As such, I was inspired and prompted to create this blog post addressing the 5 MBTI personality types that will thrive in a marketing career. The MBTI, otherwise known as the Myers and Briggs Type Indicator is a Personality Type theory widely used in business.
Originating from Swiss psychiatrist Carl Gustav Jung, and repackaged as the MBTI by psychologists Katharine Briggs and Isabel Myers, the complex personality theory became utilised in the workplace in order to find the right people to fit the right jobs.
For those of you who aren’t already familiar with the Myers and Briggs Type Indicator, let me give you a brief explanation of how the personality system works.
The Myers and Briggs Type Indicator assigns 4 distinct letters to each personality type, choosing between 4 personality orientations:
1. Extroversion vs Introversion – are you fuelled by the external world, or do you need a lot of time to yourself to “recharge” before you can head out into the world again?
2. Sensing vs Intuition – do you see things for what they are, or are you able to read between the lines and often have a hunch about things?
3. Thinking vs Feeling – Are you primarily driven by logic and the cold hard facts, or are you driven by your emotions and inspirations? (Be careful, this one can be tricky!)
4. Judging vs Perceiving – Do you like to plan ahead and live an organised life, or do you prefer to go with the flow?
For example, you may conclude that you are an introverted, intuitive, thinking judger or an INTJ.
In no particular order, here are 5 types I believe are fit to thrive and succeed in a career in marketing.
1. ESTP – Your charming, unfaltering salesman that can and WILL sell you anything
“Let me tell you something. There’s no nobility in poverty. I’ve been a poor man, and I’ve been a rich man. And I choose rich every fucking time.”
Yes, you are staring right into the eyes of a wolf when you talk with an ESTP salesman. The classic example of an ESTP in business is The Wolf of Wall Street – Jordan Belfort (well at least Leonardo Di’Caprio starring him did an excellent representation).
Not to say that the ESTP personality type is a bad one, but those of you that have seen the movie know why that would be an implication! Greed, indulgence, money, sex, drugs… and anything related to instant gratification in the material world would normally drive the ESTP marketer.
Now ESTPs are great people and they make awesome friends – they’re “street-smart,” adventurous, fun risk-takers and “tell it like it is.” There is nothing to hate and everything to love about an ESTP. That’s part of the reason they make such excellent marketers. Their charisma and charm is better than yours, and they love to make money. They have economical and profit-maximising minds that can sometimes cause them trouble. They can sometimes be short sighted due to their short-term focus. They also enjoy games. While this makes ESTPs not the ideal personality type to enter a serious long-term relationship with (recall The Wolf of Wall Street movie), it makes them awesome marketers due to their competitive nature. Sales targets and monetary incentives were designed for these people. Failure is never an option to them. They are out there to win, and will be the first to leap at the opportunity.
2. ENTP – Your persuasive, inventive and entrepreneurial marketer who comes up with the innovations that will change the world.
Who is responsible for some of the greatest innovations in the 20th century? Who are the inventors in the MBTI?
Think Steve Jobs. Think ENTPs.
“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
– Steve Jobs, Co-founder and former Chairman and CEO of Apple Inc.
Like the ESTP, ENTPs are also extroverted, daring risk-takers. Unlike ESTPs, ENTPs differ by one letter – that makes a world of a difference. They are intuitive, which gives them an inventive and creative edge. They also tend to be more cerebral and less likely to get themselves into trouble due to their intuitive nature – or ability to see what is not readily apparent. This is what makes them brilliant entrepreneurs and marketers. They come up with the most crazy, yet monumental business ideas that will entice the world. Remember when an Apple fell on Newton’s head and he came up with the theory of gravity? The Apple that struck Steve Jobs’ head was his vision for “a computer for all of us” – and how great was that idea?
At the same time, ENTPs are trouble-shooters. They like to play the devil’s advocate and tell you everything that’s wrong with your business, which is one of the reasons why so many business ideas they generated go unfinished or are abandoned half way. They have interests in so different fields that they often don’t know where to start. However, when working with someone who can help refine the ENTP’s inventions, those crazy ideas can come into fruition and will change how people view the world. Steve Jobs wouldn’t have done it either without Steve Wozniak!
