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Making Marketing Psychology Work for You

Making Marketing Psychology Work for You

Marketing psychology is integral to a marketing strategy’s performance. As brands try to build loyalty with existing customers while searching to attract new ones, understanding what their demographic responds to is vital to stay relevant. Without the help of essential marketing psychology tactics, this would not be possible.

Marketing and Psychology: The Mind of the Consumer

In order to understand the consumer, you must first understand their decision-making process.

There are five stages you must take to achieve this, Yotpo writes: need recognition, information search, alternative evaluation, purchase decision and post-purchase evaluation.

Brands can get ahead of the game by finding ways to assist their consumer in each stage of the buying process. Find the emotional desire beneath the customer’s need recognition. For example, why would a customer look for a meal kit delivery service? Their emotional need could be a desire for memorable family dinners or easy dinners for busy, stressed people.

Brands may take part in the research stage by adjusting keywords so that their websites rank higher in Google searches, creating relevant and informative content and featuring positive reviews on websites and social accounts. Featuring user reviews will also help the alternative evaluation and purchasing stages. Finally, encourage feedback from customers as well to optimize the post-purchase stage.

Get Your Foot in the Door

The phrase “Get your foot in the door” stems from the days of door-to-door salesmen. It refers to both the literal act of a salesman using their foot to keep the door from shutting and the symbolic act of easing yourself in. As a marketing psychology tactic, this means that you must first make a small request before you ask for a bigger one. Before you ask a consumer to purchase your product or service, you have to get your foot in the door.

This technique was first studied in 1966 by Jonathan Freedman and Scott Fraser. According to Forbes, subjects who first received a request to discuss which household cleaning products they used over the phone were 135 percent more likely than the control group to respond favorably to an in-home analysis request. (The control group was only asked if they would participate in an in-home analysis.)

Employ this tactic in your marketing strategy by making a small request that doesn’t ask much from potential customers, such as signing up for a free newsletter, participating in a quick survey or sharing a post on social media.

Once you have your foot in the door, potential customers are more likely to respond positively to your subsequent request. This should be focused on gaining conversion, such as sending an offer to their email.

What Goes Around Comes Around

According to Nielsen Norman Group, the reciprocity principle is a basic law of psychology, which states that we instinctively respond positively to gifts by returning the favor, regardless of whether we asked for one or wanted it. This is especially true in today’s digital space. Basically, it pays to be nice. Reaching out to potential customers after establishing a relationship in which you have already offered something of value will yield better results.

Think of it as providing free samples in a grocery store. If people enjoy the dose of your free content, they will be more interested in your premium content. Chances are, you are already employing the reciprocity principle if you have a content marketing strategy. When customers enjoy the content you produce, whether through entertaining social media posts, white papers or newsletters, they are more inclined to make a purchase.

You may push the reciprocity principle further in marketing psychology by employing the information-gap theory as well. According to Wired, the information-gap theory was developed by George Loewenstein in the early ‘90s; It states that people are driven to fill the gap between what they know and what they want to know. Create content that scratches that itch. Pique people’s interest with white papers or short, informative social media posts that are relevant to your business – build loyalty by filling a need.

The Fear of Missing Out

FOMO is not a foreign concept; There’s a reason why the acronym once took over the zeitgeist. People are often driven towards certain products and experiences via the fear of missing out. Two marketing psychology tactics that utilize this idea are scarcity and loss aversion marketing.

Scarcity marketing operates on the principle that people will want something more if there is a limited supply. As Crowdspring notes, scarcity marketing requires a strong brand identity. If customers are going to pay a higher price-point for a limited supply, the brand and product must be interesting.

Buzzwords such as “Limited supply!” and “Small batch!” create a sense of exclusivity, while notices regarding limited-time deals, short supplies and countdown timers create a sense of urgency. When there’s a time crunch, customers will act faster.

Loss aversion marketing is another marketing psychology tactic that employs the fear of missing out. It is based on the idea that people would rather avoid a loss than acquire a gain. We can see loss aversion marketing in the way we advertise sales and free trials.

Flash sales, limited supply notifications and calls-to-actions just a few ways companies can instill the fear of missing out in their consumers. Customers are more concerned with missing out on the sale than they might be with the product. Free trials operate similarly. Once customers get a taste of the service or product, they are more likely to continue their subscription instead of feeling loss when their trial ends.

Marketing and Psychology

Using psychology to elevate your marketing tactics can help turn potential customers into loyal fans. By stepping into the consumer's mind, finding ways to stay relevant at every stage of their decision-making process, offering something in return and optimizing on their fear of missing out, your brand can gain more conversions and build trust.

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