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Marketing Psychology: Relevance & Application

  • Vrinda Mathur
  • Mar 19, 2022
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Marketing psychology is the reason you purchased something you didn't need. It's the reason you spend so much more money on products you might get for half the price elsewhere.


Marketing psychology is the practice of using established psychological concepts into marketing techniques, materials, and strategies in order to affect a prospect's perception of a brand's look or offers.


It has been roughly defined as "incorporating a variety of psychological elements into your content, marketing, and sales approach." Further, you might think of marketing psychology as a means to seek patterns in individuals and analyze how this relates to their purchasing decisions.'


For decades, experts have investigated how people respond cognitively to advertisements. People have sensory, cognitive, and emotive reactions to marketing, which is now well known. 


Understanding these answers enables marketers to develop more efficient and effective digital marketing and traditional marketing plans and campaigns, as well as identify more prospective consumers and launch more successful products.



Relation between Marketing and Psychology


Marketing is the process of establishing relationships between brands and consumers, which involves instilling consumer loyalty and awareness. Psychology, on the other hand, is the study of the mind and behavior of humans. 


When you integrate the two worlds, you're studying how people think and act in order to create marketing campaigns. In other words, you are creating marketing techniques that encourage specific actions. Consumer purchase decisions and emotional responses may have an impact on your marketing.



How does Marketing psychology improve Marketing?


Marketers, entrepreneurs, and company owners presume that the majority of consumers make decisions after performing research and analyzing their alternatives. As a result, every marketing effort is designed to achieve that goal. 


However, most people do not make decisions in this manner. People typically act illogically, making it impossible to forecast their conduct. And, as is frequently seen on social media, they rarely take the time to understand all of the facts before acting.


Marketing Psychology may provide clever marketers and company owners with a competitive edge by refining marketing strategies and techniques in ways that consciously and proactively affect people's psychology, actions, and decisions in order to identify more prospective consumers.


Also Read | A Guide to Psychographics for Marketing 



Application of Marketing Psychology Principles


As marketers, it is critical to identify repeating patterns of customer behavior, investigate why they occur, and incorporate the results into your marketing tactics.


However, we do not always have to rely on our own discoveries. Previous psychology research contains many of the elements that will boost your marketing success.


Some of the marketing principles most commonly used are:- 

The image is titled - Principles of Marketing Psychology and has the following points - Reciprocity Principle, Information- Gap Theory, Scarcity Marketing, Social Proof Marketing, Loss- Aversion Marketing

Principles of Marketing Psychology

  1. Reciprocity Principle


Simply said, the Reciprocity Principle holds that in order to receive sales as a brand or business, you must first give to the client. This is because psychologists feel that if someone (or in this example, a brand) has done something for them first, individuals are more inclined to return the favor or improve their cooperation levels.


By providing more value to your followers or new customers, you are establishing a new connection with them.


In a world where many firms already spend in digital marketing to some extent, chances are you're already employing components of the reciprocity principle. 


Whether it's giving free material on your blog, inspiring quotes on Instagram, or keeping in touch with your consumers once a month through a useful and curated email, these services provide value to the client on top of your fundamental product or service offering.



  1. Information- Gap Theory


The information-gap theory posits that when someone has a gap in their knowledge on a topic they care about, they will take action to find out what they want to know. The Information-Gap Theory is frequently used by marketers in content and social media marketing. The theory may be seen in the way publishers create headlines as inquiries. 


You've probably seen headlines that begin with terms like "How To...", "The Secret Trick To...", or even "The One Hack..." These headlines are meant to catch our interest and make us want to learn more by clicking on the story.


Brands frequently use social media to direct followers to their site in order to improve traffic. Whether it's to draw attention to the current deal or news article, companies frequently employ a vague selling pitch on Instagram Stories  with a "Swipe Up" to learn more about a promotion or an exclusive offer.



  1. Scarcity Marketing


Psychologists believe that people place a higher value on items that are more difficult to attain. Scarcity, according to Shahram Heshmat, may be seen positively since it "orients the mind naturally and forcefully toward unsatisfied desires."

Scarcity marketing occurs when customers are concerned that they may lose out on what is on offer, hence losing their freedom of choice.


Some of the ways marketers use this idea can be through:


  • Black Friday sales-  Originally, Black Friday referred to sales that occurred the day following Thanksgiving. However, it is quickly becoming a worldwide trend that draws bargain hunters from all over the world. 


For decades, retailers have been able to create a feeling of scarcity around heavily discounted, popular items, resulting in bare shelves—particularly during the holiday shopping season.


  • Access is restricted.- Brands may make their product offering feel premium and exclusive by giving improved membership options. 


Whether it's VIP access to a premium service or being offered extra features in a product, having access to something that others don't have makes customers feel as if they have something uncommon and therefore exceptional.


Also Read | Scarcity in Economics



  1. Social Proof Marketing


Robert Cialdini, professor of psychology and marketing and author of Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, argues that when humans are confused about what to do, they seek counsel from those around them.


Social proof marketing goes beyond ordinary word-of-mouth advertising. Instead, it employs the persuasion skills of experts, celebrities, and user reviews to boost our trust in the product or service. And the digital era has boosted the effectiveness of Social Proof Marketing to new heights.


  • Make use of a professional. Experts have spent countless hours honing their trade and establishing themselves as authorities in their respective fields. As a result, when they advertise or are seen in relation to a product, followers who have that precise need are more inclined to listen to their recommendation.


  • Have a celebrity endorse your product. Celebrities and social media bloggers wield considerable influence among their vast followings when it comes to supporting your product or service. 


Many firms employ endorsements such as engaging A-list celebrities for a campaign or just presenting your product to an influencer with authority among an audience you want to reach and hoping they mention it on their social media sites.



  1. Loss- Aversion Marketing


Loss aversion was found by Nobel Prize-winning psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky while researching Prospect Theory. In short, Daniel and Amos discovered that people valued avoiding a loss more than gaining an equivalent gain.


Marketers utilize Loss Aversion Marketing all the time—how many "last chance to buy" emails have you gotten in your inbox?


While this can be an effective tactic, the internet has meant that many consumers are bombarded with this type of marketing, which, if not done appropriately, can have a negative impact.


Some loss aversion tactics include:- 


  • Creating a scarce resource. Informing clients about the scarcity of your product is one technique to attract them to make a purchase. Brands frequently generate a certain number of stock and let the buyer know if there are only a few more available, which is common in e-commerce enterprises.


  • Giving a free gift with purchase. Whether it's free delivery, a discount coupon when a customer spends a specific amount, or free gift wrapping, the prospect of losing a free present may frequently serve as a strong incentive to persuade your customers to make a purchase they were previously undecided about.


Also Read | Factors Influencing Customer Behavior 


While it may be tempting to try out all of the marketing methods outlined above, it is best to consider the business you work for, what best fits your current plan, and what data indicates about who your consumer is before deciding how to include marketing psychology into your approach.


In conclusion, incorporating psychology into your marketing plan is an excellent approach to stand out in a sea of competitors. It will also assist you in determining the most engaging method of communicating with your customers.

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