Psychology Tricks Every Marketer Should Know
Have you ever seen advertisements from companies that don’t actually need advertising? They do it for exposure. Even if you don’t buy anything from them now, their brand name will remain in your memory. From time to time, they will show ads in primetime, and you will notice that every time the ad comes up, their name pops up in your head as something familiar. This is a psychology trick to introduce us to something new, make it familiar over time, and when we need a certain product, the moment we see their brand, we will know that they are what we want. This is the way companies are building a brand image. This psychological trick has a name, and it is called the mere-exposure effect.
Most of the people have heard the story about the Russian psychologists Ivan Pavlov and how he observed the psychological effect of expectation of something to happen when a trigger is heard or seen. To his dogs, the trigger was the sound of a bell which, for them, was associated with food, so their response to it was to salivate expecting that they will be fed.
The same way many companies today are building a brand around a feeling, an image or a reaction. What do you associate the motorcycle, Harley Davidson, with? When asked the same question, most people will answer “Freedom” because this is the image that the company has been building for years. For the same reason, companies have spent billions of dollars paying celebrities to advertise their products. When we see that the person we admire is wearing this watch, or he or she is using that cell phone, we unintentionally start to build up trust and sympathies with the brand.
The building of a brand is not something that can be done overnight. A lot goes into it. The Marketing Department in a company usually prepares a strategy that over time will create an association. For instance, by now we all associate Apple with innovation, Nescafe is instant, Starbucks associates with outgoing and youthful, etc.
There are a few companies that are known not to spend any money on advertisement. Two examples of such successful companies are Tesla and Zara. The first one is an electric car manufacturer and the second one is a clothes manufacturer.
Contrary to people’s belief, both companies have marketing teams, but their marketing strategy is to rely more on the word of mouth more than on any other marketing channel. Some argue that Elon Musk’s Twitter account is the most powerful free marketing tool for Tesla, while Zara is spending less than 0,5% of annual revenue on advertising. This unique marketing approach is solely relying on customers’ feedback. Both companies strive to offer a high-quality product in their niche and are trying to build around the “exclusivity” factor.
Marketing psychological tricks do not only show in the overall strategy of the company. Every sponsored article you see about a product, every image or video in the social media are fully thought through. The title, the text, the keywords are cautiously chosen to leave an impression. Every word, image or video is a continuation of the marketing strategy, and its purpose is to help to build the brand. There are several ways an image can affect us. Colors are something we don’t notice a lot in our everyday life but the color scheme of ads is extensively analyzed. The proper use of color can increase sales, and the opposite, the wrong color can decrease sales. For instance, the use of black color is justified when marketing products like cars, perfume or lingerie, but it will be inappropriate for a milk advertisement.
When addressing competitors, marketers prefer to highlight why their own product is best rather than bashing the product of the competitor.
Ever stores use psychological tricks to position the goods on the shelves or to price them. A psychological effect called the left-digit effect is something we have all been exposed to. A lot of stores and product manufacturers are tagging their products with prices that end with .99. When the eye sees this odd price, it perceives it to be lower than it actually is. The same goes for the limited time offers trying to persuade you that you are missing something valuable that is selling at a discounted price. You didn’t necessarily go to the store looking for this product, but acting impulsively leaves you with items you don’t need in the fear that you are missing out on a deal.
Marketing is all about psychology. Marketers have to be good psychologists, they should try to follow trends, or even better, create trends.