If you want to succeed in marketing, you need to get inside the customer’s head.

What problems can you solve for them? Why should they choose you over your competitors? How can you really connect with them?

Exploring the link between psychology and marketing will help take any advertising campaign to the next level. Once you know why people make the choices they do, you’ll be in a better position to drive sales. Here are some of the basic principles you need to understand.

Social Proof

People often make decisions based on the way others behave. This concept is known as social proof.

In marketing, this translates to the idea that people are more likely to buy a product or service that they see others using and enjoying. There are many ways to build up social proof. This includes having a high number of active followers, lots of positive user-generated content (UGC), and positive reviews.

Anchoring Bias

The psychological principle of anchoring bias says that customer decisions are heavily influenced by the first piece of information you receive that is related to the decision. This is often applied to pricing.

For example, if a shirt is $100 at one store and the same one is $50 at the next one, the $50 shirt seems like a great deal, even for someone who normally wouldn’t spend $50 on a shirt.

You can take advantage of this by always displaying the original price next to a sale price. This acts as a reference point, showing the buyer that they’re getting a good deal.

Scarcity

If a prospective buyer believes something is scarce, it automatically becomes more valuable. In marketing, this means that people are more likely to want something – and more willing to pay more for it – if they think it might be in short supply. This is linked to FOMO (fear of missing out).

You can create this sense of scarcity by running limited-time offers or including language like “while supplies last.” This lets your customers know that if they delay, they’re going to miss out – motivating them to act quickly.

Loss Aversion

On the surface, loss aversion seems similar to scarcity. However, because instead of focusing on what they’re missing, it focuses on what they stand to lose. For example, if a free trial is about to expire, you’ll explain exactly what they’ll miss out on if they don’t renew.

Offering free shipping at a certain threshold is another common use of the loss aversion principle. This is applied when you clearly show a buyer how much more they need to add to their cart versus how much they’ll pay in shipping if they don’t.

You can also apply loss aversion during the customer journey in contact center calls. If a customer is reaching out to cancel or downgrade, the service representative can offer a “required disclosure” outlining everything they’ll lose if they make the change they’re requesting.

Often, this is effective at helping convince the customer to change their mind and give the product or service another chance. It can also turn what may have started out as a negative experience into a positive one.

Reciprocity

When someone gives you something, you automatically feel indebted to them. This is known as the “norm of reciprocity.” In marketing psychology, it means that if you give customers something for free, they’re more likely to feel like they owe you something.

This is the principal behind lead magnets – which offer freebies like a downloadable ebook in exchange for someone’s contact information. Placing your lead magnet at the bottom of a blog post doubles the psychological effect since readers have also just consumed free content before you approach them.

You can also leverage this customer psychology by offering a free gift with purchase, having an open house with refreshments during a special sale, or giving a free item in exchange for completing a satisfaction survey.

Decoy Effect

This last tip is another common principle of buyer psychology. This says that giving three purchase options is better than only giving two. When a customer has two products or packages, they’ll spend a lot of time comparing the features, quality, and price.

Introducing a third, less valuable option makes the more expensive product feel like a better deal.

Say you have a bundle that includes an ebook and a live webinar. You could offer the ebook for $100 or bundle both together for $200. Applying this principle, you could also offer the webinar by itself for $175.

Obviously, paying $175 for the webinar alone isn’t an attractive option – it’s the “decoy.” Pricing things this way makes it more likely that customers will see the $200 bundle as a much better deal. Even if the customer was only interested in the ebook at first, getting a $175 webinar for an extra $100 appears to be a good enough deal that it entices the customer to upgrade to the bundle.

Psychology and Marketing: Build on the Basics

Understanding the basics of psychology and marketing is a great first step, but it doesn’t stop there. Once you understand what drives buyers’ decisions, you can start modifying your marketing strategy. You’ll be surprised by how quickly your sales start to skyrocket!

To keep your momentum moving forward, always keep learning! Our blog is full of great tips for business success. Take a look through a few more of our valuable articles today.