Psychology marketing for more leads – 8 principles

Did you know that audience psychology is critical to create an effective psychology marketing strategy?

Written By Anil Kumar P.

On Last updated Sep 2, 2022
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Anil brings immense value to the digital marketing space as a techno-marketer with 30+ years of experience. He understands both eco-systems – technology and marketing. Digital marketing is the love of his life & he has been pursuing it for over 20 years. His other interests areas are Artificial Intelligence, Expert Systems, Sustainable Technology and Coding.

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Read time: 12 minutes

Great marketers are not the ones who follow time-tables and execution. Great marketers are those who understand customer psychology and kindle their emotions, directly or indirectly. They are great communicators and understand psychology marketing principles like the back of their hand.

As a great marketer, the skill to craft perspective-changing content for better conversion rates and results is highly critical. Yes, getting there is challenging, and many of us have miles to go. But, there is, of course, a way to do it easily. Using these 8 psychology marketing principles can help you create compelling copy and messaging to enhance visitor engagement and better convert rates.

The 8 psychology principles

Marketing is not a numbers game, it is a compulsive influencing, engaging, researching and converting game. The better you understand your customer’s emotions, their direction of thought and their emotion-driven actions, the better you can tell your story. Remember, emotional appeal and engagement are the greatest keywords for any marketer, whether it is B2C or B2B. And your customer is not a bot, but a bot-hater.

You do not have to be a psychologist to understand or execute your strategy based on these principles. These 8 psychology marketing principles can help you get deep into the game with a significant advantage. Each of these principles can stand on its own, however, use all of them cohesively in line with your domain and activity as a part of your comprehensive marketing strategy for best results.

The Framing principle

Visitors come to your website looking for information, product, service or to buy something, which means they come with a pre-conceived notion. Understanding these notions is crucial to conversions because that will define how you place or present your product or service.

framing principle

Positioning your product or service in line with those pre-conceived notions can make the visitor more receptive to the messages and the chances of conversion improve. Understood, you cannot cater to all notions, even artificial intelligence fails in this aspect. You can probably cater to X% of visitors who may have a similar notion or intent. But you do not need to lose out on the rest. The presentation of the product or service can have pre-defined options, used as a menu on the web page.

This is called ‘framing’ or ‘priming’ the visitor. There are 2 crucial parameters to consider. One is the online atmospherics or the design and presentation of your webpage that influences visitors positively. The second is the perspective-changing content. For example, would you say ‘2% of users do not recommend’ or ’98% of users recommend’? Compelling content is always positive. Look deeper into visitor-intent to craft your design and message on the pre-defined presentation options, if you are using them.

We always prime a visitor with specifics, which could be price, problem or quality. According to a study, when a visitor comes in with a specific, it is valuable to him/her, if you add to it. Catering to such a specific and expanding on it can help convert better.

The challenge here is, which frame to use with visitors? For those who are aware of the product, you can frame it why your product is the best. Frame it as a solution to the problem if a visitor comes with one. For those who come with a price point, frame it as what better quality or features you offer and why is the best value for money. Framing can have pre-defined options, as mentioned earlier. The more options you use as visitors choices, the better will be the conversion rate.

The Verbatim principle

The verbatim principle is best explained as well constructed messaging or a blog post. In a good blog post or article, the header should serve as the general summary, the section headers should be clear and explain the benefits. If you are reading this, check the presentation of this blog post.

verbatim principle

When messaging follows this psychology marketing verbatim principle, visitors will most likely remember the gist and not the exact words as written or said. This is human behaviour, and they already overloaded us with information.

Messaging with catchy phrasing may make you proud as a peacock, but will it help the reader remember more? And today, most readers skim the article before allocating time to reading it. In short, they are looking for informational value. Short and effective headings will serve the purpose of providing such value, catchy, or not.

The Reciprocity principle

Deep inside, all of us prefer to return favours. More so in some cultures, but the temptation to do so is quite common in all of us. Not returning a favour creates a discomfort for many as though they are in your debt.

Today, online communities, shopping options, and a plethora of services have reduced traditional interaction between people. So, the best way ahead is to humanize your brand. Use an attractive character or a mascot to gel with your current branding and start giving out ‘stuff’.

reciprocity principle

The ‘stuff’ need not be physical goods or services which incur costs to you. The best ‘stuff’ you can give away is the intangible value using your top-notch content. For example, this article is to be read by fellow marketers, and these psychology marketing principles can be very helpful in the B2B or the B2C space. Remember, B2B, B2C or B2X, the decision maker on the other end is a human being, not a bot.

However, the value we offer from this article is in the eyes of the beholder. So, the effectiveness of list building also depends on the value you offer through presenting your content. People who read this content should think it valuable before giving their email away. Increasing the value of your ‘stuff’ will improve the value of your psychology marketing and the chances of reciprocity.

Another point that needs mention here is the CTAs. Do not stuff your ‘stuff’ with CTAs. Keep them at the end of the blog or page. In fact, we feel people will contact you without a CTA, if your ‘stuff’ is of real value. And those who do that are your customers for life, nurtured properly.

The Clustering principle

Clustering is keeping all similar information in one place to remember it and improve recall. This is an effective means of information storage, and that is how a human brain stores it. A human brain searches ’like instances’ when it is trying to recall something.

Did you know that a human brain is capable of much more than that is used in daily life? Try stretching it and it will stretch further. Don’t worry, it will not snap into madness, though it could snap into a genius or find its own ‘halo’.

clustering principle

For example, you wouldn’t put all your wrenches or screws on separate shelves or containers. You store all of them together and then look for the specific size when needed. So, you are clustering similar products together. A human brain clusters similar information together.

