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It’s critical for marketers and advertisers to determine and define their audiences. Knowing who you are presenting information to is crucial to writing copy, designing graphics, and buying media. Generally, audiences are identified by demographic details like age, gender, income level, and physical location. However, this approach relies on broad generalizations. An emerging marketing trend is the use of personality types over demos to deliver marketing messages.

The “Big Five” Personalities

“The Big Five” is a very widely used and excepted profile of personality types. It’s a helpful way to break down the characteristics of five potential target audience members. First, you have “Conscientiousness,” a profile marked by thoughtfulness, empathy, and strong attention to detail. On the opposite side of the dial, you’ll find “Neuroticism,” which is characterized by moodiness, insecurity, and anxiety. The third is “Agreeableness,” and as the name would suggest, people in this profile are very kind and take pleasure in helping others. Individuals who fall into the “Openness” category seek adventure and are highly creative. Finally, people who exhibit “Extroversion” are very social and energetic.

How to Craft a Personality Type-Based Audience

Once you’re familiar with “The Big Five,” you can assign some very specific values and needs to them. Yes, these are generalizations as well, but they line up more closely with personality types than they do with demographics. If your target audience is based on personality profiles, you can match up the value proposition of your product or service to the one that is most likely to want or need it. For example, if you are selling eco-friendly notebooks, you may find “Conscientiousness” to be the most logical customer profile to pursue. If you are marketing a meditation app, you might focus on “Neuroticism.”

Creating Messaging to Reach Your Target Personality Type

Once you’ve identified your personality type target audience, the next step is crafting your messaging. As you write copy and design graphics, be sure to appeal to the attributes of the profile to whom you are speaking. If you’re pursuing “Openness,” you will want to use up-tempo music, language that invokes excitement and adventure, and designs based around experiences like mountain climbing or dining in exotic locales. If you are going after “Agreeableness,” emphasize “service,” and “help.” Support your copy with images that reflect these attributes.

Moving away from demos to personality types is a big shift and may take some getting used to. Once you’ve made a habit of it, however, you may find it to be a game-changer in the effectiveness of your marketing!