What Role Does Psychology Play in Marketing?
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In the modern economic landscape, marketing is everything.
There is more competition than ever. People are bombarded with choices, from what show to watch to what toothbrush to buy. There is an absolutely dizzying amount of choice in the world today.
Much of that is awesome. More choice means that consumers have the chance to find products and services that are more aptly suited to their lifestyles.
The increased competition also means that brands are forced to innovate. This leads to inventive new ideas, helping society move forward and making people’s lives easier and more convenient.
But it isn’t all purely positive. From a business perspective, this increase in options makes it more challenging to get your brand noticed by your target market.
That’s why marketing is so radically important. You could have the best product on the market, but if your voice is drowned out by the thousands of other businesses competing for the consumer’s attention, you won’t succeed.
What Role Does Psychology Play in Marketing?
As a business owner or entrepreneur, this means you need to understand how marketing works. It’s your best weapon against the sea of competition you face in the modern world. Whether you’re running an enormous corporation or just looking to turn your side gig into full-time work, you’ll need to reach your audience.
While knowing things like strategy and content production are critical to successful marketing, there’s an often under-examined element upon which all this operates. That element is psychology.
Why Organic Marketing is Taking Over?
In recent years, there’s been increasing emphasis on new forms of marketing. No longer do we think of marketing solely in terms of advertisements or billboards.
Instead, companies are shifting towards more organic forms of marketing. It isn’t uncommon to see even huge, successful companies making social media posts or writing blog articles.
Why the shift?
The short answer is that these organic forms of marketing are highly effective. But to find out why we need to look at psychology.
Humans don’t like feeling manipulated. Most of us value our autonomy and freedom immensely, and we dislike when we feel pushed to do something from the outside.
As we’ve grown more and more aware of how corporations operate, there’s been a societal shift. Consumers understand that massive businesses are using their money to try to push us towards their products.
This leaves people with a bitter taste in their mouths.
By contrast, content and social media marketing allow the consumer to interact with the marketing materials on their own accord. They can click or interact with an Instagram post or Instagram Stories because they want to, making them feel more in control of the interaction.
Psychologically, this builds a positive relationship with the audience. They don’t feel manipulated or pushed. Rather, they see the content as having value, making the brand that created it appear friendly and helpful.
Organic marketing gains customer trust that the customer feels like you want them to find you because you want to help them, not because you want to take their money.
The Power of Validation
Another reason that organic marketing is taking over is that it makes the audience feel seen and understood.
One of the things that separate successful running businesses from unsuccessful ones is their ability to niche. In a world so saturated with products and services, it’s incredibly difficult to win over the market with broad, unspecific marketing.
Successful companies target market smaller segments so they can position themselves as a uniquely perfect fit.
For instance, if you’re a business that makes boots, creating broad marketing materials that talk about boots in a generic way will appeal to more people, but on a very surface level.
If instead, you use content marketing around your boots’ utility for car mechanics, you’ll appeal to a smaller audience, but on a much more specific level. When mechanics go searching for boots, your company will likely be at the top of their minds.
The reason for this largely has to do with validation. According to Psychology Today, validation has a wide range of positive effects, from helping people feel calmer to building strong positive associations and relationships.
When you create content that is specifically geared towards a certain segment of the market, you’re effectively providing them with a form of validation. You’re letting the audience know that you understand their lives, their struggles, and their needs and wants.
When you do this, the audience builds a positive personal relationship with your brand. They like you because they feel a sense of kinship with you.
In marketing, this is absolutely essential. With such an enormous amount of competition, it isn’t enough to just have a good product anymore. It’s the irreplaceable human connection that makes your brand stand out.
Overwhelming Choice and Customer Retention
One final area of marketing is where psychology plays a major role in customer retention.
In our modern marketplace, consumers tend to place a lot of value on positive freedom. Positive freedom is the freedom to actively do something.
But there’s a second type of freedom. Negative freedom is the freedom from having to do things.
Psychologically, humans tend to notice positive freedom a lot more than negative freedom, but that doesn’t mean we always prefer positive freedom.
Too much choice can be absolutely exhausting. In fact, according to the American Psychological Association, too much choice can make it difficult for us to focus and lead to a diminishing sense of well-being.
Looking back at the current state of the marketplace, consumers are facing a serious amount of decision fatigue. Even for simple purchases like breakfast cereal, a consumer might have to choose from 20 different varieties.
From a marketing perspective, you can use this knowledge to boost your customer retention. By positioning yourself as the brand that perfectly fits with the consumer’s wants and needs, you give them the gift of no longer having to consider the alternatives.
By reminding the consumer of this through well-crafted content and the occasional incentive like customer loyalty programs, you can keep customers returning over and over. This helps your brand grow while also ensuring you keep a stable flow of income.
Marketing is the key to your success in the ever-growing marketplace.
The best marketing comes from an understanding of psychology. Understanding why people act as they do and using that to build personal connections will help you differentiate yourself from the competition.
In the end, this enables you to reach new markets, retain customers, and grow your brand.