preference.

Since there are no rules or standards for generating buyer personas, you need to brainstorm different factors for this purpose. Here are a few aspects you may want to add into the document:

  • Age group
  • Occupation
  • Education
  • Income group
  • Family size
  • Geographical location
  • Social platforms they use
  • Personality traits
  • Social class

You can add as much information as needed to describe ideal customers. However, make sure the profile suits a big enough group since it’s not practical to create personas for individual customers.

Aside from creating buyer personas for target customers, it’s also recommended to think about negative buyer personas. This profile is for people that aren’t included in your target audience or you may want to exclude them from the target customer list.

 

Exercise:

Take the personality test by Tony Robbins and discuss the results with the class.

DISC Profile: Free Online Personality Strengths Test (tonyrobbins.com)

 

 

THE SURVEY

INSTRUCTIONS FOR RESPONDING

In the space provided below, identify those behaviors which are MOST – TO-LEAST characteristic of you in an identified situation.  Working left to right, assign “4” points to the MOST characteristic behavior, “3” to the next most characteristic, then “2” and finally “1” to your LEAST characteristic behavior.

EXAMPLE

3     Directing               4    Influencing                         2    Steady                         1    Cautious

 

 

 

 

 

 

____ Directing ____Influencing ____Steady ____Cautious
____Self-Certain ____Optimistic ____Deliberate ____Restrained
____Adventurous ____Enthusiastic ____Predictable ____Logical
____Decisive ____Open ____Patient ____Analytical
____Daring ____Impulsive ____Stabilizing ____Precise
____Restless ____Emotional ____Protective ____Doubting
____Competitive ____Persuading ____Accommodating ____Curious
____Assertive ____Talkative ____Modest ____Tactful
____Experimenting ____Charming ____Easy-Going ____Consistent
____Forceful ____Sensitive ____Sincere ____Perfectionists
____TOTAL ____TOTAL ____TOTAL ____TOTAL

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR COUNTING AND GRAPHING

Total the numbers in each of the four columns.  Place the total number in each column in the blank at the bottom of the column “TOTAL”.  Check the accuracy by adding all the columns together.  When all four columns are added together they will equal 100.

 

 

 

 

Plot the numbers from the totals columns on page one on the graph below.  For example, if the total number in the “D” column was 15, you would place the plotting point (Dot) half-way between the 14 and the 16 on the graph for that dimension.

LEVEL OF ENERGY GRAPH

 

 

 

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After completing your graph, circle the highest visual point.  This represents your strongest behavioral characteristic.  The higher you score on the graph, the more intensity you bring to this particular behavioral characteristic.  Look at the letter at the graph on page one which corresponds to the highest visual point.  Using this letter look up your behavioral style (D=Dominance, I=Influencing, S=Steady, C=Cautious)

 

Personality Styles – ‘S’ = Steady

 

Description

This person’s tendencies include:

  • ⮚ Performing an accepted work pattern
  • ⮚ Sitting or Staying in one place
  • ⮚ Demonstrating patience

This person desires and environment which includes:

  • ⮚ Security of the situation
  • ⮚ Status quo unless given reasons for change

Action Plan

This person needs others who:

  • ⮚ React quickly to unexpected change
  • ⮚ Stretch toward the challenges of an accepted task

To be more effective, this person needs:

  • ⮚ Conditioning prior to change
  • ⮚ Validation of self – worth

 

 

Personality Styles – ‘C’ = Compliant

 

Description

This person’s tendencies include:

  • ⮚ Attention to key directives and standards
  • ⮚ Concentrating on key details
  • ⮚ Working under known circumstances

This person desires and environment which includes:

  • ⮚ Security assurance
  • ⮚ Standard operating procedures
  • ⮚ Sheltered environment

Action Plan

This person needs others who:

  • ⮚ Desire to expand authority
  • ⮚ Delegate important tasks

To be more effective, this person needs:

  • ⮚ To develop tolerance for conflict
  • ⮚ Opportunity for careful planning

 

Personality Styles – ‘D’ = Directing     

 

Description

This person’s tendencies include:

  • ⮚ Getting immediate results
  • ⮚ Causing action
  • ⮚ Accepting challenges

This person desires and environment which includes:

  • ⮚ Power and authority
  • ⮚ Prestige and challenge
  • ⮚ Opportunity for individual accomplishments

Action Plan

This person needs others who:

  • ⮚ Weigh pros and cons
  • ⮚ Calculate risks

To be more effective, this person needs:

  • ⮚ Difficult assignments
  • ⮚ Understanding that they need people

 

Personality Styles – ‘I’= Influencing

 

Description

This person’s tendencies include:

  • ⮚ Contacting people
  • ⮚ Making a favorable impression
  • ⮚ Verbalizing with articulateness

This person desires and environment which includes:

  • ⮚ Popularity, social recognition
  • ⮚ Public recognition of ability
  • ⮚ Freedom of expression

Action Plan

This person needs others who:

  • ⮚ Concentrate on the task
  • ⮚ Seek facts

To be more effective, this person needs:

  • ⮚ Control of time, if D or S is below the midline
  • ⮚ independence in decision-making

License

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Intro to Social Media by Cheryl Lawson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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