How To Read Your Marketing DNA Score
There is no “right” or “wrong” answer to any question, and there is no “good” or “bad” score. There is only your preferred way to communicate and persuade.
Eight core skills come into play when you have to persuade, sell, market, or publicize:
Producer – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Alchemist
Recorded – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Live
Words – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Images
Analytics – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – Empathy
No matter who you are, how you naturally persuade falls along one of these four continuums. The most important thing you can know about yourself as a marketer is what mix works best for you.
Different people sell very differently, but everyone has to sell some of the time ,even people in totally “non-sales” careers, like scientists, accountants and soccer moms! Everyone wants to do a better job of harnessing their natural persuasion skills.
Many of the ways you’ve tried to sell in the past have been jamming square pegs into round holes. And you’re not the only one who’s struggled with that – almost everyone has.
If you spend your life developing your weaknesses, at the end of your life you’ll have a collection of strong weaknesses. However if you build on your strengths, and hand off tasks outside your strength areas to others, you earn compound interest on your efforts. Eventually you develop a natural groove and possess a persuasion style that’s all your own.
The DNA score itself tells part of the story. But the list of LIKES and DISLIKES with their respective font sizes is equally important and expresses an additional dimension of your skill set.
That’s because it’s possible to be a Producer and an Alchemist, or analytical and empathetic. The LIKES with the largest fonts tell you your strength combinations. Similarly, it’s combinations of DISLIKES that tell you what to avoid.
The Marketing DNA Test does not measure your skills in various areas. Rather, it measures your natural preferences.
Any particular score and blend of likes and dislikes is literally one in a million. But even if two people were to get the same score, one might be a complete beginner with undeveloped skills, while the other has achieved a high level of mastery. If you’re just starting out in sales and marketing, or if you’re in a non-sales profession and you’re just trying to understand how you persuade, the descriptions indicate how effective you will be when your chops are fully developed.
An Alchemist is the person who turns lead into gold. Inventing, innovating, creating, generating, re-combining.
Alchemists prize originality. They dislike doing the same thing twice. They generally resist following instructions and often make things from scratch just because they can – whether or not it’s a good idea. Alchemists drive methodical people (Producers) crazy, but ironically, on a team each needs the other in order to produce a balanced, holistic result.
The extreme Alchemist – a person who scores high and whose report shows Alchemy in large font – is a person who prefers to solve most problems and express himself or herself by creating.
An organization with too many Alchemists and not enough Producers thrives on fantastic ideas but has trouble implementing them. An organization with too many Producers and not enough Alchemists gets everything done but never seems to do anything interesting.
If your greatest strength and largest font is Alchemist, that means that every other strength you have is driven by your ‘alchemy gene.’ An Alchemist whose next greatest strength is “Words” will write and speak with originality. An Alchemist whose #2 strength is “Images” will naturally create visual presentations.
An Alchemist whose #2 strength is “Live” improvises everything on the spot. An Alchemist whose #2 strength is “Recorded” likes to create over an extended period of time and have plenty of time to refine his or her ideas.
If you are an Alchemist, you need to find selling situations that capitalize on your appetite for uniqueness. You shouldn’t be selling from a script. You might be the person who develops the scripts in the first place, then moves on, leaving the Producer to implement and enforce what you’ve created.
A Producer adheres to plans, follows routines, makes things predictable. A Producer is the person who arranges, systematizes, codifies, plans, scripts and stages everything.
Producers are generally not interested in novelty or originality. Producers hate surprises. They embrace systems and processes, things that are tried and true. If your #1 strength and largest font LIKE is “Producer,” then all of your communication is driven by your preference for rules, regularity and procedures.
An Alchemist and Producer can be the same person, but rarely. Generally the Alchemist needs a Producer in order to harness his creative forces.
If you’re an Alchemist, you can generate a million ideas a minute and you need to find a Producer or none will probably get executed. If you’re a Producer, you struggle with innovating and re-inventing and creating juicy ideas. You need an Alchemist.
Words denotes a person whose strength is either writing or talking. High Recorded + High Words = writer. High Live + High Words = speaker. If your #1 strength is Words, every other strength is driven by your passion for language. You obsess about expressing ideas in just the right way. An “almost right” word is not good enough. It has to be the right word and right phrase in right context.
Images refers to the person who prefers to communicate visually, whether through photographs, drawings, videos, charts, graphs or live demonstrations. If your #1 strength is Images, it means the first thing you’re prone to do is figure out how to show somebody something they can see.
In direct marketing, Writers sometimes don’t need Images people, but Images people almost always need Writers. The biggest difference between a good movie and a great movie, a good vs. great TV show, is the writing. If you’re a Writer then depending on how long and scripted you like to be, you’re doing emails, blog posts, sales letters, radio and video scripts. Copywriters (Words) and designers (Images) are famous for their conflicts, but each really does need the other.
