May 12, 2021

5 Psychological Principles You Should Use To Market Your Company

Kate DeWald, CEO of Oncue, had the pleasure of authoring an article for on 5 psychological principles you can use to improve your marketing campaigns, build brand awareness, and lead increase lead generation.

The full article is copied and pasted below but if you’d like to view the original source please see here.

Marketers often use principles of psychology in their campaigns to help attract their target audience. Building brand awareness and generating leads becomes easier when you understand the reasons why a customer might choose one company over the next.

Here are 5 psychological principles you can use to improve your marketing campaigns. These can help you better understand how your potential customers think, so you can design your marketing and advertising in a way that will resonate better with customers, addressing their specific pain points.

#1 – Hick’s Law 

In the 1950s, psychologists William Edmund Hick and Ray Hyman examined the relationship between the number of choices on offer, and the time taken to react to those choices. They found that the length of time it took to reach a decision increased with the number and complexity of the choices. If there are an overwhelming number of choices, people tend to become disengaged with the process.

This idea is important when considering the design of your website. When a potential customer is researching products and services, they are probably checking out several different companies simultaneously. If your website is confusing, hard to navigate, doesn’t have a clear way for them to contact you, or offers conflicting calls-to-action, they are likely to leave your website and go with a competitor.

With a clean and simple website design, an easy way to find what they’re looking for, and one simple and obvious call-to-action, you’re ensuring that your potential customers won’t be overwhelmed by too many choices. They’ll quickly make the decision to contact you.

#2 – Von Restorff Effect 

In the 1930s, German psychiatrist Hedwig von Restorff discovered the Isolation Effect. She found that when someone is presented with a number of similar options, the option that is distinctive and isolated is more likely to be remembered.

This is another principle that can be taken into account when designing the website for your company. On a page full of similar content, for example, blocks of text, the item that stands out is most likely to be remembered. In this case, it should be the call-to-action button or the way for a potential customer to get in touch with you. If you have similar content throughout your homepage, make sure that your ‘Contact Us’ button stands out from the rest of the page.

You can take this idea even further and apply it to your entire company. In a sea of companies with similar websites and campaigns, the one that is different will have more of an impact on the potential customer. Check out what your competitors are doing, and try to create something unique and different that will help you stand out from the crowd.

#3 – Cialdini’s Principle of Reciprocity 

Robert Cialdini is a psychologist widely known in the marketing industry for his 1984 book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. The book analyzes why people make decisions and the various ways in which marketers can influence the decision-making process.

The principle of Reciprocity examines the idea that we as humans are more likely to do someone a favor if they’ve previously done one for us. In marketing, if you offer your target audience something of value without asking for anything in return, you are building trust and they may become more likely to give something back in the future.

Here’s an example of this principle in action. Let’s say you’re a moving company owner. You could create a blog post with Top Tips for how customers can enjoy a stress-free move. By using the knowledge and expertise that you already have and passing this on to your target audience, they are receiving value from you without being asked for anything in return. When someone is planning a move and they stumble across your helpful blog post, they may associate the name of your company as one that helped them. When they are ready to move, there is a good chance that your moving company is the one they remember.

#4 – Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon 

When you come across something new for the first time, perhaps a restaurant that you haven’t heard of before, and the next day you hear it mentioned on the radio, and on a TV show, and in conversation with a friend, this is called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon. People had already been talking about that restaurant, but now that you’re aware of its existence, you suddenly feel as though you hear it everywhere.

This idea can be used when marketing your company. After someone has visited your website, you can retarget them with relevant content elsewhere like on social media. When they see your ad and come across your content, they’ll start to take notice of your name. When they’re driving and they see your logo on a billboard, they may feel as though they are seeing your name everywhere, even if they hadn’t heard of it previously.

#5 – Social Proof 

Another of Cialdini’s principles is Social Proof, which is basically the idea that people are more likely to do something if others are already doing it. You can see this tactic used on marketing material everywhere:

If thousands of people have already made a decision, then we might subconsciously think that this must be a good decision to make. Social proof can be one of the most powerful marketing tools at your disposal.

You can take this idea and incorporate it into your website and marketing materials in the form of customer testimonials and reviews. Customers can be swayed by a positive review so make sure you’re promoting the great reviews previous customers have left on your social media channels and website. Including a quote from a satisfied customer in your personal email signoff or your automated email replies can reinforce the idea that your existing customers have been delighted with their experience.

Connect with your customers, grow your business

By applying these and other principles of behavioral psychology to design content, experiences, products and services that meet the needs of your customers, you’ll be better equipped to draw more people to your company. You’ll not only improve their perception of your brand, but you’ll improve the entire customer experience.

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