— July 31, 2019
What public personality traits do top female marketers share?
To be a marketer, you need to be smart, creative, analytical, and strategic.
To be a top public marketer—someone with an authoritative public persona and large, loyal following—you need another set of traits. You need characteristics that bring your unique knowledge and perspective to life so you can draw in audiences and keep people interested in you and your ideas.
To find out what those traits are, especially as they pertained to top female marketers, we turned to IBM Watson.
How to Identify Personality Traits of Top Female Marketers
IBM Watson is an advanced computer that uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to build data models. (You might remember IBM Watson from back when it won a game of Jeopardy! in 2011.) One segment of IBM Watson’s powerful data analysis can be used to uncover personality traits.
The Personality Insights Model uses the psychology of language and a data analytics algorithms to create personality profiles based on content input.
My team at Fractl used this model to find out what types of public personas top female marketers have. They picked ten top female marketers:
- Ann Handley
- Aleyda Solis
- Amish Gandhi
- Amy Porterfield
- Mari Smith
- Kim Garst
- Olga Andrienko
- Paa Moore
- Tyrona Heath
- Amy Vernon
Then, we plugged their Tweets into IBM Waton’s Personality Insights Model. Using 2,500 words for each marketer, they created a personality profile that rated 30 personality traits on a scale of 0-1. Traits with scores over 0.5 indicated a greater than average tendency for a characteristic. Traits with scores less than 0.5 indicated a less than average tendency for a characteristic.
From the analysis, we looked at the data to see what top female marketers have in common and what makes them unique.
Similarities: Common Dominant Traits
The most common dominant personality trait of female marketers is as Activity Level/Energetic. Six out of ten had this as their top-defining characteristic, which describes someone who moves “about quickly, energetically, and vigorously, and they are involved in many activities.” Only two female marketers (Ann Handley and Amy Vernon) didn’t have this characteristic as one of their top five qualities.
This could indicate that people like to follow marketers who take action, are busy and motivated, and who encourage others to do the same.
Coming in a close second for dominant personality traits was Adventurousness. While not ranked as highly as Activity Level/Energetic, Adventurousness was also a top-five quality shared by eight of the women on the list. (Only Amy Vernon and Tyrona Heath didn’t show this quality.)
Adventurousness describes people who “are eager to try new activities and experience different things.” In the ever-changing field of marketing, it’s not surprising that being open to new ideas is a common quality of top thought-leaders. It’s also unsurprising to see that Assertiveness, someone who tends “to be leaders in groups,” showed up in seven of the personality profiles.
Similarities: Common Non-Dominant traits
On the other side of the chart, the analysis highlighted non-dominant traits, or qualities the marketers did not strongly present. There were some similarities there as well.
All but two marketers (Aleyda Solis and Amy Vernon) showed Fiery, which is to “have a tendency to feel angry,” as one of their least dominant traits. (This doesn’t mean Aleyda Solis and Amy Vernon are Fiery. It only indicates that this characteristic wasn’t among their top five least dominant traits.)
The marketers in the list were also unlikely to show traits tied to being worrisome. Eight marketers had Prone to Worry among their least dominant qualities. The women were unlikely to show that they “feel like something unpleasant, threatening, or dangerous is about to happen.” The women have confidence that helps them overcome stressful situations (such as publicially sharing their opinions and putting themselves out there) that might hold others back.
In fact, all of the most common non-dominant qualities for the female marketers fell into a category that IBM Watson researchers call Emotional Range or “the extent to which a person’s emotions are sensitive to the individual’s environment.”
They were unlikely to show characteristics for Susceptible to Stress (difficulty coping with stress), Immoderation (strong cravings and urges that they have difficulty resisting), and Melancholy (reacting more readily to life’s ups and downs).
This data shows that top female marketers do not let emotions or negativity drive their online messaging or actions.
Differences: Traits That Make Female Marketers Unique
While there were a lot of common traits that female marketers shared, there were some unique qualities that stood out.
Amy Vernon had the most unique personality profile.
She didn’t share either the most common dominant trait (Activity Level/Energetic) or the most common non-dominant trait (Fiery). And her profile showed both dominant and non-dominant characteristics that weren’t shared with any other marketers on the list (Dominant: Artistic and Imagination, Non-dominant: Self-Discipline and Orderliness).
Ann Handley also showed a unique approach to her online persona.
The data found her to be the most outgoing in this list of women marketers (as well as in a list of 20 marketers including both men and women). She was the only female marketer with Upcomprising, or “candid, frank, and genuine,” in her top five dominant traits.
The data also showed that you could be a female marketing leader even if you have opposite qualities of other leaders. While six out of the ten marketers have Gregariousness as a dominant quality, two of the marketers have it has a non-dominant characteristic.
And there was a range of dominant qualities that helped uniquely define marketers. Some marketers showed their unique personality by having dominant traits related to Intellect, Self-discipline, and Uncompromising that were only shared by two or fewer other top marketers.
Analyzing the Top Personality Traits
Now we know what public personality traits some of the top female marketers have—or at least what public personality traits IBM Watson thinks top female marketers have.