It is one thing to
invest in quality poster printing; it is another to print the right thing to
impact on the psychology of your clients. Marketing psychology is about getting
into the minds of your customers. The
task is to figure out how they think and how you can convince them to act in
The study of the
mind and behaviour has come a long way in a couple of centuries since it was
born as the academic area of study called psychology. There is the most fantastic understanding of
why we act the way we do in our daily life, with applications in counselling
through to human resource management.
Here we explore the
intersection between marketing and psychology.
You will see that they are not so far apart in their interests.
Point one: relate to your customer
You need to
understand the motivations of your customers to be able to influence their
behaviour. There is a phenomenon called
group favouritism. This is where people
are more likely to do something that most other people have done. This phenomenon is a gift to marketers. If you say 75% of people bought a red car,
then you are going to increase the desire in the customer to do the same.
Point two: begin small
well aware of the importance of starting small.
They would know it as the “foot-in-the-door technique” – or get one
small purchase or task from the customer to engage them. Then, they can build
more significant purchases. Those people
who have agreed to a small request are more likely to agree to a more
significant request when you go back for a second time.
This phenomenon has
become known as upselling in the sales world. It
is the idea that a person may first buy a cleaning cloth from you, then maybe a
mop and bucket and soon they will be buying an expensive vacuum. Each time the customer commits to you, there
is a trust built that encourages them to invest more in your company the next
time. Results from a study by Freedman and Fraser (1966) found the people were
three more times likely to agree if you start with a small request before the
more significant request.
Point three: reward schemes work
The reward cards
used in coffee shops and some restaurants have stopped working. People are annoyed by the number of reward
cards they are expected to carry in their wallet, and now on their phone. Even the points cards in shops are now a
burden rather than a bonus. With
everyone offering these cards, the customer has become fatigued and
cynical. However, reward behaviour does
work. Positivists call this conditioning.
So, if rewards
work, but there is reward fatigue – what is the answer. Studies suggest that random reward schemes
are better. Skinner, a founding father of psychology, claimed that rewarding people randomly had
a more lasting impact on the individual than rewards on a fixed schedule. There is always a possibility that each time
you engage, you will be rewarded. Think about Willy Wonka's chocolate bar
golden ticket. There was a possibility
of a reward every time you purchased the chocolate bar.
Point Four: The most appealing
Your customer is
not so sophisticated when it comes to working out savings. They will think about the gains they make in
relative terms. So, if they save £10 on
a coat that costs £100 and £10 on a pair of trousers that costs £20, the
customer will choose in favour of the trousers.
Even though they save the same amount with each purchase – the relative
savings on the trousers is much more appealing.
This might seem
obvious. However, it provides an
opportunity to express savings in the most appealing way to the client. They need to perceive they are saving more
when they might just be saving the same.
Come up with a sales pitch that considers that the customer wants a
win. Let them feel like they have struck
a good deal.
Point Five: Senses work best
Appealing to the
logic and the rational is ineffective.
Appealing to the senses makes the customer experience an emotional one,
and marketing is more powerful. Our
senses release all sorts of hormones around our body that promote a
response. If we see something that is
shocking, we will have a surge of adrenalin.
The adrenalin encourages our body to react to this shock. Equally, we are fond of dopamine hits. Therefore, any appeal to the sense that
promotes pleasure will encourage us to repeat this experience.