The Power of Psychological Marketing

The Power of Psychological Marketing

Marketing is a game I enjoy – how does one with a great product encourage and drive sales into their organisation? What factors can they employ to help build meaningful relationships so customers will return and purchase again, and again?

This is what I want to discuss: making money online, and how that landscape is currently shaped and in particular today, run through some formulas we use to help organisations and entrepreneurs get their products to their desired audience. People we work with have products that they know can add value to peoples lives, and it’s our job to convince them to engage and purchase these products, and experience a higher level of existence.

The Power of Psychological Marketing

The Power of Psychological Marketing

Shall We?

Let me start by clarifying something for you. If you think consumers make rational purchasing decisions based on the pros and con’s of buying a certain product, or on the price, you are horribly mistaken (an extremely large portion of the time), which of course is not your fault.

Modern Media has a substantial amount to answer for, and its day will come. Yet, that day is not this day. This statement is pretty accurate if you ask me: “consumers buy based on the emotions that the particular product gives them at the point of purchase, which goes in line with their current life experience” This implies, the emotion your product, and the experience around it (store, music, other psychological factors, who they’re with etc) coupled with their life experience (I need to feel better about myself, I need new shoes for when I go out next, I’m missing something and need to fill the void etc) will determine buying decisions.

So, what type of feeling should you make your potential customers go through? That depends on your product, and I’ll show you how you can do that, and direct feelings and emotions to make purchasing decisions that benefits your target consumer. Key word, BENEFITS them.

One thing you should research, whether you’re in marketing or not is Psychological Marketing.

It’s real, it’s powerful, and if you’re not careful you could unsuspectingly buy something you have no need for by being taken through an unconscious journey by a clued in marketer. The number of these marketers grows each and every year. We get smarter while the average consumer watches more TV and reads newspapers. We research ways to deliver our story to them, so they can relate and purchase our products, which hopefully get them moving in a direction to more happiness, money, or self esteem. (Everyone looks for these 3 things). Please note that I’m assuming integrity to your fellow man in this post..

I will now take you through a journey of marketing principles, listed out by Robert Cialdini whose book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion is one that shaped my career, so let’s go through it.

Psychological Marketing Principles – (throughout the article, I reference click wurr… I’ll explain it at the end of the article)

There was a man who once was particularly over weight. Like, ridiculously overweight, which made this man depressed, unhappy, and bitter. If someone is depressed about something they’re not doing (eating better), and that something equals nothing but pain (internal beating up), that man probably won’t be the happiest of people. I mean, how could you be nice to yourself if you know you should not be doing something, and you continue to do so. You will never really be comfortable with yourself, which most likely means you will revert back to the very thing you know you should not be doing. Life Right?

It’s important to note now, that this man found his way to a new life. How did he do that? What was it? What clicked? I’ll aim to go through some principles below of marketing strategy we employ for our clients, and some of our initial thought processes we employ: P.s. ALL CHANGE starts with you, not with some snake oil miracle product, cure, or remedy that a loaded company creates, and markets to you shamelessly. It starts with you, and the best in the business know that, and design products to get you thinking that very way.

I’m going to reference 6 Psychological Marketing Principles by Robert Cialdini from his book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion.

Reciprocity – This principle follows a very old school train of thought. If someone does something for you, you unconsciously feel an ‘urge’ to do something nice back for them. Imagine if you’re walking home, and someone comes up to you and asks you if you want a lift. You say “yes” (you know them) and happily jump in the car. Now if you all go out with a group of friends, and that person wants a drink, you will unconsciously be drawn to want to purchase that drink for them. Either your mind will go “he gave me a lift that day, I’ll buy him 10 drinks”, and before you know it, you’re buying him drinks, possibly all night long. Do you see businesses offering free consultations? Or Free Reports? Click wurr

Commitment and Consistency – Consider this story. When raising awareness for a disease, the foundation raising money had an idea. They had people sign a petition to say they support this particular cause, and asked the participant to wear a badge saying that they were a supporter of this cause. They got their details, but did not make them pay any money. When it came time to collect donations, they sent out people to the homes of those who committed and saw a much higher success rate then those who they approached cold. Another example is when you have heard the saying in sales where someone says “once they sign the form then they’re in”, why do you think that is the case? Not because the contract is tight, in fact in my time in sales I’ve rarely seen a contract hold strong. It’s because once they’ve signed, they have mentally committed themselves. That is the most significant and strong form of commitment you can hope for. They now have to stay consistent to the most important person in the world, themselves. Click wurr… 

