Are You Using Marketing Psychology to Help Your Business Sales?
Buying behavior can be defined as the psychological process of buying – which happens to be deeply related to the emotions that consumers feel. While purchasing a can of soup at a supermarket is a fairly mechanical process, buying items such as cars, houses, and business services usually require more detailed thinking.
First, a buyer recognizes they need a product, then they will find some way to solve their needs. A buyer must find where to get the product, how much it costs, what vendors are the best to buy from, when to buy the product, and more. Buying behavior is a psychological phenomenon that can easily change with even the slightest modification in the surrounding environment or the within the consumer themselves. As such, there are many factors that influence it.
When people react to your campaigns they talk about your products, which makes them more likely to purchase. When your design and copywriting attract attention from a targeted audience, consumers begin to associate your product with things they already find interesting. Evoking emotion with a product or service can also cause consumers to buy due to factors such as fear or nostalgia.
In the study of buying behavior, there are six universally agreed upon principles of persuasion: reciprocity, commitment, pack mentality, authority, liking, and scarcity.
Here’s how you can use these six principles for greater success in your digital marketing campaigns.
- Reciprocity involves the human need to return a favor or reciprocate a kind gesture. A classic marketing approach to capitalize on this phenomenon is offering free value-ads to customers: Free downloadable material, free trial periods, free samples, free tools. If a consumer is forced to choose between two competitors where only one offered free resources, they’d probably be inclined to side with the one that offered free resources. The consumer will not only perceive your brand as more generous, but more trustworthy because you have allowed them access to your product or service before purchase. By the principle of reciprocation, they will become a paying customer.
- Commitment means the same thing as brand loyalty – take users of Apple products vs Android products as an example. However, most brands don’t have this type of grip on buyers. As a business with a smaller following, you can utilize a similar idea called the commitment and consistency bias – the idea that once a small request is heeded, it can open way for an audience to comply with larger commitments. Marketing and sales funnels are modeled after this kind of behavior. For example, you ask readers to read your content, then you ask them to give their email in exchange for a free guide, then you ask them to attend an event or webinar, and then you invite them to a free trial or consult. Because a consumer tends to stay consistent, they’re more likely to continue engaging with the content and offers from the first business they started with.
- Pack mentality occurs when a brand can demonstrate their popularity or satisfaction across a wide base of customers. This principle is linked closely to social proof, which is very powerful when selling a product. People like to know that other people use the same product as themselves. This is why it’s important to solicit feedback and testimonials from your clients, especially if they are influential. When a buyer sees that a trusted friend or family member recommends something, it drastically increases the chances of buying.
- Authority can be used to attract customers that don’t know you or your product. By positioning yourself as an expert in a given area, you can attract customers outside of your sphere of influence, or those not as effected by pack mentality. Creating an informative blog, hosting webinars, providing FAQ’s or producing podcasts are all strategies to build authority. While some may be more time-intensive, they all pay off in the long run. At the very least, you should be accessible to answer questions and provide information on the benefits you offer. Even a simple exchange on Twitter can build credibility for yourself and your brand.
- Liking refers to people from similar demographics that influence other’s buying decisions. Whether the same socioeconomic class, religious affiliation, or ethnicity, buyers with shared backgrounds or even similar interests are far better at persuading others to buy than those they perceive to be vastly different. This tells us why it’s important to sell to a defined audience. This explains why insurance companies target middle-age groups and tech companies target young adults and college students. Buyers that see versions of themselves in campaigns will identify with your product and be more inclined to purchase.
- Scarcity is linked to the fear of regret and to the idea that people want what they cannot have. By making a product scarce – through a limited-time sale or seasonal offering – it becomes exclusive. When customers see that their product might not be available in the future or they may not get a better chance to buy, they’re more compelled to act.
Using these six principles of persuasion along your buyer’s journey presents a simple yet effective way to tweak your campaigns for increased efficiency.
If you choose to use the power of persuasion, make sure that it aligns with the goals of your business and your prospective buyers for a true win-win. As always, a focus on building great products and earning buyers trust, pays dividends in the long-term.