Written by Jane Serra on Jan 15 , 2020

Digital marketers can boost their programs (and conversions) by leveraging marketing psychology

Here, you’ll find:

  • How psychology plays into marketing
  • Ways to use psychology to create better campaigns
  • Tips for objection handling through psychology
  • How marketing psychology can help foster brand trust

Marketing is all about human behavior. As marketers, we’re always trying to get inside the head of our target audience. What do they want, what are their concerns, and what will inspire them to act?

Encouraging people to think or act in a certain way involves a good deal of psychology. So it makes sense that having a strong understanding of this subject could help improve the way we approach marketing.

For example, plenty has been written about what constitutes a successful website user experience. Easy navigation, appealing design, a secure online transaction process, and crisp content all make a difference. But if you really want to beat your competition? A bit of understanding of user motivations and behaviors can go a long way. 

Below, we break down a few marketing psychology tips that can help turn window shoppers into converted customers.

HawkSEM: 8 Psychology Tips to Improve Your Digital Marketing

Tailoring to someone’s interests can make them feel more valued, which in turn gives them a more positive impression of your brand or offering. (Image via Unsplash)

1. Address pain points and focus on the positive

The human mind looks for reasons and patterns. When giving people a reason to choose your product or service, highlight how it will minimize the issues they’re facing. 

Additionally, leveraging repeated messaging through remarketing can create a pattern that may inspire someone to finally “add to cart” or request a consultation. 

For this to work, though, it’s crucial to understand your customers’ pain points and motivations. You can do this by creating audience personas through research and surveys. From there, focus on the positive outcome they’re seeking, whether that’s saving money, streamlining a process, or making their lives better in some other way.

2. Personalize to make your point

HubSpot highlights a University of Texas study that claims “we can attribute our preference for personalized experiences to two key factors: desire for control and information overload.” Tailoring to someone’s interests can make them feel more valued. This, in turn, gives them a more positive impression of your brand.

Customer-centric marketing is a phrase repeated ad nauseam. These days, customers want to be able to tell that your business was created with their experience in mind. 

One of the most effective ways to do this is through custom landing pages and ads that are specific to certain audience segments. When creating these campaigns, just make sure that:

  • the message is clear
  • the design is consistent
  • there’s a singular, strong call to action (CTA)

3. Save customers time

While we have tools that save us time and help us get more done, our lifestyles and business challenges have us wishing we still had more time. That’s why the promise of time savings often has more impact than the assurance of cost savings. 

As the New York Times reports, “In our pursuit of happiness, we are constantly faced with decisions both big and small that force us to pit time against money.” Part of this reason, according to experts, is because most people have far less free time than previous generations.

If it makes sense for your business, emphasize the time you can save customers. Back it up with testimonials. You could also provide a curated list of your product options or service add-ons to customers to drive the point home.

4. Be honest and transparent

We’ve mentioned before how today’s customers favor the brands they consider to be authentic. And a study from Label Insight showed that, “if your brand isn’t transparent, consumers will hunt for information elsewhere,” according to Inc

Your ad copy should not only get to the heart of customers’ problems, but also demonstrate empathy and kindness, without coming off as condescending. That means no sensationalist language or over-to-top claims that fudge the truth. Sticking to the facts is always best.

HawkSEM: 8 Psychology Tips to Improve Your Digital Marketing

Research shows that colors can influence how marketing messages are interpreted, especially when it comes to persuasion and your brand’s impression. (Image via Unsplash)

5. Leverage color psychology

Research shows that colors can influence how marketing messages are interpreted, especially when it comes to persuasion and your brand’s impression. They can trigger specific feelings in our minds, particularly when purchase intent is high. 

You can use the principles of color psychology to:

  • run better-informed A/B tests
  • create recallable and impactful brand logos
  • when planning a website redesign 
  • create engaging social media and content posts

6. Understand the fear of missing out (FOMO)

The psychology behind FOMO is a relatively new phenomenon, especially among young adults in Western society, according to Psychology Today

The simple fact is that fear can prompt actions. This means it’s worth exploring as part of your conversion rate optimization (CRO) strategy in particular. This is especially true during times of blowout sales, discounts, and when you’re trying to maximize leads or sales over a short time period. 

Pro tip: Knowing that a good offer will only be available for the next 24 hours is likely to have the most impact on customers, since studies show that limited-time offers entice shoppers to buy.

7. Include testimonials and social proof

Speaking of authenticity, it’s human nature to question things. In fact, skepticism can be a key part of critical thinking. While skeptics aren’t always cynics, acknowledging that all of your marketing claims need to be backed up and credible can help strengthen your campaigns.

For example, you could attach a name, face, and job industry or title to each testimonial on your ad or site. This provides context that helps the reader trust what’s being said. Videos showing how your service has made a difference to customers can also win you loyalty and encourage people to explore your company further.

8. Be prepared to overcome objections

To appear as an authentic brand, it’s important to showcase the merits of your offerings without overlooking contrarian ideas. That means that, psychologically, it’s possible to raise credibility by pointing out your product’s shortcomings, Fast Company explains.

Seasoned marketers know that paying attention to common objections from prospects and customers is crucial. It’s not only beneficial for overall brand feedback, but to inform how your company projects itself through elements like ads and content. 

Sure, maybe a similar platform offers a few more bells and whistles, or comes at a lower price. Objections like that are the perfect opportunity to highlight the value that comes with opting for your brand. That could mean fostering a true partnership with your client, a CX team that goes above and beyond, a core value of giving back, or something more.

The takeaway

Whether you look at the side of the marketer or the audience being marketed to, humans are at the core of both. 

The more you expand your knowledge of marketing psychology, the better positioned you’ll be to drive up your conversion rate and attract a loyal customer base. 

Jane Serra

Jane Serra

Jane Serra is the VP of Marketing at HawkSEM. She's an accomplished marketing executive with more than 12 years of experience leading digital marketing teams across demand generation, branding, events, content, and communications. When she's not strategizing, networking, and honing her craft, she enjoys traveling and scrolling Yelp for new restaurants to try.

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