The DISC personality types affect small business marketing in ways that we cannot see because of the way that we interact with the world, our business and our marketing style. Here is how small business marketing is presented AND received by DISC personality type.
Personality type is a major force in shaping who we are as people, and how we react to things in both our environment and our world. Marketing is a way for small business owners to sell their products and services and must be directed towards the correct type of clients who are willing to make that purchase. This article will detail the ways in which a person's personality type shapes how small businesses conduct marketing and also how that marketing is received by potential clients.
The DISC Profile works well for understanding different personalities, how they present their marketing, and how they receive marketing messages. “DISC is the four quadrant behavioral model based on the work of William Moulton Marston Ph.D. (1893 – 1947) to examine the behavior of individuals in their environment or within a specific situation. DISC looks at behavioral styles and behavioral preferences.” (Wikipedia)
We will look at all four of the DISC personality types in this article: “D” or dominant personalities, “I” or influence, “S” or steady and “C” or compliant personalities.
High “D” people are described as demanding, forceful, egocentric, strong willed, driving, determined, ambitious, aggressive, and pioneering. These are the people likely to start and run a successful small business. They are motivated and undeterred by adversity, soldiering on through tough times.
High “I” people are described as convincing, magnetic, political, enthusiastic, persuasive, warm, demonstrative, trusting, and optimistic. They can also be a driving force in growing a business, relying on personal contact to grow their customer base and make sales.
High “S” people are calm, relaxed, patient, possessive, predictable, deliberate, stable, consistent, and tend to be unemotional and poker faced. These people are unlikely to be swayed by marketing messages (even compelling ones) and are generally not going to be lured by the opportunity to start a new business from scratch.
High “C” people are careful, cautious, exacting, neat, systematic, diplomatic, accurate, and tactful. These people are unlikely to start a small business BUT are very likely to serve as the “right hand” of a small business owner. They are excellent support people who are integral in making the business successful, setting up systems, handling payroll and making sure that product or service levels are met.
Marketing Done By Personality Types
High “D” marketers are very direct and to the point, frequently leaving off details of their product or service that other personality types require for making buying decisions. They tend to focus on selling features of the product or service rather than selling how the product will benefit the client. High “D” marketers need to be especially aware that everyone does not process information in 5 second bites the way that they do and structure their message accordingly.
High “I” marketers tend to jump from new marketing idea to new marketing idea, always searching for the next big thing that will make their business skyrocket. They should be aware that for marketing to work, it must be part of a cohesive plan which requires time to produce results and analysis to gauge effectiveness.
High “S” marketers will set their marketing plans up, crafting all the details and then continue on that course throughout the lifecycle of the product. There is very little room for change based on feedback from their clients and the message can get stale. While a consistent message is a good thing, these marketers should be aware that what works for them today may not work for the life cycle of their product or service.
High “C” marketers are generally the opposite of High “D” marketers; they have ALL the details of the product. Their copy tends to be long and fact filled, requiring the consumer to do research within the message. These marketers have lots of tools available and assume that their viewers will dig down into the message to find them. High “C's” will need to make sure to highlight points that are pertinent to a buying decision, and then provide additional information for the viewer to read through.
Marketing Received By Personality Types
Headlines and features are important to High “D” buyers. High “D's” want just the facts. If they see a message that is compelling enough to catch their attention, they will stop and dig into the “meat” of the offer, but you will lose them if there is not something immediately interesting about your product or service prominently displayed. High “D's” generally make buying decisions quickly and expect to implement your product or service immediately upon purchase.
High “I” buyers will read through your message, if you present it in a compelling way. They are looking for new things to try and are willing to learn more about your product or service if they think it will help their business. With these buyers you should have lots of testimonials and feedback from other clients who have found good use for your offering. They make buying decisions quickly and will work with you to get the new product or service in place.
High “S” buyers are not looking for new products. They are happy with the status quo and are set in their ways. If you have something that will make their company more productive or revolutionize their business, you will have to send them that message over and over, expect multiple sales calls and a long implementation schedule. The beauty of selling to this type of client is that once you have the sale, they are unlikely to change vendors anytime soon!
High “C” buyers need A LOT of documentation to make a buying decision. They will want to know all of the product specifications, how they will implement your product or service, pricing, and will be willing to spend a lot of time researching before purchasing. These people will require multiple sales calls prior to purchasing in order to make sure that they have a good understanding of the entire process.
As a marketer, knowing your (and your potential client's) personality type can help you craft the most effective marketing possible. Watch out that you do not assume that everyone will react to your marketing efforts the way that you would. Make the most of your small business marketing efforts by finding trusted advisors from other personality types to help provide feedback on your ideas, assuring that you will appeal to the broadest range of potential clients possible.