Psychology has gone a long way in influencing essential aspects of human endeavors. This is especially true about Applied Psychology where the principles and theories of Psychology can be put to practice and yield actual results. Perhaps the most relevant aspect of society that Applied Psychology has helped innovate is business, specifically marketing. That is why studying Applied Psychology or Business Psychology at a reputable school such as the University of Southern California can prepare you to take on a marketing profession.
Psychology and Marketing
Psychology is the study of human mental processes and behaviors. Marketing is the business process concerned with achieving higher sales through consumer satisfaction. What connects these two concepts is the regard for consumer behavior. Consumer behavior is the pattern of actions taken by consumers based on either or both externally influenced decisions and internal motives.
Ways of Applying Psychology to Marketing
You can use psychological principles for a more effective marketing approach through the following ways:
1. Appealing to emotionsStrong emotions help cement memories into a person’s mind. To make your products more memorable to consumers, you can focus on how these products can bring positive feelings to them.
2. Capture their sensesSensory marketing or sensory branding is a marketing approach that uses techniques to promote products and services that appeal to the five senses. On the other hand, Ivan Pavlov’s classical conditioning is a psychological concept wherein two stimuli are repeatedly associated to elicit the desired reaction. Classical conditioning and sensory marketing can make an excellent combination for marketing.
- Sight – This is perhaps the most directly influenced among the five senses. That is why visual promotions and advertising never lose their value. One particularly useful concept is color psychology. Color has the power to influence consumer behavior and using the right colors can greatly enhance your products’ marketability. One crucial thing that highlights the importance of color is its use in brand logos. Buyers can immediately associate the colors to certain known products and companies. That is why it’s advisable to use minimal colors to narrow in on this impact of consumer’s memories. Other uses of visual appeal in marketing are through videos in ads and images relevant to the content, for instance, images of yoga poses for a web article on yoga or a yoga book review.
- Hearing – The use of sounds is known to be crucial in the movie industry in invoking different emotions. This same principle can be applied to marketing. When consumers hear a familiar song or jingle, it can immediately register the product associated with it in their minds. This becomes even more effective when a famous singer or musician is performing the song.
- Taste – To actually taste a product, it’s best to have a taste test. However, sampling isn’t always doable. So, you’ll have to utilize the other senses to induce a sensation of taste to your consumers. As previously mentioned, it’s the sense of sight that is usually used in marketing. This can be done through the use of imagery and descriptive words that are associated with different taste sensations on advertising or the product’s packaging. The second sensation that also has the power to excite the tastebuds is the sense of smell albeit it can only be used for products that have distinct scents.
- Smell – This is a very powerful sensation that can attract consumers. You may have noticed how, when walking near a bakery, the smell of freshly baked bread fills the air with a sumptuous aroma. This automatically induces hunger, which means more buyers are lining up at the counters and filling tables. Perfumes, colognes, and other scented products have always been valuable because people love pleasant scents.
- Touch – Marketing the sense of touch may be the most challenging of all senses. You’ll need to actually let the buyers feel the product. The best way to do this is through demonstrations and sampling.
3. Being transparent with flawProducts that seem too good to be true tend to cause consumers to become suspicious. Sugarcoating is no longer effective in attracting buyers. Ironically, to gain a sense of credibility, you’ll have to show your products’ flaws or areas that need improvement. Also, you have to show intent to change and improve your product. Potential buyers will consider this as an act of honesty.
4. Giving something for freeIf something good is done for you, there’s a great chance that you’ll return this gesture. This is what’s called the reciprocity principle. In marketing, the reciprocity principle is best demonstrated through promotions, gift certificates, and freebies.
5. Creating Scarcity and UrgencyYou can influence, or more precisely, pressure consumers to buy a product using time-based scarcity. When a product is advertised as a limited edition or an announcement is made that only a few concert tickets remain, this will send hordes of buyers or fans to buy.
Understanding human behavior is a very powerful tool that has made marketing much easier. That is why psychology and marketing could complement each other very well. However, this mustn’t be confused with faking. When intelligent consumers sense the lie, it can jeopardize all your efforts and harm your business.