How to use AI personality profiling for B2B engagement

Learn the benefits of AI personality profiling, from reaching a wider audience to honing in on what your audience values most.

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Every day we form impressions of the people we meet. We assess their trustworthiness, credibility and level of friendliness based on our interactions.

In business, we often assess contacts based on how they will — or will not — support what we’re promoting. Will they be an advocate or influencer? Will they be skeptical or feel threatened?

This can extend to organizations or industries. We describe organizations as being “data-driven” or “research-based” and industries as “cutting edge” or “slow-moving” to help us understand how to position ourselves and improve our messaging. 

With AI personality profiling tools, we can become more familiar with an audience, segment or industry before we even engage with it. B2B marketing, usually kept at arm’s reach from customers, can now know them as well as account managers who have long-standing customer relationships. Here’s what this means for B2B marketing organizations.

What are AI personality profiling tools?

When it comes to engaging with customers or potential clients, understanding preferences and behaviors is key. This has traditionally been done through surveys, focus groups or other forms of direct communication. 

However, AI personality profiling tools provide a new and more efficient way to gain insights into your target audience. They use algorithms to analyze a variety of data points (i.e., social media activity, online searches, and even speech patterns) to identify patterns and traits indicating a person’s personality type. This information lets you create more personalized and effective marketing campaigns.

One of the biggest advantages of AI personality profiling is the ability to reach a wider audience while still tailoring your message to each individual. In the past, developing different personas and buyer journeys could be time-consuming and require a lot of guesswork. AI tools can quickly and easily identify commonalities within your audience and develop targeted content.

Another benefit is the ability to uncover hidden insights about an organization’s corporate culture. By analyzing its leadership team’s personalities and behaviors, you can better understand its values and priorities. This can help you tailor your messaging to fit the company’s culture and present your solution in a way that will most likely resonate with decision-makers.

Dig deeper: Using psychology and better data practices to get customers closer to purchase

How AI personality profiling can reshape your marketing strategy

We recently profiled the personalities of the C-suite executives at a Fortune 500 company. Although diversifying board rooms has helped bring a wider variety of individuals with different life experiences and points of view, one area has not been diversified. 

Perhaps best described as “birds of a feather flock together,” an individual’s personality type often dictates their profession or the industry where they work. Of the senior executives we profiled, 21 out of 22 executives had the same personality type. 

This is an extreme example of a concentrated personality type. Typically, we find only one dominant type in 60-70% of the executive team. We also found a dominant personality type of Fortune 500 executives, 58% of the CEOs. 

A homogenous population is a marketer’s dream. It means a “one size fits all” messaging and content approach. The other benefit it provides is insight into the corporate culture. The company we profiled is in the construction industry, with the dominant personality type being analogous to a “project manager.”

Given the dominance of the personality type, it is safe to assume that the corporate culture is a “get it done” environment. That nugget of wisdom is gold for sales. This type of environment signals that if it isn’t broken, it will not get fixed. 

Trying to sell a “nice to have” will be virtually impossible, but selling a “need to have” should be easier. In particular, if you can find a burning need or demonstrate an advantage gained by the new solution. 

Dig deeper: How to be charismatic: Marketing with charm, heart and personality

A chance to hone in on what your audience values

Finding the “pain” and then building the argument for the business case will attract your audience’s attention. The greatest advantage in understanding their personality is knowing their behaviors and motivations. 

For example, the “project manager” mindset is motivated by achievement, career advancement and recognition. Their behavior is to be heads down, so you have to interrupt them in order to get their attention. 

To do this, you’ll need to align to their personal content preferences (which are industry-specific case studies) and use and business cases. They also prefer references, especially peers in the same role and industry. 

All of this can be known, created and executed without ever having a conversation with a prospect. 

AI profiling tools are simple to use and can easily provide new insights into audiences. It opens the door for creating new personas, buyer journeys and, most importantly, better content. 

And you know what loves a homogenous population and insights about them more than marketers? Machines. All of this information can be fed into AI content generators. 

Birds of a feather do flock together, and with AI tools you can know exactly what type of bird you’re hunting and how to knock them out of the sky. 

Dig deeper: How marketers can use cognitive biases to influence customer decisions

AI personality profiling alone is not enough

AI personality profiling has its limitations. It’s crucial to recognize that personality types are dynamic and can evolve. Moreover, exclusively depending on data-driven insights may hinder empathy and a comprehensive understanding of the human experience.

Leverage AI personality profiling if you’re looking to gain valuable audience insights and enhance your marketing campaigns. But for a holistic approach, make sure to complement it with other research and communication methods.

To learn more about how to use AI tools in B2B, join me at The MarTech Conference on September 27 at 11:35 a.m. Registration is free. I hope to see you there. 

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Scott Gillum
Scott is the Founder and CEO of Carbon Design. Prior to founding Carbon Design, he was the President of the Washington, DC office for Merkle (a Dentsu agency), the world’s largest B2B agency.

His career follows the pipeline. Starting at the bottom closing deals as a sales rep. Then as a management consultant after graduate school, helping clients build sales and marketing channels. Advertising broadened his knowledge and experience in building brands and creating awareness.

Along the way, he’s been the head of marketing for an Inc. 500 company, and an interim CMO for a Fortune 500 company. Today, Scott helps clients improve the effectiveness of their marketing efforts up and down the funnel. From transitioning to digital to finding new ways to communicate, connect, and motivate audiences.

Scott has been a member of the Gartner for Marketing Leaders Council and he writes a monthly column for several publications on business marketing.  In the past, he has been a regular contributor to publications such as Forbes, Fortune, Adage, the Huffington Post and he has contributed to various books on marketing. Additionally, his work on sales and marketing integration was made into a Harvard Business School Case Study and is taught at leading business schools across the nation.

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