Occasionally, someone will be really good at both. They can write their own ticket.
Live vs. Recorded: This is a big deal and nobody talks about it near enough. Some people are fantastic on the spot. They absolutely shine when the pressure’s on, and usually they can’t even remember what they said 5 minutes later.
Live: You sell from the stage. You sell in person. You negotiate when the pressure’s on. You get on the webinar or get in front of the client and you basically “wing it.
A Live Alchemist doesn’t need a script or a plan, he can improvise on the spot. A Live Producer needs a plan and a strategy ahead of time, and must know the expectations. But he will execute that plan with perfection, under pressure.
Recorded (“Is it live or is it Memorex?”): You like to sell from inside your cave. You don’t want to be in front of ‘em; you want to hone your story to perfection first. You don’t like to get a hard “yes” or a “no” from one person – too much rejection. You’d rather get your answer from a report that says you got a 1.36% response rate.
Some people prefer to meticulously script everything they do. Write it, plan it, edit it, produce it to the hilt. One of the most successful teleseminar / webinar marketers in the business does pre-recorded teleseminars that appear to be live but are actually carefully engineered.
Some of us are in between. Some of us need to be somewhat scripted and somewhat prepared. We need to have some idea what we’re going to talk about, and planning everything to perfection is too much work.
Empathy is probably THE most important thing in copywriting and marketing in general. People with high empathy have an almost psychic sense of what people want, aspire to, feel, experience, loathe and fear. A bunch of MBA’s with no empathy is a totally “logical” proposition that nobody ever seems to buy into. Every sales and marketing team needs at least one high-empathy person and that person will be crucial for the scripting, messaging and strategy.
But Empathy without Analytics is the Google AdWords campaign with great ads that’s a screwed-up mess. It’s the salesman who thinks he can sell his way out of any situation but struggles with feast and famine cycles, because he doesn’t pay enough attention to the numbers.
Analytics: In the 21st century a guy or gal with an extremely analytical bent has all kinds of magic powers in a marketing organization, especially online where everything is measurable. He or she will almost always need to be surrounded by Alchemists and copywriters, and together they make a formidable team.
When you’re a data driven person, you have to be in the game for the long term. The sprint is a losing proposition – Suzie Personality is way too persuasive in the short run. Many analytical people are introverts; in fact they could never do what they do if they weren’t. The analytical marketer usually needs the support of company leadership to let the data determine what decisions get made and not give into the whims of the latest fad or trend.
When you put an Analytical person in a sales situation that doesn’t require Analytics, he’s got no reason for existing. The schmoozers walk all over him. Put schmoozers in a situation that requires Analytics, and they go running for the door. If you’re a data driven person, you want to find situations where your data will be the criteria by which decisions are made; otherwise you’ll be frustrated and not feel listened to.
Occasionally you find an analytical person with Empathy. This is also a person who can write his own ticket.
Chameleons are folks who score right down the middle on most or all the categories – 4’s, 5’s and 6’s across the board. If that’s you, most the font sizes of your likes and dislikes will be small. Being a Chameleon means you can wear a lot of hats in an organization. You’re very flexible and you can handle most jobs competently. Chameleons are great team members for Eccentrics.
People who have multiple low or high digits are called Eccentrics. If you have two or more 0’s, 1’s, 2’s, 8’s, 9’s or 10’s, that means you have very strong preferences. You are the opposite of a chameleon. Your skill set is very polarized and most likely your strengths are very strong. Likewise your weaknesses are likely very weak and it’s necessary for you to surround yourself with (a) Chameleons, and (b) Eccentrics whose strengths complement your weaknesses, in order to achieve your full potential.
Eccentrics need Chameleons badly. Chameleons are usually needed to help opposing Eccentrics understand each other an be productive. A strong Alchemist will normally have a difficult time working with a strong Producer. But those two with a chameleon who can bridge the gap can be a very powerful team of three or more.
If you disagree with part of your test result, that’s fine. But before you dismiss a part that you disagree with, please check with someone who has worked with you. All of us have blind spots and the DNA Test may highlight strengths that you’ve been missing.
There’s always a few people who read their test result and say “Yeah, but let’s get real. It’s not like I can just stop doing stuff I don’t like to do.” Please reconsider that. There are probably lots of tasks you can perform, and do perform, which are slow or laborious because they’re not in your natural groove. Other people love to do things you hate. You should shed any sense of obligation that might prevent you from trading tasks you’re OK at for tasks you really excel at.
This index shows you what strength areas you should pursue and develop, and what areas frankly aren’t worth bothering with. Build on your strengths. Organize a team of people whose strengths match your weaknesses. Life is too short to fight our nature – we’ve got more important battles to win.
How is the Marketing DNA Test helping you understand yourself, your gifts, and the skills of your team? Post your comments below.