When is comes to marketing, there is no telling what is wrong or right. We, marketers, are constantly experimenting with different tactics, measuring its impact, tweaking the effort and trying again to reach our end goal. This whole process is a trial and error methodology until we begin seeing results. Also, considering how dynamic the market is, what worked today need not work tomorrow. But the question every marketer has remains – What does the consumer want?

In order to answer that question, it has become necessary to understand the consumer’s psyche, his emotional needs, wants and what would impact his decision to jump to the other side of the fence. Over time, brands have started developing their marketing campaigns around human psychology to engage and convert people into their consumers.

How does Psychology help in Marketing decisions? In plenty of ways!

Offer something valuable for Free!

Let us assume that you own a marketplace that sells shoes, apparel, jewellery, bags and more. If a visitor comes to your website, you know that he must have heard about you from somewhere and is on the lookout for a product or a service that you are most likely offering. Knowing well that he may or may not buy from your in his first visit, you pop a landing page asking for his email address. Of course, the intention here is to keep in touch with him, send him offers and deals to see if he will eventually buy from you. He knows that too! But he won’t give you his email.Sorry mate!

Imagine the same scenario. While the visitor is on your website looking at the spring-summer collection of your shoes, you pop a landing page. The offering is a FREE GUIDE on the Hot and trending shoes in 2017 along with the colors celebrities are sporting this year! When the visitor is looking at shoes, you are offering a free guide and that would leave a positive effect on his mind. Are you asking for his email address? YES. Is he reluctant to share now? Not quite.

Work on impulsiveness

Retailers use sight, smell and sound to trigger purchase. You must have noticed at Supermarkets that, although there are individual sections for each category of grocery item, there will always be a shelf near the billing counter with some chocolates? We, humans, are known for our impulsiveness and a last minute picks while standing at the payment counter queue is more likely to happen that for your customer to go looking for a bar of chocolate at the chocolate section.

The same thing happens at a fair. You will find balloon vendors approach your child and give them a balloon. Since your child smiles holding the balloon, you as a parent didn’t think twice to pay for it. What if the balloon vendor did not approach your child? Would you have walked up to him to buy a balloon? Maybe not! Here, the balloon vendor was successful in making you do an impulsive purchase.

Create limited period offers

Retail stores use this psychology tactic very well to increase their sales. Here are some examples.

Last two days left! Hurry

This weekend, buy anything for $500 and get a $250 voucher free.

Closing down sale. Everything must go!

Stock Clearance. 50% off on all items.

When a consumer sees messages like the ones above, his mind will tell him that he is missing out on an opportunity that may not come again. End result? A purchase.

Offer Exclusivity

Have you seen websites that allow you to join only if a member refers you to them? What about private events where you are given VIP access? The human psyche is that we all want to feel important. There are some websites that offer exclusive access to its members before opening up to the rest of the public. Airlines do this very well with the frequent flyer program. Exclusive lounge access, special meals, personalised greetings and more  All of it aiming to please you, the customer so you will come back and buy more.

Induce Fear

Fear sells. When you create a campaign based on fear, it makes the consumer stop, think and most likely change his decision. Charity organisations, NGO’s, Wildlife protection associations, cooking oil and manufacturers of baby products use this tactic very well. When the portrayed consequence of not taking action is expressed as severe, alongside an easy to implement option (a purchase action), you are already pushing people down that funnel for conversion. When you or your loved one feels threatened, it is natural to take action/ corrective measure. Another business that uses fear to increase sales is Booking.com. When you look at a room, a message would pop up saying last 2 rooms left!

What if the hotel room is not available later? Should I book now?

Get what I mean? :)

Use the right color

Colors gently nudge consumers to move in the direction you want them to. If a landing page with two ‘call to action’ buttons, the one you want the consumer to click is in green and the one you don’t want him to click on is in gray. Why? Human brain processes color a certain way and register its association in a positive or a negative manner in our mind. The color blue symbolises trust and color brown are generally avoided in designs, research says. Using the right color helps in psychologically getting your customer to buy from you.

Establish trustworthiness

Your consumer does not know you and if he has to trust you and buy your product or service you need to establish that you can be trusted. Showcase the list of clients you have worked with. This builds credibility. Ask customers of yours to provide testimonials. This shows market acceptance. Use words like certified and guaranteed. It provides a sense of comfort and reliability. It is important to establish trust before any business happens. Use powerful visuals. Most times people do not read. A strong visual will provide more consideration in your consumer’s online purchase.


Work on your user experience.

There are enough research and studies that talks about how the human mind works, they way we read a certain information, the order in which our eyeballs move on the screen and the information that we would grasp based on a certain position. Play around with the price

You must have seen this everywhere. A higher price struck out with a lower price on display. Combo packs created to make you buy few things instead of one. The subscription model that cost $10 a month but when paid for a year is offered at $90. Price listed as $99 instead of $100 because a two digit cost feels better to our brain than a three-digit price. What you are doing is playing with your consumer’s psyche again. By making him feel that the offer you have is a better one to choose, you are increasing your sales. Price plays an important factor in purchasing behavior.

When you understand psychology and how a human mind works, you will be able to use those learnings into actionable campaigns. A better understanding of your customer means more sales. Is there one solution fit all? NO. You need to keep trying, testing, tweaking till you are able to decipher what works for your business.
Have you come across any other psychology driven marketing campaigns? Please do share.