September 1, 2015

Should you celebrate being an introvert? (on your own of course)

By Paul Laughlin

As a natural introvert, I’ve sometimes struggled over the years to cope with the social aspects of business life. It can seem that corporate life & the networking needed to expand your stakeholder influence, favour the obvious extroverts.

Plus, it has seemed that Marketing leaders are disproportionately extroverts. Those who assume their leadership teams draw energy in the same way (rather than needing to recharge with “me time“).

So, it’s been refreshing to read a couple of interesting articles on understanding introverts & even celebrating their unique strengths. Effective people leadership includes being able to get the best out of both personality types.

Is Marketing For Introverts?

The first is this interesting thought piece from the content marketing platform providers, CoSchedule. They make the case for today’s content-led marketing suiting introvert personality types.

Given many authors are more introverted, it make sense but does cut across the stereotype of extrovert, gregarious marketing types. I have certainly seen (and mentored) more introverted analytics leaders go on to successful careers within wider marketing roles.

Is Marketing For Introverts? Unlock Your Potential

Always a shy child, my mother approached me during my high school career and informed me that I was to send in an application to the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership seminar. “I don’t want to go to that,” I informed her. “There will be lots of people I don’t know there.”

If you enjoyed that article, I’d also recommend clicking for the free download brochure on the topic. It is a handy PDF aide memoire.

Designing for your introverted customers

The next content on this topic, to catch my eye, was shared on Marketing Experiments Blog from MECLabs. It shares the results of an experiment undertaken by University of Cambridge in association with Visual DNA. The latter provided a categorisation of Facebook users into Extrovert of Introvert based on online behaviour. Together they then developed two variants of a beauty brand ad (one designed for extroverts & the other for introverts).

Their results make compelling reading. Overall the ads generated over 6m impressions and generated $20k in return for an ad spend of $6.3k. The really interesting result however is the differential in ROI of the two variants of the ads when displayed to either target personality type or the other. The ad designed for introverts delivered a 30% higher ROI (over 400%) when displayed to introverts than extroverts. So, should you think of targeting introverted advertising too?

Personality Matters: How one company doubled its ROI by customizing ads based on personality – MarketingExperiments

Today’s algorithms can reliably predict people’s personality traits just by analyzing their Facebook updates. As marketers, we have the ability to use the digital footprint data of your customers to build more effective campaigns. Read on to learn about the ROI results from a rest test of customized ads based on personality traits.

It would be good to see more response and conversion results, in wider trials. But, it looks like something to consider in the diversity of content designs to test.

What about those introverts with nerdy jobs?

Of course, for some professions, they risk being labelled as introvert whatever their personality. This is due to public perceptions of the job they do. One such group is scientists. Research has consistently shown that the general public perceive scientists as introverted white coat wearing geeks who are happiest staying in their labs. So, it’s encouraging to see the US Science Advisory Board also use research to test these assumptions.

In this recent article from Quirks magazine, Quentin Kreilmann shares the results of polling 1,478 scientists. It’s interesting to see how early most of them decide on “the life scientific” and the motivation they share of feeling they have made a meaningful difference to the world through their work. But as Quentin remarks, perhaps the most interesting finding is the consistency of answers across the world & different demographics.

New study helps researchers sketch a portrait of the modern-day scientist | Articles |

Editor’s note: Quentin Kreilmann is manager of The Science Advisory Board, an international community of scientific and medical experts, Washington D.C. People around the world tend to think of scientists as intellectual introverts with a quirky fixation.

Do you struggle with being an introvert? Further reading…

Whether you would class yourself as an introvert or an extrovert, I hope you found that content useful.

Do you or members of your team ever struggle with being more introverted? Have they found how to play to their strengths? Do share with the rest of us, whatever our personality type.

Finally, there is much much more to say about embracing being an introvert & how to best play to your introverted strengths. One book that I am happy to recommend you check out is Quiet, the power of introverts in a world that can’t stop talking by Susan Cain. Here is a detailed review of how that book could help you embrace your introversion: