Marketing Communications and Human Desires

Your perfect buyer’s personality: The three steps to effective marketing communication

In a previous blog post, I talked about how to use the Jungian archetypes to connect and communicate with your perfect buyer. Part and parcel of that is to know about your perfect buyer’s personality. Not on a superficial level, but deeper. Their most primal needs, wants, and desires. The ones they might not even be aware of. Or that they do not acknowledge. But that nevertheless structure their behavior and affect our communication.

And related: What are the building blocks of effective marketing communication? How do you communicate with your perfect buyer? How can we achieve effective marketing communication? Again and again with very little time and effort wasted? And how do we sustain it long term?

Proper messaging is the bread and butter of marketing communication.

We need to reach our perfect buyer on an elementary level to create a rewarding relationship. We have to remember that it does not matter how good our product or service is in a vacuum. Or how good we could be in helping our buyer achieve his goals. Our customer cannot appreciate what he cannot see. What matters is that we communicate our good ‘fit’ to our customers.

So, how do we communicate with our customers with very little effort wasted? We have to establish a ‘fit’ between us and our buyer and to do so, we need to know how our buyer’s ‘ticks’. We need to know the perfect buyer’s personality.

What are the conscious decisions that structure the buyer’s communication? What are the unconscious personality traits that structure how the buyer communicates? This is very important because it determines how he expects us to communicate with him.

Reducing communication to the essentials

I use the Jungian archetypes to connect and communicate with my customers. This means that I have thought a lot about my perfect buyer’s personality. I have tried to determine what their needs, wants and desires are. How these needs and desires affect the marketing communication between buyer and marketeer. How buyers might interpret our messages. And how buyers might receive our marketing material.

My conclusion? The buyer’s personality traits influence every aspect of our communication.

The Perfect Buyer’s Personality

Not surprisingly, to resonate with a buyer, you have to connect with your buyer. To connect with your buyer, you have to speak ‘their’ language. To communicate effectively with your buyer, you have to know your buyer. Inside and out. You have to be able to think like them so that you know how they will act. This is what effective marketing communication is all about.

This means drilling deep into the psyche of your buyer or customer. You already know that a buyer’s purchase decision and justification is different. A buyer will purchase something based on deep-seated perceived needs or wants. But, he will justify it to himself on a different level. He will resort to logic and rationality. Even if it does not quite fit.

So, your communication needs to work on both levels. The ‘human desires’ level that drives the purchase decision. And the rational level that helps with justifying our impulses. Usually, we marketeers are quite adept at identifying what justifications our buyers will use. And we can respond to this very well. But that is not enough to build an effective and lasting marketing communication because it leaves out an important aspect of our perfect buyer’s personality.

Let’s try to unpack this a bit more.

The reptilian mode of being

Each person has 3 modes of being: reptilian, mammalian, and logical.

For this blog post, I want to focus on the reptilian mode of being. The reptilian mode of being is the most basic mode of being. It encapsulates a person’s primal desires. These are the deep down, savage, lizard brain, flesh-driven reasons for why we act as we do and for how we make decisions.

Most people don’t admit these things out loud. Instead, they rationalize or state “socially acceptable” reasons. They may not even know that it is this reptilian mode that is driving them. Instead, people usually handle these desires in three core ways.

Here is a brief description in order of commonality:

  • They deny having them—people want to believe they’re good people. For many, their reptilian brain conflicts with this, so they try to stuff it down, pray it away, ignore it. They rationalize the irrational. If they don’t, their actions don’t match with their behaviors.
  • They rationalize them—they will admit to very close friends the desire. Then they will rationalize it to something else. For example, charity: it feels good to give, and they need it, so it’s a win-win.
  • They don’t care—their career or social standing doesn’t rely on a dichotomy of good vs bad. They don’t care how wer perceive them. They state things in a direct way. Others often will state they are “brutally honest” or “creative” or “eccentric”.

But because we don’t admit to these desires does not mean that they do not exist. We cannot rationalize these desires away, they still exist. We can overlay them with logical justifications, but they still exist. Not only do they exist, but they structure our thinking and communication patterns. We as marketers have to take these human desires into considerations. We have to look deep into our buyers if we want to establish a long-term marketing relationship. We have to understand what drives them. And we have to communicate on their level.

Talking to the desires

When writing copy for these primal desires you never state them directly. Instead, you massage the message. You make your customer understand what it would feel like to achieve their goal. To fulfill their need. You lay out what your role would be in helping them achieve their goal. You make them understand how you ‘fit’ into the achievement of their dreams.

I have compiled a shortlist of the most commonly expressed desires. Remember, everyone wants to achieve as many of these as possible. A person might tolerate less of one or the other desire, and which ones they might be willing to temporarily forgo is a very individual decision. But if all things are equal, any person would prefer to have as much of each of these as possible.

Primal Desires

  • Survival: live long and healthy
  • Protection: Safety, care, and protection for yourself and loved ones
  • Freedom: freedom from danger, fear, and pain
  • Comfort: comfortable living conditions
  • Pleasure: food, beverages, and experience pleasure
  • Relationships: sexual relations, companionship, compatibility
  • Success: to be superior, winning, keeping up with peers
  • Likability: social approval, being part of the “in” crowd

I would be amiss if I did not also mention a second class of human desires, the so-called learned desires. Unlike the primary desire, learned desires are more about a shortcut to a blend of the primary desires. But, because we in society have been taught these from a very early age, they’ve become a desire that resonates with almost all humans.

Learned Desires

  • Efficiency: maximum productivity with minimal effort
  • Convenience: saving time, money, or effort
  • Dependability & Quality: higher standards and reliability
  • Cleanliness: clean body and surroundings
  • Beauty & style: expressing oneself, pleasing the senses
  • Intelligence: being informed, understanding, intellectual
  • Curiosity: A strong desire to learn and discover
  • Profit: buying and selling for a profit, making something for a profit – Bargains: purchasing something below its real value

And finally, a class of desires specifically references our consumer behavior. You all know these, we encounter them all the time: the consumer desires.

Consumer Desires

  • Scarcity: if something’s difficult to possess, or we’re told we can’t have it, we want it more and attribute higher value to it.
  • Values: we buy things because they align with our personal values. For example, we buy something because it has a ‘Made in the USA’ label attached to it. Or we purchase something to support a charity that we value or to support a local business.
  • Individuality: the desire to stand out from the crowd. Being considered a “stand out” can take many different forms—to be the first to know, to create something viral, or to have something before anyone else does (hipster effect).

The Perfect Buyer’s Personality Conclusion

In conclusion, effective communication with your buyer has to work on all levels. On a more rational or logical level, but especially on a more primal level. You need to really understand what drives and motivates your buyer before you can effectively communicate how you can help your perfect buyer achieve his intended goals.

In short, for effective marketing communication with your perfect buyer do the following:

  1. Find out how your perfect buyer ticks, i.e. know your perfect buyer’s personality inside and out.
  2. Determine how your perfect buyer’s personality structures his expectations and communication.
  3. Structure your marketing communication and presentation of marketing materials to reflect your perfect buyer’s personality.


Ca$hvertising by Drew Eric Whitman

About the Author
William Flanagan
William is the founder and CEO of Audienti and a regular contributor to at Medium, Entrepreneur, Business Insider, and more. He is also the founder of Growmance, a free GrowthHacking Slack community. Connect with him about sales, marketing, ebikes, and music on Twitter, LinkedIn, or on Growmance.