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Myers Briggs & Your Target Audience

Myers Briggs & Your Target Audience

The main idea of this blog entry is to use Myers Briggs Testing to further understand and define a target audience.

Let us begin with a brief background of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator.

The “MBTI” it is an instrument used to define peoples personalities. A series of questions are given to an individual and based on the results, he/she will be defined by one of the sixteen personality types. Here’s an online test if you’re interested: http://www.humanmetrics.com/cgi-win/JTypes2.asp

The personality types are broken down based on the following behaviors:

Introversion (I) Extraversion (E)
Sensing (S) Intuition (N)
Thinking (T) Feeling (F)
Judging (J) Perceiving (P)

The idea is that a person prefers one behavior over its contrasting partner (introverted or extroverted, sensing or intuitive, etc.) and based on the way the 4 preferred behaviors interact, 16 different personalities are defined (click on each acronym for a detailed description).

ISTJ – The Duty Fulfillers ESTJ – The Guardians
ISFJ – The Nurturers ESFJ – The Caregivers
ISTP – The Mechanics ESTP – The Doers
ESFP – The Performers ISFP – The Artists
ENTJ – The Executives INTJ – The Scientists
ENTP – The Visionaries INTP – The Thinkers
ENFJ – The Givers INFJ – The Protectors
ENFP – The Inspirers INFP – The Idealists

Now, let’s put this aside for a second and think about how we define our target audience. Generally speaking we have variables such as age, gender, location, education, income, martial status, ethnicity, and family and while these no doubt assist in developing a consumer profile, the idea is to combine these results with the Myer’s Briggs personally types to come up with a more precise understanding of our target audience(s).

Here’s a hypothetical example for clarification:

Let’s say we sell MP3s and our primary target audience consists of 18-25 year old, single females who enjoy classic rock. Through surveys, we also discover that the majority of this audience is ESFJs. ESFJs are described as emotional types who enjoy social interaction and stress importance on what others think about them; they are outwardly spoken and prefer a structured environment over abstractness. With these findings, we can create a classic rock landing page or focus this portion of the site on social interaction amongst members through chat, forums, blogs, etc. Additionally, the UI on this page could be standardized and comfortable and change less frequently to keep our dominant ESFJ audience more comfortable.

On the contrary, let’s say that our second target audience of young males prefer Indie and Alternative music and are mostly INTPs. INTPs are described as analytical “dreamers” who enjoy flexibility and abstraction over structure, and logic over emotion. So, for our Indie/Alternative page we also focus on social interaction, however the majority of communication here will be between the organization and its audience for the purposes of improving the site and its contents. We also give this audience the tools and freedom to change and develop aspects of the site on their own.

On the surface we know that both audiences have a desire to socialize, but by digging a little deeper with Myer’s Briggs we understand that each audience chooses to acquire this social fix in a different manner. By paying attention to and building upon these key differences we can better accommodate each target audience and interact with them more effectively.

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