Understanding the thought processes of our target customers is an essential step in marketing. By understanding their likes, dislikes, wants and desires, we can gain a well-rounded, realistic idea of what sort of marketing messages will resonate.
This is what a knowledge of psychology can give us. But what does this mean in practice?
Psychology gives you key insights into human behaviour
Marketing strategies and tactics come and go. A decade ago, no one was talking about how to increase views and likes on YouTube and TikTok. But human psychology never changes. Look back through history and we see the same patterns repeated, the same problems and solutions, almost endlessly. In many instances, our behaviour is predictable.
In a world saturated with marketing and brands, being able to understand the mindset of your customer and tailor your messaging to their specific needs is an invaluable skill. By understanding what factors impact brand loyalty, you can help your business stick out and become established in the minds of your customers.
Psychology helps you elicit emotional responses from your target audience
Most purchases are driven by our emotions, and we use logic to rationalise that decision afterwards. Effective marketing appeals to both the emotional and cognitive needs of the consumer. Marketing falls down when it only appeals to one or the other.
A knowledge of psychological principles will help you to understand what makes us feel something. This is the key to sales and also to creating brand evangelists, who will promote your product or service for free.
Psychology makes you a master of fear, uncertainty and doubt
Fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD for short) can be used by marketers to cause a pattern interrupt in their audience, making them stop and change their behaviour. Using risky strategies such as condemning the competition and speaking the truth about certain subjects can be powerful when in the hands of an expert in human psychology.
By learning psychological techniques you can remove your instinctive aversion to ‘negative’ messaging, allow you to use FUD as a weapon when it makes sense and offers a benefit to your customers.
Psychology makes you aware of your own decision-making flaws
As much as we might like to believe we are rational and reasoning actors in our professional and personal lives, the opposite is often the case. In his book Thinking, Fast and Slow, Nobel Prize-winning psychologist/economist Daniel Kahneman provided a groundbreaking new model for how the mind works, in the process highlighting how often we fall prey to cognitive biases inherent in our decision-making mechanism.
If you have not already, we wholeheartedly recommend you read and absorb Thinking, Fast and Slow. By becoming aware of your own cognitive biases, and how these have affected your decisions in the past, you can rapidly improve your decision-making ability and significantly improve your thinking about your business (and life).
Psychology provides a robust framework for marketing success
At Cognition, we pride ourselves on a deep understanding of marketing psychology, which we distil into these three principles. Feel free to use them in your own business to add clarity and focus to your business and marketing projects:
We are fast to deliver strategies that add value to our clients’ businesses. We respect data and its findings, but not too much. We act quickly and decisively, and learn as we go.
Complexity impairs judgement, so we deliver clear, actionable strategies that are easy to understand, easy to implement and easy to evaluate.
Changing habits means challenging ingrained behaviours. We are fearless in the way we challenge our clients’ assumptions, always with the sole aim of adding value to their businesses.
When you have an intimate understanding of psychology, and the pivotal role it plays in changing how people think, feel and act, you will have a powerful lens through which to view your current marketing and sales strategies and tactics. You will know instinctively what will work and what will not and when paired with real-time campaign data, you know how and what to improve to ensure your marketing is effective at all times.
Interested in learning more about marketing psychology? Our team uses core psychological principles in all of our marketing strategies and can help you get inside the minds of your customers. Get in touch today to find out more.