How can a INFP be successful in marketing?

Since these answers were originally to come from Mike Jay, I will keep Mike’s distaste for a blank slate approach in mind. He finds danger in proposing that anyone can be anything they want to be without taking the time to be explicit about a series of conditions which will allow that to happen based on self understanding and reality about the needs of the situation. His mantra is first know who you are – your preferences, strenghts etc. second know what the situation requires and third design an approach that allows you to be in alignment with your personality and yet find the help and resources and the system required to do the job. While this is my simplistic interpretation of Mike’s ideas the core components are consistent with his ideas and practices.

So what does this mean for an INTP in marketing?

I am not a career advisor. I will give you my thoughts based on my knowledge of the MBTI and my years of work for a graphic design firm who were involved in aspects of marketing.

Before I go any further let me point out that the MBTI preferences are only one aspect to look at and even then we do not have the benefit of understanding the distinctions that the Step 2 version of your MBTI results could shine on this career choice.

Different marketing firms have different approaches so if you are interested in working in this field, it may be a good first step to see if the culture of a particular organization is a fit for you. Since INFP’s can be sensitive and need to be in situations that align with their values, it may be of value to spend some time asking what is important about an organization that you work for? What would make that firm an entity you could stand behind?

Another thing that you might want to ask is what kind of future do you want with any marketing firm? You may be able to find an aspect of marketing that is a fit for you and allow you to express your creativity but what about moving up the ladder to more mangerial activities and on to positions where strategic thinking and analysis may become a larger part of the job?

Now to get back to what you were probably asking.

A career in marketing would surely require excellent communication skills including both oral and writing capabilities. INFP’s are assumed to have this capacity – is this true for you? If so can you write clearly, analytically and make persuasive oral presentations? If this is where you shine, can you find work in marketing that allows you to focus on this area of strength?

For some marketing is also about being creative and innovative and adding to that the ability to “walk on the wild side”. Putting new ideas forward may require a certain level of risk taking backed up by enough enthusiasm to sell the idea and carry it through to the end. This may also require being a part of a team. As a person with a preference for Introversion – how do you react to the thought of this kind of team work? Would you be comfortable to step up and deliver your ideas to team members and clients in a compelling way? If not how can you work with others so that someone else is taking on that part of the work?

My final question has to do with INFPs being strongly influenced by their internal value system. There may be times where the client needs and the needs of the marketplace dictate an approach that may not line up with how you see things. Would you be able to step back and make your commitment to the project based on analysis and bottom line business objectives?

I would love to hear from you if any of these thoughts helped to expand or confirm what you already know?

I sent out an invitation to people on Twitter and Facebook and through my blog to submit their burning MBTI questions for answer by Mike Jay. Mike is a Master Coach and a Global thinker – he may even be a one man think tank. He is a voracious learner and understands human dynamics and development which he teaches through his work at BCoach, coach training and Leadership University. Later on I will be posting some insights from the session with Mike but right now I wanted to answer these questions from my perspective as a type professional. I hope this sheds some light on these questions for you. Please ask anything that is on your mind about type in the comments below and I will do my best to answer or find another resource for you.

Category: MBTI Facts / Uncategorized
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2 Responses to “Burning MBTI Questions Answered #4”

Laura March 18, 2009

Hey Sandy,
Closely related (?) to this topic, I would love to hear your thoughts on how Introverts in general (or particularly, my INTJ/INFJ self) can go about self-marketing – promoting their own business – in a way that feels right to them. When talking to people and working a crowd isn’t your thing (in fact, the very idea downright exhausts you), what’s the best way to put the word out there about your own business?
Love the posts!

RaNee Stumpff March 26, 2009

Sandy, of course, did an excellent job answering this question. I would like to add that I personally think the key for an INFP to be successful in marketing is for them to believe in what they are marketing. There is no one more determined than an INFP working for something they believe in. As an example, Isabel Myers was an INFP and was able to successfully market the assessment tool because it was a cause that she believed in.