The dark art of marketing. It’s never been on the curriculum at Hogwarts and to many people, marketing is all smoke and mirrors. A mystery. Or there’s the school of thought that believe ‘stuff’ is just thrown together in minutes, and if you’re lucky it’ll work and if not …. back to the drawing board.
Listen up. Read to the end and you might just learn something that could help your business to grow exponentially. And who doesn’t want that?
Let’s talk marketing psychology.
The art of knowing what your customers want before they know it themselves. Getting inside your customers’ head. Finding a solution to a problem that they are yet to discover.
Firstly, just to set the record straight, marketers do not study psychology BUT we do use psychological observations and theories to make sure we get it right for our customers, and our customers’ customers.
Chances are, you’ve already fallen for marketing psychology as a consumer. You may even have used it in your business without realising. So, let’s take a look at five commonly used marketing psychology principles.
The Principle of Reciprocity
You’ve heard of the phrase “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours.” Basically, that’s the principle of reciprocity. Let your audience see that you are giving them something for nothing. It may be know-how tips to make their life easier, maybe a giveaway or a piece of direct mail. Showing your customers that you’re putting them before your business will open doors, build customer loyalty and, in many cases, lead to a purchasing decision.
Information Gap Theory
Humans can be curious beasts, so the information gap theory plays to filling those gaps in knowledge that promise to improve and enhance the mundanity of everyday life. Instagram and Tik Tok are flooded with posts from the beauty industry, offering hacks that can save you time, give your make-up a professional finish, get a tan without sitting in the sun, have salon-perfect locks at home ….. and so it goes on.
A word of warning: it’s a fine line between filling the information gap and clickbait. And nobody likes clickbait! If the content promised in your post doesn’t match the clickthrough you’ll do yourself no favours. Be genuine. Helping your audience to fill that knowledge gap will help to build your brand, your followers, and your bottom line.
The Psychology Of Scarcity Marketing
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How many times have you brought something based on those techniques? Yep, that’s scarcity marketing. If something is harder to obtain, or may imminently be in short-supply, people will buy it. Think about the madness of Black Friday – nobody wants to miss out on those killer deals.
For service businesses, the scarcity principle can be applied to elite customers: a VIP Group for example. Once word gets out that you have a VIP Group, the lower-spend customers, feeling that they’re missing out, may increase their spend with you in an effort to become one of your VIPs.
Of course, at Golddust Marketing, all of our clients are VIPs!
Social Proof Marketing
Social what? OK, when you’re making a purchasing decision and you’re not sure what to do, where do you turn? Based on the psychology of persuasion, social proof encompasses things such as customer reviews, expert opinion and for larger businesses, celebrity endorsement. Whilst we can’t all bag ourselves a Beckham to wax lyrical about our products or services, we can request customer feedback. It’s what you do with that customer feedback that counts: use it on your social media platforms, dedicate a page on your website to reviews and testimonials, read them out during networking meetings …. but whatever you do, don’t just sit on them!
Loss Aversion Marketing
An email drops into your inbox screaming that it’s your “last chance to buy….,” or “early bird price ends at 6 pm today”. You really don’t want to miss out, so you click through and purchase. And there you have it – the theory that most people would prefer to avoid losses compared to acquiring gains. Trial offers are another example of loss aversion marketing – making the consumer/end-user feel special and exclusive to have access to a product pre-launch. Something as simple as offering free shipping is a simple way to tap into the loss aversion theory.
A word of caution on loss aversion marketing. With so much email traffic landing in our laps every day, don’t overcook the goose if you decide to go down the ‘last chance to buy’ route. The only thing you’ll achieve is being perceived as a spammer.
The Next Step?
Utilising marketing psychology can reap rewards but knowing which approach will work for your business and client-base can be a bit of a minefield. If it’s all still smoke and mirrors to you, Golddust Marketing would love to sit down with you and brainstorm how we can work together to reach more customers, and ultimately increase your bottom line.