Your brain is your command central, and it controls everything you do, including all online activity. In order to seamlessly take care of everything that we do in the course of a day, year, and lifetime, our brains have to turn to some clever hacks. As such, if you want to get the jump on your customers and your potential customers’ purchasing habits, it’s a good idea to better understand the shortcuts their brains take in the process – not in a creepy cult-like way but in a taking-care-of-business way.
The Psychology of Marketing
Psychology plays a role in every decision we make, and this remains true for purchasing decisions. Unsurprisingly, this fact has given rise to evaluating the psychology of marketing. This distinct form of psychology boils down to ensuring that your marketing techniques, content, and communication style all align with the patterns that guide human behavior. These patterns are based on the shortcuts our brains like to take in their efforts to get a whole bunch of stuff done all at once, including high-level stuff like making important purchases, solving intricate problems, understanding a seemingly never-ending flow of information, and more.
Two primary applications of marketing psychology for your website include:
- Harnessing emotion in your marketing copy
- Applying psychology basics to all your marketing efforts
The goal is not to force your customer’s hand, but to help that customer make the right decisions for him or her – thus benefiting both of you.
Please Market Responsibly
Our brains rely on heuristic practices in order to move the mountains of information that they do on a regular basis, and Merriam-Webster defines these as a mechanism for aiding in learning, problem-solving, and discovery through trial and error. The psychology of marketing turns to these brain hacks to help consumers focus on the information that is going to help them make the right choices for them – not to trick them into doing anything. The primary do’s and don’ts of responsibly engaging in the psychology of marketing include the following:
- Do focus on what your services or consumer goods actually have to offer (you don’t want to trick anyone into choosing you).
- Do make each sale a win-win by ensuring that your offerings align with your customers’ needs.
- Don’t make promises that you have no intention of keeping (or that you can’t possibly keep). This is a bad business practice that can backfire spectacularly through tainted word-of-mouth advertising and less-than-stellar reviews.
It’s also a great idea to apply the do’s and don’ts of responsible marketing when you are on the other side of an exchange – don’t allow yourself to be lured in by practices that belong in the don’t column.
Taking a Deep Dive into the Psychology of Marketing
The psychology of marketing has a wide range of applications.
No Commitment Phobia Here
The psychology of marketing includes a bias toward commitment and consistency, which means we have a tendency to act in accordance with past actions. Consider the following:
- Once you dip your toe in the water, you’re far more likely to keep going, and good marketing takes advantage of this fact. For example, once a lookie-loo signs up for that first-time user discount, you are getting somewhere. This is the wide end of the conversion funnel.
- Reminding your potential customers how far they’ve come can also help seal the deal. As a rule, we don’t like our prior efforts to have been a waste of time.
- Instead of hitting your customers with a serious reading commitment right out of the gate, start with an appetizer that leads them through to the main course and on to coffee and dessert. A good server never asks your feelings about dessert before you’ve made your way through the rest of the meal, and neither should your content.
- Remind your customers that they’re the best. Once potential customers pull the trigger and become full-fledged customers, let them know they did a good job. A simple way to go can do the trick.
When it comes to the psychology of making the sale, there is also an anchoring bias to consider. This means that we have a tendency to latch onto the first bit of information we read and to use that as an anchor as we move forward in the decision-making process. Examples include:
- When the same product is advertised at the same price on two different sites, but one of them is identified as being discounted, consumers tend to find it more appealing.
- Subscription purchases tend to offer a discount with more significant commitments, and highlighting the savings over time can have a profound effect on sales.
So Many Choices, So Little Time
When consumers are faced with too many choices, it can lead to anxiety, indecision, and failure to make a purchase at all. Post-purchase regret is also a thing. Keeping your site’s basic options in the manageable range is well advised.
Do You Have Any Proof?
The term social proof first hit the big time in Robert B. Cialdini’s INFLUENCE: The Psychology of Persuasion, and it refers to our inclination to follow others into situations that are new to us. This is where testimonials and reviews come into serious play.
Reciprocity and Its Effects
The more you put into providing your customers and clients with a stellar experience, the more inclined they will be to return the favor. In other words, the extras you provide can reap serious returns.
Explore the Psychology of Marketing with a Digital Marketing Pro
At The Web Guys, our digital marketing experts have significant insight when it comes to the psychology of marketing, and we’re happy to share. To learn more about taking your marketing game to the next level – with some handy-dandy brain hacks and beyond – reach out and contact or call us at (317) 805-4933 today.