Think of the last 10 purchases you’ve made.
Did you order some clothes online?
Did you go to a store and buy some groceries?
How about stopping by a petrol kiosk?
Did you stop to get some fast food along the way?
Whether you know it or not, nearly every single purchase you’ve made over your life is influenced by psychological and cognitive factors that you may not be aware of.
In this post, we are going to uncover some of the psychological tricks businesses use to get you to buy just about anything. What makes people tick. Why do people purchase some stuff and not others? And most importantly, how do we turn these people from mere customers to lifelong advocates?
Each and every one of us has the same basic mental triggers and needs that drive action. We can leverage these psychological triggers to help influence, persuade and guide people in the direction that we want: to buy stuff now.
#1 The Halo Effect
The halo effect is really just a fancy term for first impression bias.
The first impression your client has with you is going to influence all of your future interactions with them. That first exposure to a message or a business is so heavily weighted that it is going to colour, influence and direct all of your customer’s attitudes, beliefs and understandings about your business moving forward and well into the future – even if they are wrong.
This is why as marketers, it is incredibly important to really make sure that you are evaluating all of your marketing – specifically those first touchpoints (the first interactions that someone could have with your brand or business) and make sure you are putting your best foot forward.
A positive first impression is going to buffer against any future possible negative experience, and that is where brand loyalty comes in. If every customer relationship started on a really solid foundation and the right foot, it’s going to help protect your brand’s reputation if something doesn’t go quite right moving forward. Your customer is still going to perceive you, your brand and your business as more positive overall if that first impression worked out well.
#2 The Serial Position Effect
The very first piece of information and the very last piece of information is going to be taken and remembered and viewed as far more important than basically, everything else in the middle.
This is why the customer journey and the marketing funnel is so important. Dial-in on that first step and introduce your business in the best way possible – a strong message and a clear call to action that gets them to take some kind of purchasing or buying decision or whatever it is that is in your conversion funnel.
#3 The Recency Effect
We as humans tend to give higher weight or more authority and importance to the most recent bit of information that we’ve received rather than all the stuff we’ve heard before. This is the reason why strategic marketing campaigns always centre around how businesses can increase frequency and touchpoints. In essence, you are increasing the recency of how someone saw or heard or engaged with some kind of marketing content.
To put this in perspective, let’s just say that you and a competitor are competing for your client’s attention. You’ve got your business and your competitors business both try to get in front of your client and win their business. Well, if your competitor is creating more content marketing, there is a higher chance your client is going to see that more recently and evaluate them as more important.
#4 The Bandwagon Effect
Essentially, the bandwagon effect is all about doing what other people do.
As humans, we look to other people that are like us, people we aspire to be like, to help us make decisions. This is why providing elements of social proof such as testimonials and positive case studies is such a powerful motivator to get someone to take action. The more proof that you can show, the better.
This is why engaging influencers to promote your brand is a highly effective strategy. When these influencers match the identities, beliefs, values or appearance of the audience you are trying to reach, and if your brand can effectively convey the message that these influencers use your service or product all the time, the more your audience will be inclined to buy into your brand.
#5 The Blindspot Bias
All of the effects that I’ve talked about, including a ton of other cognitive biases and psychological triggers that I have not mentioned, are invisible to the people you are trying to market to.
And that is why taking advantage of these triggers are guaranteed to work.
These triggers are so deeply rooted in our fundamental makeup and mental psyches that we cannot actively recognise when they are being used against us, even when we are being told they are being used against us. Even if someone is to come out and tell hey, this brand is clearly marketing to you a product, the bias still seeps in. This is because our brains are busy places and we have to rely on these mental shortcuts to quickly evaluate these decisions and help us make decisions.
Marketing is all about trying to influence people. Try your best to make use of all these effects every time you are trying to write a sales letter, publish a newsletter, post something on your blog, or write any other type of persuasive content. If you can successfully employ these psychological techniques, I guarantee that your business is bound to grow.