The Psychology of Persuasion Marketing

The “psychology” of anything is extremely interesting. But when it comes to persuading people to part with their money, it becomes even more intriguing. The mind is a powerful tool and in general people are always trying to persuade others into an action. This holds true especially for marketers who are constantly trying to tap into the consumers mind in an effort to persuade them to act on their impulsive behavior, in hopes to ultimately lead them into making purchasing decisions.

It’s important to understand the complex process of a consumer’s mind because the mind is the holy grail of marketing. It’s the key to creating fiercely successful marketing campaigns and increasing the reach of your product or service.

Persuasion marketing simply takes what we know about human psychology and develops techniques to market products or services. Specifically it applies to the promotions aspect of the marketing mix and builds on a customer’s spontaneous action compelling them to make purchasing decisions.

Persuasion requires the ability to alter not just action but attitude. The difference is subtle but important. For example: A clothing brand that slashes its prices may gain new customers, but it hasn’t fundamentally changed how it’s perceived.

Many companies have failed miserably in making a positive imprint in the minds of consumers, understanding consumer psychology isn’t easy. Every person in the world is different making it impossible to have simple rules explaining how buying decisions are made. But marketers have spent many years and tons of money analyzing customer activity and have offered up useful guidelines in how someone decides whether or not to make a purchase.

Three constant psychology principles that drive success in marketing include:

  1. “Whats in it for me” (WIFM) ~ Your marketing materials need to speak to this question directly by showing how your company can help with the following:
    • Save time
    • Save money
    • Live a better life
  2. Visuals are powerful ~ Rely on subtle cues to engage your audience. Make visual cues, easy to recognize and be apparent.
  3. Attention spans are fleeting ~ Technology makes it easier to reach audiences, but it also makes audiences less likely to listen to what your brand has to say.

Lastly, put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Don’t think like a marketer. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes to understand what they want. Be Empathetic. Listen. Pay Attention.

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”                          ~ Carl W. Buechner








Author: Carrie L. Devone

Living & Learning...

5 thoughts on “The Psychology of Persuasion Marketing”

  1. Hey Carrie! Great Article! I agree that the 3 Psychology Principles (Especially #1 “WIFM”) are HUGE in getting the customer’s “buy in,” and driving business. I don’t think that it’s natural for most people to be empathetic, but, “when you start to develop your powers of empathy and imagination, the whole world opens to you.” Keep Writing!


  2. Good Points! I especially agree with #2 and #3. As we are saturated with media, the bar is set higher! Clear, direct and to the point!

    Thanks for sharing!


  3. Very well said. I’d be interested to understand more the amount of data mining that a customer does in order to understand what types of purchases I have planned. What does Facebook do to understand my “likes” and group selections? Who do they sell this information to? It’s my understanding that a lot of data collection goes on whenever I enter the “world wide web”.


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