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








Strategic Marketing

In some shape or form we are constantly marketing something; be it ourselves, our business or even a cause we are passionate about. With this in mind; it is ever so important to be strategic about the following: how, to whom and when we market — hence the term strategic marketing.

Generally there are two primary factors to strategic marketing:

  1. The best way to address the competition
  2. How you will implement, support and maintain your day-to-day operations

Whether you are doing this on a personal level or for your business there are several aspects to consider. Today, our focus is specific to strategic marketing.

Begin the development of your strategy by deciding your overall objective. Usually this falls within one of four categories.

  1. If the market is very attractive and your product/service is one of the strongest you should invest your best resources to support your offer
  2. If the market is very attractive but your product/service is one of the weakest you must concentrate your efforts on strengthening your position ~ using your offer simply as a stepping stone toward your objective
  3. If the market is not very attractive but your product/service is one of the strongest; then an effective marketing and sales campaign is the way to go in order to maximize your offer to generate a strong Return On Investment (ROI)
  4. If the market is not very attractive and your product/service is one of the weakest; then you should only promote your offer if it supports a more profitable part of your business (i.e.: if the offer absorbs some of the overhead costs of a more profitable part of your business). Otherwise, you should consider the most cost-effective way to divest your product or service

Think about the above in a more practical day-to-day setting.

Example 1: If you are feeling your best and you are in a crowd of people, your confidence level is high – this is a good time for you to be out there mixing and mingling.

Example 2: If you are looking good but not feeling your best, you have to try to come across as confident and secure by focusing on your positive attributes and this may take more effort.

Example 3: If you are not feeling so great but you know you are the best thing out there; this is the time for you to suck it up and schmooze it up to maximize your best resources.

Example 4: If you are not looking your best and you do not feel your best – you should only put yourself out there if there is another objective that may benefit from your efforts. Otherwise it may be best to stay home.

Once you have determined the most beneficial direction for your venture, now it is time for you to select a strategy most effective for your market.

To learn more about the best way to market your company, I recommend reading: A Competitive Advantage Written by: Michael Porter and the works of Philip Kotler

In the meantime remember to ALWAYS think strategically – in every aspect of your life!

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