The 4 personality types…

… and why some tattooed ex-musician thinks your niching isn't working anymore.

There was a great post by Mitch Miller the other day about niching & paid traffic, and how he thinks you're doing it wrong.  (Mitch has a pretty interesting past. Well worth a read.)

And he's right, you know. (Me too until I read his post, by the way…)

Mitch is essentially saying:

  1. If you're not niching then you're already dead. (You must know this already though, as you probably can't get paid traffic to work.)
  2. If you're niching by, say, job title or industry, then you're dying, you just don't know it yet. (Facebook has already run out of space to serve your ads to your target market).
  3. The new way to niche is by personality within your sector or occupation.

You know how much I love examples, so let's look at my favourite sector: Vets.

The Old Way: Niching by animal

‘Vicky the Vet' is smart (and is also a figment of my imagination).

She doesn't just run advertising to all animal owners.


She knows that the most profitable clients own one of the following animals:

  1. Cats
  2. Dogs
  3. Horses
  4. Rabbits

(Of course, there are lots of other animals she can treat, but she knows that targeting these four types will bring in the most profit per client).

So she runs 2 Facebook adverts – one to owners of dogs and one to owners of cats.

Clever eh?

She makes sure that she runs the cat advert to the people FB thinks has cats and the dog advert goes in front of dog owners.

Last year that would have worked well.

But now, most advertisers know to do this, so dog owners are seeing lots of adverts like this.

The New Way: Niching also by personality types

What Mitch is suggesting is that in addition to segmenting dog owners, you now need to write several adverts, each designed to appeal to dog owners with different personality types.

Now the subject of personality types is v-a-s-t.

(I know this because my wife, who's a psychologist, did her Masters degree on it, and still admits she's only just scratched the surface.)

However, she says that it is generally accepted by academics that there are 16 personality types.

And the brilliant website groups these into 4 main types:

  1. Sentinels* (Operation nerds who love rules – E.g. Warren Buffet)
  2. Analysts (Thinkers who love problems – E.g. Stephen Hawkins)
  3. Diplomats (Coaching/empathetic-types who love people – E.g. Tony Robbins)
  4. Explorers (Entrepreneurs who love challenges – E.g. Steve Jobs)

*Yeah, I had to look this word up too. It means protector or guard.

Of course, this is a vastly simplified version of the Myers Briggs theory, but unless you want to clear your diary for the next week and learn the complete theory, we'll just go with this for now.

So let's use our Sentinels/Analysts/Diplomats/Explorers (SADE*) framework to rework these adverts.

How do I remember this SADE framework? Easy. Just sing, “You're a smooth copywriter…” to Sade's song, ‘You're a Smooth Operator“.

You. Are. Welcome.

Now let's niche down our Dog advert to appeal to the 4 personality types.

1. ‘Sentinel' Dog Owners

Remember: Sentinels like rules & structure, so here's an advert targeted just for them.

Notice how in this copy I have:

  • Emphasised that there are rules that can be followed
  • Ensured the ‘Call to Action' is a structured document that appeals to the data-driven mind
  • Explained that it is data they are lacking

2. ‘Analyst' Dog Owners

Remember: Analysts like thinking & creating theories, so here's an advert targeted at them:

Notice how in this copy, I have:

  • Acknowledged they might already have a theory about their dog's illness
  • Named the ‘Call to Action' as a ‘cheatsheet' implying the dog owner just needs to confirm their suspicions (Analysts like being right!)
  • Explained that they just need confirmation from a professional

3. ‘Diplomat' Dog Owners

Remember: Diplomats love people and are hugely empathetic, so here's their advert.

Notice how in this copy, I have:

  • Really twisted the knife and told them their dog could be in constant pain and it might be their fault (one of the biggest fears of a Diplomat is causing grief in someone else)
  • Named the ‘Call to Action' in a positive way, showing them how much happier their dog will be if they download it.
  • Explained that it's not their fault – they just need to know how to make their dog happy

4. ‘Explorer' Dog Owners

Explorers are highly spontaneous and comfortable with uncertainty, so here's how I would appeal to them.

Notice in this copy, I have:

  • Emphasised the unknown and suggested there's new things they can discover
  • Renamed the ‘Call to Action' to appeal to someone who wants to discover new ideas.
  • Offered a journey of discovery to learn new things about their dog

Running the adverts

The overall idea behind doing 4 adverts like this is that my interest group (Dog Owners) is likely to be broadly split up into these 4 personality types.

So if this was a real campaign:

  • I'd create 4 very similar landing pages, but each tweaked to appeal to one of the four personality types
  • I'd have the same downloadable guide, but rename it for each personality type and make sure the right guide was on the right page
  • I'd test running these 4 adverts to the same interest group (competing with each other), but have different headlines & make sure the images were related to each personality type
  • I'd also want to exclude showing my advert to anyone who has downloaded my guide (but this is probably what you would do too)
  • I would probably test optimising for reach, because I want as many people as possible to see each of the 4 adverts.
  • I'd make sure that the pixel was firing on the landing page as well as the thank you page, so I can group all the people who visit it, but don't download, as the relevant SADE personality types (this would allow me to run future adverts to each custom audience based on the exact personality I suspect they have).

And that's how I would niche down based on personality.

As always, please feel free to steal any, some or all of these ideas for your own campaigns. Oh and follow Mitch Miller on Facebook – he posts some great stuff.