Last Updated on January 10, 2022 by Rovamedia

When you hear the term ‘Psychology’ a lot can come to your mind. Honestly, I used to think those who understood the concept of Psychology were mind readers and could see into the souls of every human. But that does not what Psychology is all about. As the Ohio State University Department of Psychology explains; Psychology is the scientific study of the mind and behavior. Psychologists are actively involved in studying and understanding mental processes, brain functions, and behavior. The field of psychology is considered a “Hub Science” with strong connections to the medical sciences, social sciences, and education (Boyack, Klavans, & Borner, 2005).

An average individual’s mind wanders 30% of the time. As Leverage Edu opines, our brains help us interpret the environment, recognize everyone and everything, learn new knowledge, and ironically, we really don’t know how much of our brains work. However, modern neuroscience and neuropsychology have made significant strides in explaining the impact our minds have on our daily tasks. This is why Psychology feels intriguing and thought-provoking to many!

Kendra Cherry states that Psychology is not just an academic subject that exists only in classrooms, research labs, and mental health offices. The principles of psychology can be seen all around you in everyday situations. The television commercials and print ads you see every day rely on psychology to develop marketing messages that influence and persuade people to purchase the advertised products. The websites you visit regularly utilize psychology to understand how people read, use, and interpret online information.

Psychology can also play a role in improving your health and well-being. For example, understanding some of the basic principles of behavioral psychology might come in handy if you are trying to break a bad habit and establish new routines.

The Concept of Psychology In Marketing

Understanding psychology and incorporating factors of human behavior into marketing strategy brings valuable insight to the consumer decision-making process and promotes brand loyalty. For a brand to be exceptional in marketing, there is a need to incorporate one or more psychological principles into marketing campaigns, marketing strategy, content marketing, and sales strategy.

So what are the important principles and theories that can supercharge your marketing and influence people to buy your products or services?

Understanding Marketing Psychology

Before the advent of digital marketing buzzwords like “customer-centric” or “consumer behavior”, the relationship between marketing and psychology was little if not void. Then enters; psychological marketing!

For many decades, researchers have studied how people cognitively respond to marketing. In fact, it’s well-established fact today that people have sensorimotor, cognitive, and affective responses to marketing. Marketing psychology, sometimes called ‘Neuromarketing’, applies neuropsychology to content, marketing, and sales as a way to influence purchasing decisions.

If you know how and why people think and act the way they do, you can improve your marketing.

Nikole Wintermeier

When researchers understand these responses, it helps marketers create more efficient and effective digital marketing and traditional marketing strategies and campaigns, helps you find more potential customers, and creates more successful product launches.

Psychological marketing (or marketing psychology) is now the focal point of any successful company. Every marketing department will have consulted, hired, or created a team dedicated to carrying out marketing psychology research. Marketing psychology will indicate your competitive edge in the market and allow you to get a more holistic bird-eye view of your customers.

Marketing psychology anticipates buyer behavior by understanding our cognitive biases. As consumers, we are irrational, and our decision-making is largely driven by these innate biases. marketing psychology, therefore, applies theoretical knowledge to the marketing field.

Hence, digital marketing capitalizes on this and applies these psychological insights to optimize campaigns, ads, and copy to drive purchase behavior: it’s smarter marketing across every channel and customer touchpoint!  

When Buyer Behavior and Psychology Are Important

Remember that Marketing psychology anticipates buyer behavior by understanding our cognitive biases. The ‘Action Paralysis Principle’ is where this is deployed. Note that people commonly second guess their own behavior, especially if they’re not sure how their decision will impact them or people close to them. This is called the action paralysis principle.

If you’re trying to trigger someone into action, clearly emphasize that their action will make a difference. For example, instead of just saying ‘buy now, you can say ‘buy now and improve your health today.’ The lesson here is that whenever your customers or prospective customers have reason to question their decisions, provide a good reason for them to convert or make a purchase.

Marketing psychology can give smart marketers and business owners a competitive advantage, by optimizing marketing strategies and tactics in ways that intentionally and proactively influence the psychology and people’s behaviors and decisions to identify more potential customers.

The major mistake marketers, entrepreneurs, and business owners make are they assume that most people make decisions by conducting research and then weighing the options. As a result, every marketing campaign is structured around that outcome and you know how that turns out to be a drastic failure. The fact remains; that’s not how most people make decisions. People frequently act illogically, making their behavior difficult to predict. And, they rarely take the time to learn the full facts before taking action, as often evident on social media.

