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Top Human Behavior Revealed in Marketing Psychology

Posted by Eric Nelson on May 29, 2017 10:00:00 AM
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One key part of being a great marketer is understanding how (and why) people think and act the way they do. And as a marketer, it’s your job to ensure your business’s survival. Without you, and without your efforts, the brand or company you represent will lose its lifeblood and will eventually shrivel up and die; I know, this is some serious stuff but no pressure.

Understanding some key principles of psychology can take your marketing from good to amazing, all because the right audience is reading and identifying with it (and most likely converting on it, too). So in this section, we’ll dive into some theories that can be applied to marketing to help you reach your target buyers more effectively.


Theory Number One, Priming.

In simple terms, primping is something that influences the behavior of an individual later on, without that individual being aware that the first thing is guiding their behavior to a certain extent.

By using some subtle priming techniques, you could help your website visitors remember key information about your brand -- and possibly even influence their buying behavior. 

For example, in a study by Naomi Mandel and Eric J. Johnson, researchers manipulated the background design of a website to see if it’d affect consumers’ product choices. In the study they found that visitors who had been primed on money (the website’s background was green with pennies on it) looked at price information longer than those who had been primed on safety. Similarly, consumers who had been primed on comfort looked at comfort information longer than those primed on money.”

So if you’re going to use priming in your marketing, think about the small details. It could be the difference between someone buying from your company and bouncing from your page.


Theory Number Two, Reciprocity.

 Let’s define reciprocity is an easy way; “Quid pro quo”, a Latin expression meaning, something for something; okay maybe that was the hard way… but here is an easier one; as Americans like to say, “You scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours”. But how do we apply reciprocity to marketing?

In your marketing, there are a lot of ways to take advantage of reciprocity. Before asking something of your audience, provide them with a “gift” first -- and yes, that means something for free. You don’t have to be rolling in dough to give something away; it can be anything from a branded pen, to an exclusive ebook, to an awesome desktop background, or even your knowledge on a difficult subject matter. Something as simple as all that can go a long way in establishing reciprocity. Try it and find out for yourself!


Theory Number Three, Clustering.

When it comes to short-term memory, people lack a sufficient amount of space. In fact, a normal person can only remember three concepts at a time before getting overwhelmed. Since this is the case, people will try to clump things together so they will better remember things.

So when you're creating content, keep clustering in mind. And one way to do this is by grouping similar topics together, either under numbered bullet points or with different header sizes. Your important content will be much easier to remember and recall later down the road. No need for any flustering when you got clustering.


Theory Number Four, Frequency Illusion.

The Frequency Illusion is when one stumbles upon some obscure piece of information; often an unfamiliar word or name, and soon afterwards encounters that word/name again, often repeatedly. We’ve all heard the phrase before “That’s so weird, I just heard about that the other day” that would be the Frequency Illusion or also called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon.

For marketing purposes, this phenomenon is why nurturing is so important. Once someone starts noticing your brand, you'll want to help them start seeing you "everywhere." Send them targeted nurturing emails and retargeting ads based on their behavior, which can be a strong method for increasing conversation rate, if done correctly. I heard Pulse Marketing is pretty good at it…


Theory Number Five, Verbatim Effect.

Not the butterfly effect with Ashton Kutcher, the Verbatim Effect, which suggests that consumers tend to only remember the gist of your content, rather than the long, detailed version of it.  According to data from Chartbeat, more than half of your online visitors will spend less than 15 seconds on your site. We recommend spending even more time than you already are on perfecting your headline. Humans tend to be headline hungry, as they can make a quick decision from just the title of a blog or article about whether the content is something they want to look at and potentially share. So make sure your title speaks loudly because that is what people will remember the most. A catchy title will bring in a wave of people.


All in All…

Our mind is a prediction machine that works via pattern recognition. When something unexpectedly defies our prediction, our expected pattern, we are forced to take notice. This is the biological basis of how consumers learn and how marketers break through clutter. And when something is new to our brains it makes us want to explore further into a blog or website, and learn more about those behind the content. So be new, be fresh, and repeat!



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