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The psychology of marketing

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An important part of being a great marketer is understanding how and why people think and act the way they do. Knowing the psychology of your audience can be a key way to appeal to them effectively. It’s extremely difficult to create interesting content marketing if you don’t know why it would be interesting to your audience to begin with. Applying basic principles of human behaviour can make the difference between a good marketer and a great marketer.

Every marketer can use keyword research, develop buyer personas and track where people are most likely to click on their site pages but diving into theories that can be applied to marketing can help to reach target buyers much more effectively. We take a look at some of the theories behind the practice:

Reciprocity: One of the main principles used in marketing is reciprocity. Reciprocity in a nutshell is the feeling of warmth a person feels after receiving a gift and the desire to give back to that gift-giver. There are many ways to take advantage of reciprocity in marketing. Before asking something of your audience, provide them with a “gift” first. Not only will people be more willing to follow through with your request, but you’ll be portraying your company in a positive light, establishing brand loyalty.

Peer comparison: Peer comparison is also useful as it can lead someone to believe that they should be doing the same thing as others they see around them. It’s a principal connected to the theory of social proof, which is the positive influence created by finding out that other people are doing something. It’s known as the “me too” effect. This can be applied on websites by showing the number of followers an account have or the number of shares a piece of content has then people who stumble upon the post will be much more likely to share. This also ties in with scarcity. The idea that there used to be a ton of product, for example, that you are selling but due to popular demand there’s few left. This will make people be very receptive.

Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon: It is well known that exposure of a brand equals to more customers, but the deeper reasons behind this aren’t as notable. The reason for this derives from the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. When you are stuck by a new product or idea, you unconsciously then keep an eye out for it, then making you see it surprisingly often. This phenomenon is precisely why nurturing is incredibly important for marketers and also shows the importance of PR. The more exposure to your brand’s content, the more likely people will feel positively toward your brand.

Clustering: A simple principle of human behaviour is clustering. Most people can only remember seven pieces of information at a time. In order to remember as much information as possible people tend to cluster information together. It is useful to know this from a marketing perspective as it can be used to help design a website, for example, by grouping similar topics together under one header. The content will be easy to remember and understand. Similar to this the Verbatim Effect shows that people are more likely to remember the gist of what someone said, not the specific details. It can have a huge effect on how content performs therefore headlines and headings should be given a great amount of thought and attention as it may be the only thing a potential customer reads.

Taking these principles into consideration can make all the difference when it comes to widening an audience and increasing brand popularity and exposure. They can help you attract, convince, and convert more people with your marketing.

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