Using Marketing Psychology To Influence Consumer Behavior
Marketing is an umbrella term that covers just about any ethical tactic used to build and maintain relationships between buyers and sellers. The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines marketing as:
“the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
While there are countless marketing philosophies and strategies, we’re partial to digital marketing, the goal is always the same – satisfy the customer. Because if you don’t, someone else will.
What Is Marketing Psychology?
Marketing psychology attempts to understand the way that consumers think, feel, reason, and make decisions. The goal of marketing is to convince people, and making a calculated emotional appeal can be just what you need to land a lasting customer.
Regardless of what you sell, there is a high likelihood that the marketplace is overcrowded. The purpose of marketing psychology is to gain an edge over the competition. It’s always important to remember that you’re dealing with people. People are emotional.
Interesting marketing opportunities can be found at the intersection of organizational objectives and human psychology. Take the time to understand how the human mind works. It can reveal opportunities to trigger positive emotional responses in your potential customers. If you can find this coveted intersection, your business will surely level up.
Psychological Tactics That Influence Consumer Behavior
Good news! You don’t have to be a psychologist to stage a successful emotional appeal to your potential customers. Many successful marketers use these strategies to great effect. With a bit of research and experimentation – you can too.
An important component of successful marketing is understanding how and why people think and act in certain ways. All of your marketing efforts should stem from this understanding. If, for example, you’re a content marketer creating an infographic, your efforts will be far more successful if you begin with your end consumer in mind. Who are they and why should they care about your infographic? What action(s) do you want them to take as a result of the infographic? Is progress measurable?
Reverse engineering this process can be illuminating. At this point, you may be thinking that this is all very obvious. But how well do you truly understand your customer? Are they a two-dimensional idea or a three-dimensional person? What motivates them to make a decision?
Understanding how people operate can be the difference between good marketing and great marketing.
6 Psychological Tips For Better Marketing
#1 – People Are Impulsive
Have you ever been waiting in line at the grocery store, only to grab a few “last minute” items before your transaction? Those items weren’t placed there on accident. It’s quite intentional and has been enabling impulse buys for decades. Flash sales in email marketing campaigns are another way this psychological marketing tactic is applied. How can you use people’s impulsive nature to satisfy their needs?
#2 – A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words
Our brains can process images a whole lot faster than they can comprehend the written word. This is for good reason. Long before Harry Potter, people needed the ability to quickly assess the lay of the land in order to survive. Play into this. We live in a visual world. Spend some time pondering your use of visuals. People will form an instant impression based on visual appearance.
#3 – Color Psychology
Colors have an enormous impact on our moods and emotions – possessing the profound ability to influence our perceptions. We associate certain colors with whimsy, others with trust, and others with sensuality. Depending on what you’re selling, be aware of your use of color. It is important to send a consistent message on all fronts. Appeal to the subconscious mind first, and logic later.
#4 – The Pen Is Mightier Than The Sword
Certain words or phrases, while cliched, evoke an emotional response. Organic. Gluten-free. Certified. Testimonial. Authentic. There is a perfectly good reason that words like these are plastered all over products: it works. People continue to go for it. Think about the products and services you’re marketing and try to find the words that have the potential to elicit an emotional response. Use them when talking about your products.
#5 – The Power of “Yes”
Yes is a powerful word. It is the green light that gets you in the door. Getting people to say yes to little things before going for the win is a time-honored sales strategy. It creates a sense of connection and agreeability. This is as popular today as ever. Many businesses use social media in this way: warm an audience up with social ads, get them to take a small action (watch a video or sign up for an email list), create trust, and convert. This whole process is a series of small agreements that gradually open the door to a sale.
#6 – Decisions Are Emotional
The decision-making process is emotionally driven. Even people that pride themselves on being rational aren’t immune. We all make decisions based on two things: what satisfies our needs and what aligns with how we are. Marketers would be wise to try to elicit an emotional response from potential customers.
It is advisable that you begin each marketing campaign by humanizing your end user. This is ground zero for any smart marketer. However, marketing psychology on its own won’t get the job done. General implementation is never enough. To maximize success, you need to combine marketing psychology with other marketing strategies that make sense for the product or service you sell. Approach from all angles.
The highest performing marketing campaigns benefit from ongoing optimization and tweaking. Spend time dialing it in. A blanket approach rarely works in real-life situations. Ultimately, it is up to you to find your own secret recipe for success. What works for one business doesn’t always work for another. Study your customers. Find out what they need. Then find the best way to close the deal.