Understanding who your customers are and what drives their behavior is one of the best things a company can do to make their marketing more effective. Too many businesses present their products or services in ways that THEY think are attractive when instead they should be spending more time focused on the customer experience.
The ways companies use marketing psychology has improved over time. With modern tools, it’s easier than ever to look at what your customer is doing, when, and think about why. Likewise, our penchant for giving up personal information in exchange for free services, a la Facebook, gives companies better insight into who their customers are and where they spend their time.
In this article, we take a look at what marketing psychology is, how you should adapt your approach based on consumer behaviors, and why you should leverage marketing psychology at your company.
What Is Marketing Psychology?
Essentially, marketing psychology is the process of finding patterns in customer behavior and using those patterns to get better results. It’s the process of understanding why your customers do certain things and whether you can influence them to do them less, more often, or just differently says Ross Kernez of Marble.
Companies need to realize that different people have different motivations. If marketing is done correctly, it can motivate people in various ways that all end in the same result, whether that’s a sale, posting a positive review, signing up for a newsletter, or some other action. Some people are driven by aspiration, loss aversion, reciprocity, scarcity, and other innate behaviors.
How Marketing Affects Customer Behavior
Let’s talk about some of the ways you can use customer tendencies in your marketing. As people spend more time online, especially now, they are looking for things that offer community, save them time or money, and contribute to a cause. We can examine each and how companies can use marketing to help customers accomplish these goals.
Finding Community – Creating a community of likeminded people is one of the best ways to manage marketing. People want to belong. They want to talk to people who think as they do, buy the same products, and have the same interest. Whichever companies are most effective at creating a community for their customers has done most of the work when it comes to building a loyal audience. Creating a community takes work, and with creative marketing, you can build a brand that your customers associate with things they value.
Here are some things that can help you build a better customer community:
- Host Events
- Encourage people to post in forums, on social media posts, and articles
- Actively moderate your community
- Connect people in your audience with each other.
Helping Customer Save time and Money – Another behavior that marketing psychology can leverage is peoples’ desire to save time and money. Many of our purchases are aimed at improving their quality of life. As customers get older, they grow to value time and money more and more. Anything you can do to position your products and services in a way that makes your customers’ lives easier is sure to be a winner.
Contribute to a Cause – Consumers want to associate with brands and companies that are doing good. One of the ways marketing psychology helps is by presenting your organization in a way that highlights the social impact your having. Whether that’s a percentage of your profits that goes to a charity, the people you sponsor, or stories about how your products have helped the people who use them, your social charitable causes will influence customer behavior in positive ways.
Capitalizing on the Information Gap Principle
Positioning yourself and your organization as an industry leader is a fantastic way to make marketing easier. Spending time on social media, sifting through popular keywords used in a search, and other data can help you understand how to present what you’re doing in a way that fills information gaps that your customers or potential customers have. That’s why you see so many “How-To” articles online and why there are a million instructional videos on YouTube. People turn to the internet oftentimes to find out how to do things or to figure out how to find the best doctor, lawyer, or mechanic. They want to save money by learning how to change their car battery by themselves.
With social media, you can find out what your key demographics are looking for and design your content and other aspects of your marketing campaigns to fill that information gap. People will start to associate your content with expertise, and as a by-product buy your products because of the quality you’ve already delivered.
People act strangely when they feel like there’s only a limited supply of something left. We saw this in 2020, when people around the world mobbed grocery stores everywhere to push, fight, and scream their way into buying the last rolls of toilet paper on the shelves. Scarcity mentality is real, and how it drives consumer behavior is a tool you can use to market your products.
We’re not saying you should stoke fear but doing simple things like changing the wording of your ad copy can create an urgency that results in more sales. Companies use phrases like “For a limited time only…”, or “Act now before it’s too late…” to create urgency in their advertising that pushes people into action.
Proofing Your Concepts
Of course, anytime you’re changing the way you do things or design a new call to action based on marketing psychology, you want to know how well it’s working. To get marketing psychology right, you’ve got to put in the hours to understand how even small changes can alter the way your products are viewed and what your customers will do based on a certain ad. Set regular intervals to review how your marketing material is impacting customer behavior to ensure you’re getting the results you want. Then you’ll be able to change and adapt as necessary to make your content better.