Updated: Feb 27, 2020
Marketing has come a long way, especially since it became digital. Ever since humans began exchanging goods, marketers and traders have strived to use psychology when promoting their products and services.
The goal is to use whatever means possible to convince a potential customer in the superiority of your goods and ultimately encourage them to buy from you.
Today, the situation hasn't changed much, but the techniques have become more sophisticated and modern. The main reason psychology still plays a vital role in marketing is that the online market is more competitive than ever.
Some businesses don't have the proper funds to develop a high-scale marketing campaign, so they rely on analyzing behavioral patterns of consumers and their purchasing decisions to create unique offers and encourage customers to explore further.
Leveraging psychology in marketing to boost your sales can work quite well in your favor if you know what you're doing. With that in mind, here's how to use that very same marketing psychology and various techniques to boost your own sales.
The rule of previous experience
It's no secret that consumers are generally not very fond of trusting businesses online. At least not at first. Consumers tend to be wary, mainly because there are still companies that will most likely try to scam them. Not only that, but consumers prefer to do research before they decide to make a purchase.
After all, they don't want to waste money. However, as untrustworthy towards businesses consumers can be, they tend to trust other consumers. Marketers are aware of this fact, which is why they use the rule of previous experience to overcome the initial distrust in consumers.
It's a simple psychological technique that's proven to be very effective. As a matter of fact, 91% of consumers read online reviews. Furthermore, 84% of consumers trust online reviews as much as they'd trust personal recommendations from a family member or a close friend.
Therefore, someone who has had previous experience with a product or a company is to be trusted more than the company itself and their promotions. By using positive reviews and word-of-mouth recommendations, marketers can easily win over consumers by showing them the previous experiences of other customers.
The psychology behind emotions
When it comes to leveraging human emotions to create unique relationships with consumers, brands are the ones that excel in this endeavor the most. This is often referred to as emotional marketing.
Brands tend to identify with their target audience and communicate with each individual with the right message at the right time using emotional triggers. In most cases, messages communicate emotional benefits over logical features.
Let's take colors for example. Brands tend to use specific color schemes in their website layout, content, social media pages and so on to trigger specific emotions within their target audience.
Once the strategy begins to kick in, brands can form emotional relationships with customers that are based on engagement, trust and loyalty. It's not uncommon to find customers remaining loyal to a brand even if some other brand may have better or more beneficial offers.
The social proof concept
Humans have been social creatures since the dawn of time. We used to rely on each other to gather necessities and survive. Even though humans have moved away from their herding nature over time per se, the psychology behind the sense of belonging has remained.
In other words, humans still feel the need to belong somewhere or to be a part of a specific group that shares the same beliefs and principles. This is why a lot of marketers leverage the social proof concept. The way it works is that consumers will act in accordance with other consumers they feel related to.
They will share the same behavior and they will most likely act in the same way as others. By using an effective social proof tool, companies can use the behavior of a group to drive sales. You only need to encourage a few and others will soon follow.
A good example of such behavior is an endorsement from a celebrity. If someone important we relate to has tried the product and liked it, it means we're going to like it as well, so we might as well go and buy it.
Reducing the friction
As mentioned before, consumers tend to do some research before they decide whether or not they should make a purchase. Using marketing to lead potential customers to your main point of sale, i.e., your website, can be a long and daunting process.
However, once consumers get close to the sale they'll start to doubt it. In other words, consumers will start to weigh their options and consider if a product or a service is worth buying. This is also referred to as the cost-benefit analysis which consumers use as much as businesses do.
The longer consumers remain indecisive, the greater the likelihood that they'll give up. Moreover, the higher the friction in the process the higher the odds of consumers rethinking their decision. That's why reducing friction is vital. As a part of psychological marketing that will eliminate the friction, marketers tend to use bigger and colorful CTAs, reduce the number of opt-in fields, simplifying the checkout process and so on.
Psychology in marketing can be a great advantage to marketers and businesses alike. Consumers follow behavioral patterns that can be analyzed to create unique marketing tactics and techniques. However, if you're not certain at what you're doing, psychological techniques can easily backfire, so be careful.