Interesting Applications of Psychology in Marketing

Marketing is applied psychology. Every tweet. Every ad. Every word. The best marketers are students of psychology and use it regularly. Grab a coffee, bookmark this post, let’s dive in.

Here are some of the most interesting applications of psychology in marketing:


McDonald’s Fries in variation. Image credit Imgur

1. The McDonalds Marketing Strategy:

  • Hamburger Small: $5
  • HamburgerFrench fries Medium: $5.75
  • HamburgerFrench friesCup with straw Large: $5:90

The medium option is a decoy as it looks overpriced in comparison to a small… But the large looks like a deal.

2. Fewer Syllables Feel:

Less Pricey When you read $47.89 in your head it can feel more expensive than $49.40. This is because we often perceive longer-sounding numbers to be more expensive.

3. The Information Gap:

Clickbait fuels the internet. It makes up the majority of the titles you’ll see in your favorite newspaper and magazine. People don’t want to scroll past information that answers questions that feel interesting.

4. Write $1400 not $1,400:

That comma signals expensive! Research shows that when a price doesn’t have a comma; we perceive the price as less intimidating.

5. The Psychology of Sharing

We all share content to achieve one or more of these 5 factors. This is why the ALS ice bucket challenge went viral a few years ago.

6. The Reciprocity Principle:

We feel obliged to give back to people who have given to us. This is why restaurants should always give you a mint at the end of a meal and Uber drivers should offer a charger. You’re more likely to tip.

7. The You Saved $$$ Claims:

Brands put this on receipts and stickers so you tell people how much you save. In reality; that’s not what you saved — it’s what the company decided not to mark up.

If something priced at $20 is on sale for $15 you don’t save $5.

You spent $15.

8. The IKEA Effect:

The act of building something, putting your own blood and sweat into creating something adds additional value above and beyond its inherent quality, which the researchers dub the “IKEA effect” and it is very valid!

9. We Want To Avoid Loss (aka FOMO):

If a brand offers you a free 3-month trial – you’re going to take them up on it even if you don’t have time to use it.

You’ll then aspire to use it and begin paying in month 4.

10. The Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon:

Our brains are hardwired to focus on recognizing familiar concepts, especially when they’re new to us.

This is why remarketing ads can feel creepy/stalkerish.

Sometimes it’s just a frequency illusion.

11. The Power Of Social Proof:

We’re social creatures.

One of the greatest benefits of living in this generation is crowdsourced reviews from other people who bought things. Brands use social proof to influence our decision-making.

Which of these are you more likely to buy?

12. Get XYZ Free > Bundles

  • A T-shirt, a pair of Sneakers + Free Cap for $30 = Superb, awesome deal!
  • A T-shirt, a pair of sneakers, and Cap for $30 = Let me think about it.

People are more likely to buy a $20 ebook that comes with a free interview series & consulting call than a $20 bundle that is an “ebook, interview series and consulting call”.

The word “FREE” Attracts buyers even if they end up paying some token after and that’s the Psychology of selling.

There are plenty of other psychological techniques that marketers use every day to hook us. These are some of my few favorite ones.

Conclusion: Psychology In Marketing to Stay

As detailed earlier, Marketing psychology can give smart marketers and business owners a competitive advantage, by optimizing marketing strategies and tactics in ways that intentionally and proactively influence the psychology and people’s behaviors and decisions to identify more potential customers.

Understanding marketing psychology will give you a competitive edge in the digital market.  More than this, understanding and anticipating consumer behavior will enable you to get closer to your customers and provide them with elevated shopping experiences

Psychology has a powerful impact on the world today. Our daily lives are deeply impacted by the interaction of biology, relationships, and mental processes. Psychologists are skilled at understanding the role these factors play in influencing health, happiness, and overall well-being.

Psychology is a rich and fascinating subject that has practical applications in many areas of life. If you have ever wanted to learn more about why people think and act the way they do, then studying psychology is a great way to gain greater insight into the human experience.

Authors

  • Ross Simmonds is a digital strategist, entrepreneur, consultant, and public speaker. He's worked with brands ranging from Fortune 100 companies to startups.

  • Uchechukwu Ajuzieogu is an Author, Blogger, Researcher, C-Digital Marketer, Entrepreneur, Contributor at Rova Media Digital, and Educationist with vast experience in technology applications. When he's not writing, he's with his dogs and plays Minecraft

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