A free recall study used semantic clustering to understand the recall working of a human brain. They gave a group of participants 15 random assorted words to study and remember, asked to recall them after a specific period. Later, they were given another set of 15 words, grouped into topics. Recall was better in the second set.

So, when we create categories on our blog or list product features, they should be in the same section (like information) for better recall by visitors. The reason bulleted-lists are the most preferred way to present information. And, believe us, they work!

The FOMO principle

Human beings want to be a part of rewarding experiences. Once we get to know of one, it plagues us with subconscious anxiety until we join in and reward ourselves. It could be a free lunch, a wonderful product endorsed by peers, or a good play that your friends have been to. This is also called Fear of Missing Out (FOMO) effect.

FOMO principle

This works best in psychology marketing. As we already know, word of mouth is still the best marketing tool that works wonders. So, if someone buys a product or service and puts up a great review, the entire tribe will look at it with great interest and delve into what they would ‘gain’ by buying the product. The feeling is more like “why shouldn’t I buy this?” I am sure all of us have gone through this many a time.

Remember, we are all tribal and value other’s opinions, especially of those who are close to us, friends or family. We trust peer insights and truly believe that they would recommend nothing useless. Useful to self or not, we convince ourselves to buy it just because a peer recommended it.

A Nielsen study inferred that about 83% of consumers trust family and friend’s recommendations. 

Putting this psychology marketing principle to use, using reviews, social buttons and testimonials on your web pages, is a good idea. Many of us marketers use this principle without an explanation, because most websites use it. Great marketers are made of in-depth understanding. 

The Decoy principle

According to a study, the decoy principle affects everyday decisions by altering our choices according to the way they are presented. 

psychology marketing

In the study, a group of people were asked to choose between 2 options for lunch. The first option was a 5-star restaurant 25 minutes away, and the second was a 3-star restaurant, 5 minutes away. The choices were not clear but tended towards 3-star because of convenience and quality.

Then, a third option was introduced, a 4-star restaurant 35 minutes away. Now, most people chose the 5-star option. Why?

The 5-star option dominated asymmetrically the 4-star option. It was closer and had better quality food. So, a third option made the 5-star attractive. It was the better option. The 3-star restaurant never made it to the list.

So, people will choose a cheaper and convenient option unless they get better value from another option, real or perceived. Therefore, an additional purchase option that may not offer more value for the price will increase the perceived value of the other two options.

This decoy psychology marketing principle helps you to add an offer (decoy) to improve customer perception.

The Scarcity principle

How does the luxury market work?

By creating upmarket, heavily priced goods that only the rich and famous can afford. All of us want to own one of those because we feel powerful, owning something that many cannot. The innate desire to own something that is scarce or out of reach is very strong in all human beings.

So, when Violinist Joshua Bell played, the venues were full to the brim. One day, he played a free concert in a subway of Washington D.C. Did you know that he only had 7 people listening though thousands passed by? He played the same music he played on the stage, yet few listened. Why?

Because it was free and not scarce. When you do not get tickets for his shows, it becomes something unreachable or scarce. Because it was free and did not cost the listeners anything.

psychology marketing

Applying this psychology marketing principle, the difference between saying “only X in stock” vs. “only X in stock owing to popular demand” is clear. The latter pulls more customers than the former because the former is ambiguous. Specifics are critical to your messaging, especially those that cater to the scarcity principle of psychology marketing.

The Frequency Illusion principle

Human brain is an awesome pattern-recognition engine, built that way for eons. It is prejudiced to pattern because it is programmed to learn continuously. We also known this frequency illusion psychology marketing principle as the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon.

frequency illusion principle

For example, you want to buy a yellow sedan and researching for the best buy. During these times, you observe too many yellow sedans passing you by, and you look constantly at them to assess vis-s-vis your research information. This may seem to be mysterious, but your awareness is the culprit.

So, when you are highly aware of something, you see the same product or object popping up all around you. We also known the reason as confirmation bias and selective attention.

Applying this psychology marketing principle, we see that the use of pixels creates the same phenomenon online. When a visitor comes to your website and notices your brand, he or she will see your ads (if you are advertising) across the web. The effect it creates is an illusion that you are a big and an influential brand, which you may not be. The frequency illusion principle also affects the visitor’s perception.

It is important to understand the minimalist branding principles here. Your branding should be consistent across your website and your ads for this principle to be more effective and fetch better results.

Using psychology marketing to your advantage

All human beings are wired the same way, apart from the fact how a man’s brain interprets information and how a woman’s brain does. However, leaving the gender alone, they work similarly to interpret sales messages. This gives you a specific advantage in creating a marketing strategy. The 8 psychology marketing principles listed above are for generic use in marketing ethically and not meant of unethical practices in any manner.

They will certainly add an edge to your marketing strategy, going ahead. When leveraged together with proper research and insights, it can help your brand stand apart from the competition.

Conclusion…

Seasoned marketers who believe messaging is the key to conversions widely used the psychology marketing principles. No wonder then, they do not delve too much into figures and percentages. They focus on messaging and other related marketing ‘stuff’ and make these principles an inherent part of their marketing. 

Brands like Nike or Benetton result from using psychology marketing strategies, they are not market leaders by chance, but by hard work and purpose.

In short, great marketers always stand in the visitor’s shoes. The more they do that, the better they will get and better will be the results.

More Digital Marketing trends for 2022.

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4 Comments

  1. Sunil Ekka

    It is valuable content about psychological behaviour of selling,I feel anyone can get value from this article.thank you for valuable content

    Reply
    • Anil Kumar P.

      Awesome that you feel so Sunil Ekka.
      I use it in my marketing, and trying to improve it.
      Hope my fellow marketers like you would do that too.

      Regards
      Anil

      Reply
    • Anil Kumar

      Thank you, glad that you liked it Roshni madam.

      Reply

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