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Marketing and psychology go hand in hand. You can’t have a strong marketing plan without understanding how your ideal client thinks. What makes one piece of marketing stand out – while another piece flops?

Here are a 6 hacks when it comes to using psychology in your marketing:

How to use Psychology to Market Your Business


The human brain is wired to avoid losses and seek equivalent gains. We are always on the lookout for a better deal, and that includes online. Modern studies show we prefer not to lose out when there’s an opportunity of gaining something else instead – just like in practice! One great example would be how Amazon has these “Deal Of The Day” offers where you can get savings by setting up timing so it happens automatically every day at specific times (and they make us buy faster too).

The Zeigarnik Effect

The Zeigarnik Effect is the tendency for tasks which have been interrupted and uncompleted to be better remembered than tasks which have been completed. We all know that feeling of looking away from your desk and realizing you’ve been sitting there for 30 minutes without doing anything. You don’t want to forget about those unfinished tasks, but it’s hard when you constantly need reminders!

E-Commerce platforms use SMS marketing as one way they remind their previous customers about left in cart items soakers get them completed–and this works because we humans treasure our time more than anything else.

Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is a term for the state of discomfort felt when two or more modes of thought contradict each other. The clashing cognitions may include ideas, beliefs, or the knowledge that one has behaved in a certain way.

Cognitive dissonance strategies that require a consumer to reconcile two conflicting views by buying a product can be effective in marketing, especially if the reconciliation of opposing views protects or enhances the consumer’s self-image.

For instance, you consider yourself a savvy automotive enthusiast. In the course of a visit to a high-end auto dealership, the salesperson emphasizes that “a lot of Americans aren’t sophisticated enough to understand why this car is actually a great buy.” On the one hand, if you resist the sales pitch for this very expensive car, you appear unsophisticated; on the other hand, if you agree, then you’re progressing down the marketing patch toward the purchase of a car you can’t afford.

Faced with this kind of cognitive dissonance, many consumers will go along with the sales pitch to avoid being viewed as an unsophisticated person without the real knowledge required to fully appreciate the car.

Decoy Effect

This Psychology Hack is ruined now as its not just limited to marketers. Viral videos have educated everyone about this but it still works.

In Decoy effect, you use a product with 3 Tiers and the price of 2nd and 3rd product tier has a small difference which makes customer go for the 3rd and most expensive tier.

A common example is Starbucks Pricing strategy A large coffee is $6.5, Medium is $6 and the Small is $5. This pricing makes you go for the large as the difference is small and you think you are actually saving on choosing the large coffee.

Pricing Protocol

Does the way you write a price make it seem higher or lower? Of course! We already know that including a currency symbol can have a negative effect – that’s why you see some restaurants pricing a steak at “29” instead of “$29”. But new research shows that punctuation and decimals can make a difference in how people perceive prices.

According to a new study published in the Journal of Consumer Psychologyprices that have more syllables when spoken actually seem higher to consumers. Commas (e.g., “$1,699”) and cents after the decimal (e.g., “1699.00”) add to the number of syllables and hence make the price seem to be of higher magnitude.  This effect occurs even when the price is written and not spoken – our brains, they say, use the auditory representation in storing the magnitude of the price even when the price is only seen visually.

The effect is due to the way one would express the number verbally: “One thousand six hundred ninety nine,” for the comma version, vs. “sixteen ninety nine” for the unpunctuated version. Visual length may also be a factor.

Social Proof

Social proof is a psychological phenomenon, popularized by Dr. Robert Cialdini, that describes our tendency to rely on the opinions or actions of others to inform our own. Also known as informational social influence, it validates a shopper’s choice, saying that it’s worth their time, money, or interest by using other people as proof.

Whether you’re familiar with social proof or not, chances are it has influenced decisions, both big and small, throughout your life. Leveraging the appeal of following the “wisdom of the crowd,” social proof captures our attention because we’re naturally curious about what’s happening, why it’s happening, and what the correct behavior or response is.

Social proof makes people pause to pay attention to a brand because others are saying that it’s worth paying attention to.

Marketing is a very tricky business. You have to be aware of your audience’s behavior, as well as the underlying motivation that would impact their buying decisions in order for your marketing campaign or plan to work effectively- which can sometimes seem almost too difficult!

Having that foundation in psychology can greatly improve your marketing strategy. I don’t believe there isn’t a marketer out there who doesn’t appreciate the psychology behind their marketing.

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