Social Proof – One of the strongest in all facets of persuasion. It’s simple really so let’s jump straight into the mind of the consumer. This particular consumer is looking at a photo of a product, and the product being used is by a friend they trust immensely. “If a friend has a amazing experience using this product, then I can, too”. Boom! So simple, so involved. It’s like a jealousy ritual, I want it, I must have it, he is having fun or seeing benefits, I can too! Where do I buy I must have one, now! This won’t always work directly, so you can’t always go and find a “friend” of someone and say “hey, buy my shoes so your mate will buy them too”. Won’t work, so how do you do it? Testimonials, Images, and anything that relates. Anyway you find someone with some sort of reference from a third party, they’re employing social proof. Whether they know it, or not. They’re employing it. Note, most testimonials (high end B2B are exempt) are fake. It’s the feeling of trust that they give you which has marketers pumping hundreds of them on their website and online presence portholes. You see them, you’re in a buying state, Click Wurr… 

Liking – This is an important principle, but tough to master from a pure online perspective. It’s easy to do in a face to face environment, and you can research basic methods for this by looking into NLP, or Neuro-Linguistic Programming. If you can be genuinely likeable,  by being genuine, you can build trust with your prospect. No one want’s to do business with someone they don’t trust and simply don’t relate to. If they can relate to you, like you, and genuinely trust you, then you’ve taken steps in the right direction to build a relationship with your client that can create trust and loyalty. Again, key word is genuine. You can’t go to your prospect, ask them what they like, say football, and then have a conversation about that and think that you’ve earned the prospects trust. It’s on a level beyond words that is created. Being true is the easiest way, but once you do… Click Wurr… 

Authority – Well, this one is simple in the world that we live in. If you have allot of money, that is. Hire a identity that everyone knows to endorse your brand, and that equals immediate sales! People will listen to people they respect, and respond in a way of submission to them. They’re ‘authority’s’, they’re ‘respected’, and as such it’s easy for people to relate to them, and be driven to do what they’re advised to do. Now you can’t always if ever hire a celebrity to endorse your brand. They’re not cheap. But what you can do is use anything relation you have done. Ever see those websites with trusted logos on them? Like websites with Sydney Morning Heralds Logo with a ‘As featured in’, and other various logos on their website. Or awards they have won in the industry for that business. Those unconsciously create trust, which in turn makes the process to purchase easier for consumers. Click wurr…

Scarcity – Think rare… think scare… Think might not be able to get this if I don’t act now. It’s pretty simple, once you want something; what’s a great way to ensure you buy it, and buy it soon? Tell you it may not be available soon… Limited edition, sale ends soon, etc etc etc.. Once you want something, and that something is perceived as rare, or going out of stock, your level of wanting this product raises substantially and quickly. Nothing will be right in the world until you have it. Click Wurr… 

So those are the factors marketers live by. They test these principles in many different formats, and one of the biggest Facebook. Why Facebook? Why not Google or other websites? What makes Facebook different? Well, it’s partially because most people now have a facebook page, but it’s because most users that browse facebook are not aware. Not aware of what they’re reading, just mindless scrolling through a newsfeed, looking at people talk about themselves, how awesome they are, and what they ate for dinner. Riveting stuff!

When people scroll facebook, typically they’re bored. Why would you want to hear what your friend ate for breakfast, or their experience at the gym, or how someone cut them off in traffic and they’re losing faith in the society.  I mean really, it keeps us communicated and plugged in. But how do marketers capitalise?

There is a lot of information on Facebook. And while scrolling, people can tend to slightly overload with information, which in turns lowers their level of reaction to information. We move into autopilot so the brain can filter the information uninhibited. This is when consumers are vulnerable, Vulnerable to the principles. Your past experience and perceived future want’s are in the back of your brain, and while scrolling if a marketer can capture you in that state, and take on you on the journey to the end of their buying cycle, you will have no idea what’s happened. Click wurr… 

So what’s click wurr…? If you have not figured it out by now, click wurr is me showing you that these principles are going to hit you without you thinking. They encourage a train of thought congruent with their buying process. Before you know it, click wurr… you’re on your way to buying a product.

Allot of these products are good, and you should look into things. If you have an opportunity to go to a free seminar to learn about property development, why not go? Or get an audit on your Superannuation, Why not do it? Just be conscious that at some point those principles WILL be employed, be conscious of it, and filter information accordingly 🙂

As a business owner, have a think about how you can employ these principles in your business to aid you in converting and ascertaining customers.

As a consumer, be aware of these tactics, they’re being employed (extremely successfully) all around you. By being aware, you have pretty much solved half the problem.

Daniel Buckley
Head of Platinum CMO

E-Web Marketing
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