You can’t sustain a business without knowing your customers. What do they want? How do they want it? And most importantly, why do they want it? Through psychology, you can gain valuable consumer insights to supplement your business strategies and make knowledgeable marketing decisions. If you intend to pick apart your customers’ brain and facilitate a more profound connection, you’ll need to integrate a few psychological principles into your marketing approach.
Less really is more
When it comes to making decisions, having too many options to choose from can actually inhibit your audience’s ability to make decisions. This condition, referred to as “analysis paralysis”, is important to keep in mind, especially when consumers are involved. If, for example, you have an online store with a large inventory, make sure you categorize and group (aka “chunk”) items in a way that won’t overload your customers’ cognitive processing.
Framing and loss aversion
As humans, we’d like to believe that we always make the right decisions and think logically. However, you’d be surprised how blind we can become when facing a particular situation. Instinctually, we are terrified of loss. In fact, research suggests that a perceived loss is, psychologically, twice as powerful as a perceived gain (even though they may be of equal value). Therefore, when making a proposition to your customers, don’t go on and on about all they great things they’ll get. Instead, you’ll have greater success if you make them feel like they’d be missing out if they don’t partake in your offer. (The scarcity effect is a similar phenomenon, where an individual perceives something to be particularly valuable only because of its diminishing supply or rarity.)
The power of mystery
Something’s gone wrong. Things aren’t adding up correctly and confusion starts setting in. This predicament is what’s known as cognitive disequilibrium. It’s that piercing moment when two points that are supposed to tie together are, for whatever reason, are unable to make the connection. The disequilibrium is unsettling, and provokes the need to start filling in the gaps. Your goal should be to capitalize on the unmet need: intellectual satisfaction. This is a great strategy to keep your audience curious and engaged with your brand.
Remember that psychology is more than a science. It is the lifeblood of your consumer, and the key to having a well-executed and effective marketing strategy.
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