The inevitability of psychology in marketing

Marketing is considered a core function of any business and is given utmost importance because it plays a significant role in helping your business succeed. Personally, I think it is one of the most dynamic and fun processes involved in running a business. Marketing strategies vary from firm to firm, even product to product! It is a highly customised process that requires an in-depth understanding of both your products/services as well as your target market. I’m going to pick the target market part in this post- how understanding the psychology of your target market can help you market your products effectively.

Marketing and psychology are ‘indivisibly intertwined’-  basically inseparable, which is why marketers invest time and money into creating ads to trigger positive responses from the target audience. With this, they hope the target audience connect with the brand on a emotional level, convince them to trust the brand, make purchases and encourage repeat purchases by existing customers making them loyalists of the brand.

The underlying factor to the success of their ads is their ability to influence their target market’s behaviour, which is only possible if consumer psychology is well understood by marketers.

The question is, how do we use psychology to bring the best marketing campaigns to the audience?

1. Strike the emotional chord

Studies have shown that emotional appeals resonate more with your audience than functional or technical ones. Demonstrating how a particular product will help the consumer or make their life easier will be more effective than an ad about the specifications of the product. The functional abilities of the product can be a part of the ad but not the entire plot.

2. Display exclusivity

Everyone wants to feel important, unique and exclusive and it’s natural to feel that way which is why self-esteem is on the top of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory . Pinning on this need, many brands create ads that often say their products/services are not for everyone and if you’re that brand’s customer, you’re special. This promotes a sense of exclusivity, boosts the self-esteem of consumers and draws them towards the brand to be a part of the ‘prestige club’.

3. Position yourself in the ideal slot

It is an established fact that consumers have limited slots in their minds for products/services. For example, if I want to buy a mobile phone, two brands instantly come to my mind- Apple and OnePlus. Similarly, every consumer has only a limited number of brands that they automatically think of when they think of a certain product. Marketers use varied tactics to catch a place in one of these slots. One such tactic is repositioning your competition by positioning yourself in an ideal slot. A perfect example for this is the Jif ad that says “choosy moms choose jif”. This brand basically made the moms believe that if you choose competitors’ products, you’re not choosy or you don’t want the best products for your children. No mother wants to feel that way, which is why this ad worked!

4. Solve a problem

This can be best explained with an example; say you’re selling detergent. Pick the most commonly faced problem like tough stains. Showing the problem in your ad will help catch your audience attention and relate to the ad. Now that you have their full attention, you now have to bring in the solution to the problem using your product- the detergent and how it’ll help them get rid of the stains. Thus, your audience have a solution to an existing problem or a problem they might very well face at any point in time. This lays a strong case in favour of your product in their minds and improves chances of your brand’s product being purchased.

The above are simple, easy to implement, yet effective tactics that need to be incorporated in your marketing efforts. Being a successful marketer requires you to understand consumer behaviour and plan your strategy accordingly. If psychology is taken out of the equation, you’re left with directionless strategies and futile marketing campaigns.

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