How can psychological understanding be used in marketing?

7 January 2019

The competitive nature of marketing environments in today’s society makes it increasingly important that a company understand their target consumers and the consumer’s values, in order to gain an advantage over its competitors. That’s where Psychology comes in! Psychology involves the study of the human mind and behaviour, and understanding some of the key ideas in Psychology can help you improve your marketing strategies.

Identify, understand and relate to your target audience

One of the most important ways to capture your consumers’ attention is to identify your target audience, then to understand your target audience and finally to relate your marketing campaign to your consumer. Marketing aims to influence consumer behaviour and understanding what your customers want is one of the first steps to creating a great marketing campaign.

Finding a persuasive voice in your source characteristics

Source characteristics are the characteristics of the person who delivers the message. The source behind the delivery of a marketing campaign can influence the persuasiveness of the message and therefore whether the consumer decides to purchase the product being advertised. Having an expert deliver the message, or coupling the campaign with impressive statistics from a reliable source increases persuasion as expertise improves credibility. Additionally, using a familiar face, such as a celebrity, can often increase persuasion.

Finding quality and character in message characteristics

Message characteristics are the quality and clarity of what’s being said in the marketing campaign. Message quality is important as high-quality messages are more persuasive. Psychological research has shown the importance of fluency, the feeling of ease associated with processing information. Some stimuli are easier to process than others and the more fluent a stimulus is, the more it’s considered as correct, desirable, important and memorable. The less fluent a stimulus is, the more likely it will be carefully scrutinised. This is important to consider in marketing, where the fluency of the information presented can be manipulated by using a clear font, simple language and an easily readable layout. The easier the information is for the consumer to process, the more people will like it and remember it.

The vividness of the information being presented is also important as vivid messages are more persuasive and more memorable. Research shows that messages focusing on a single, vivid individual are more persuasive; this is the identifiable victim effect.

Certain emotional words and phrases have a greater psychological impact on potential consumers and thus can be more persuasive in marketing. Using emotive words in your marketing campaigns, such as “love” can increase arousal and can be used in marketing in order to increase persuasion as well as engagement. Inducing moderate fear combined with instructions for what to do in response to the fear increases persuasion, whereas inducing extreme fear simply causes customers to tune out the message, resulting in a lack of persuasion.

Finally, priming is important when applied to the world of marketing by using subtle techniques that can help consumers remember your brand. In advertising, subtle changes to a campaign, for example the colour, can influence how a consumer reacts to the products being promoted.

Find out more about Wagada’s marketing strategy support or get in touch today for an informal chat about how we can help you communicate your brand message to your target audience.