3. ENFP – Your inspiring and enthusiastic marketer who will go to incredible lengths to sell their vision to the world, and make their fantastical dreams a reality.
- Walt Disney, Co-founder of Disney
ENFPs are the hippies, the campaign throwers, the protesters – they are the ultimate supporters of a good cause. It’s no surprise that an ENFP will become a great marketer due to their enthusiasm in fighting for their beliefs. For this reason, they can be the best brand ambassadors for not-for-profit organisations, or whichever industries they are passionate about. ENFPs like to work on a grand scale; they like to believe that their business ventures are having an impact on greater social issues in the world. Their upbeat personalities, authentic enthusiasm and willpower to truly make a difference will take them very far in marketing, particularly in PR roles. They will be the ones you would want as a “face” for your company or brand.
ENFPs often have fantastical or whimsical interests. They are extroverted, intuitive, emotional and happy-go-lucky people – attributes that describe a fun-loving artist. Walt Disney, for example, was never just the CEO or founder of Disney. He became “one” with his business, even being a voice-actor for his films, truly embodying the essence of his brand. The ENFP is like the ENTP minus the devil’s advocacy, but added a dash of rainbow and a sprinkle of glitter.
“I’ve used one adjective to describe myself. What is it? Professional.”
– Gustavo Fring, Breaking Bad
ENTJs are visionaries and perfectionists at their core. They have hard goals that they want to achieve, empires they want to build and high standards they want to reach – which they WILL. More than any other extroverted type, ENTJs understand the idea that “hard work pays off” and they honour their professionalism, wearing their suit and tie with pride. More importantly, they know how to work smart and strategically to eventually, become the best in their field.
Gus Fring, an ENTJ, portrays a drug kingpin who operates an underground meth business in the popular TV show ‘Breaking Bad.’ Minus the whole illegal drug business thing, ENTJs will succeed at almost anything they put their mind to – not just marketing. These guys are natural leaders and are strategic like no other. Along with their introverted counterparts, the INTJ (Walter White from Breaking Bad), they can be masterminds in business and subtly make everything go according to their plans. Their extroverted, intuitive nature can give them a real knack for marketing strategy and CRM, while their thinking and judging characteristics will make them work til death for the success of their enterprise. In marketing, half of it goes to hard work and persistence, right?
5. INFJ – Your perfectionistic visionary who lives to dream, and dreams to live – the one who is determined to actualise their dreams and use their people skills that border on a psychic ability to change the world (or at least the field they specialise in)
“Don’t ever let the dreamer inside you disappear. Run after it, because it will lead you to something beautiful.”
– Michelle Phan, YouTube Beauty Guru & Entrepreneur
INFJs like to dream – day and night. And they’re not just dreamers – they’re also doers. These magical unicorns have a dream that they will work relentlessly on, pouring their hearts and souls into, until they achieve what they have set for themselves. But the dreams never end. Once one goal is achieved, in comes another, and another… and another.
Michelle Phan is constantly expanding her beauty empire on the Internet and on social media. Her ability to build an entire brand around herself is impeccable. Her beauty channel on YouTube has over 7 million subscribers and generated over 1 billion views, but it doesn’t stop there. She takes advantage of her Internet popularity to start a multi-million dollar monthly beauty product subscription service named ‘Ipsy’, and her own cosmetics line ‘Em Cosmetics’. And as if all of that wasn’t enough, she decides to launch her own music label ‘Shift’ and release a motivational book (see image above). At the end of the day, people often forget that she’s only 28 years of age!
There is no doubt that Michelle is an over-achiever. But for Michelle, business is really about turning all of her visions and dreams into reality. As an INFJ, her natural ability to envision a plausible future for her business ventures, coupled with her intuitive insight into her target market, makes her one hell of a marketer/businesswoman/entrepreneur.
Let’s be real. We all know anyone can work well in business and marketing if they wanted to, but some people are just cut out for it.
Do you identify with any of the 5 types I have outlined? Have you ever encountered marketers like these ones? Let us know in the comments.