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Marketing to Introverts

July 8, 2009

This article is a few years old now, but I just came across it. I think it is just a good idea to keep in mind on how you are marketing to certain people.

Here are some points that she makes on marketing to introverts:

  • Use e-mail, blogs, message boards and other asynchronous online methods of communicating that allow an introvert to take time to think about what to say, then write and edit a thoughtful response.
  • Be aware when you are conducting research, such as focus groups or interviews, that introverts think carefully about what they are going to say before it comes out of their mouths. If you do not give them enough time to think about their answer, you will miss out on their insights. Use a minimum 5-second rule of silence after asking a question or between other people’s questions to give the introverts a chance to respond before you move on.
  • Do not expect an immediate purchase or change to be made once you have laid out your case. Introverts need time to process information before making a decision, and will wait until we are sure before letting you know. Don’t rush us or put us on the spot.
  • Realize that introverts may have a few close friends, but not necessarily an extensive social network. We may not be comfortable recommending your product to others we don’t know well, but be very happy to have something to talk about with our best friends. You won’t see many introverts with thousands of “friends” on MySpace.
  • Introverts hate small talk. We say what we mean and we mean what we say. And don’t make us say it again. And that means that you should also get to the point as quickly as possible.
  • Introverts love to read, so give us written information we can look over and go back to as we think about it.
  • Introverts may not tell you what we are thinking. Our innermost thoughts are private and not shared easily. Don’t assume that we agree with you just because we are being quiet. But if you give us an opportunity to give you asynchronous feedback once we’ve had a chance to think things over, we can provide lots of thoughtful comments.
  • Introverts are great in one-on-one interactions, but we often clam up in group settings. If a lot of people are talking, we may not be able to get a word in edgewise, or we may feel that what we have to say does not add enough new or interesting content to the conversation and is not worth the effort of speaking up. We don’t like to interrupt others who are talking, and we don’t like to be interrupted.
  • We like to operate independently, not as part of a team. Don’t force us to interact or compete with others in order to participate in your program.
  • Introverts prefer to deal with people we already have a relationship with. Take the time to get to know us and let us get to know you. A blog is an excellent way for an introvert to become familiar with you over time and feel comfortable interacting with you.
  • If you have a product or behavior you want an introvert to try out, let us go off and do it by ourselves rather than in front of someone. We will want to explore and make mistakes with it on our own before being comfortable with someone watching us.
  • We learn best by watching and mentally rehearsing. Provide modeling of the skills we need to develop to be successful.
  • Honor our need for privacy and personal space. Give us the option whether to self-identify as being part of your group or program – we might not want to reveal our participation.
  • Because introverts are more internally motivated, we do not succumb easily to peer pressure or following trends. The fact that everyone else is doing something doesn’t necessarily make us want to do it.
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