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Little do we realise it, but it’s the workings of the deepest recesses of our minds that influence our purchase decisions. Psychologists have observed certain predictable patterns in how our brains respond to standard stimuli and have stumbled upon amazing results. The subsequent insights into how psychological traits determine customer perceptions have completely revolutionised the way we look at traditional marketing.
In his book “The Advertised Mind” Erik du Plessis delves into how we react to brands and their marketing strategies at a subconscious level. It is these impressions that sway our choices and shape our decisions. Customers are usually not even aware of these inner processes and can hardly pinpoint why some brand perceptions resonate with us more than the others. However, knowledge of these intriguing psychological biases can prove to be useful pointers for online marketers to chalk out an effective strategy that can successfully build that vital connect with customers.
Here are some tried and tested online mrketing strategies to help you win favour with your target audience:-
The Halo Effect
This refers to the prejudices – favourable or otherwise that we harbour about a brand based on our past experiences with them. It is usually the first impression that carries through and colours subsequent ones.
The key to bolster first impressions is by
- Achieving endorsements in the form of likes and retweets from celebrities and experts to reinforce the positive impact
- Leveraging the success of one product to boost the sales of the next one – Apple’s iPod is the best example of this. Consumers were so smitten with the Apple iPod that they flocked in hordes towards its subsequent products.
- Developing a vibrant customer service on all social media channels – ensure that you come across as friendly, helpful and genuine, handling all complaints and queries promptly and with utmost courtesy.
The Serial Position Effect
The tendency to recollect the first and last items in a list rather than what comes in the middle is known as The Serial Position Effect. Make the most of this predisposition by reorganising information in lists in such a way that the most important bits appear in the first and last few points.
The Framing Effect
This strategy plays upon consumer’s fear of loss as it believes that people’s inclination to take a risk is born from a fear of failure rather than the happy possibility of a positive outcome.
Using the Framing Effect:
Create smarter titles and captions like “5 steps to avoid going bankrupt” instead of 5 steps to help take your business to the next level
Refrain from directly praising your brand while a better way would be to compare your service/product to your competitor’s and focus on how you can better avert the negative outcomes.
The Von Restorff Effect
We remember things better when they stand out from the background. Conversion rates therefore hinge to a large extent on how distinct the call to action button is, its colour, size and placement.
According to this principle, people exhibit disbelief in facts, figures and statistics that are extreme and highly unlikely, even when they may in fact be accurate.
How to get by the Belief Bias
- Ensure that your claims sound reasonable and realistic instead of only furnishing facts and stats
- Adding testimonials is a better way to flaunt your performance rather than only stressing on data
- Avoid excessive use of logic and reason while attempting to convince customers. Subtly appeal to their emotions and instincts in order to influence their purchase decision.
The Bandwagon Effect
This refers to our innate tendency to go along with the crowd, to feel safety in numbers. The greater the popularity of the product, the more we are likely we are to be drawn towards it. Social Media is the best platform where the bandwagon effect can be used to maximum advantage. A post with the most comments, the highest number of shares and likes attracts the target audience and even casual visitors like magnets. The popularity and engagement is unconsciously interpreted as a measure of its efficacy, pulling in more and more people to jump on to the bandwagon.
Leverage this effect by flaunting customer testimonials, ratings and reviews. Add social share buttons on you blog posts, encouraging people to endorse and spread your brand message. Aim to create opportunities that would attract a large number of people to comment and participate in healthy discussions. This kind of mass engagement does wonders in establishing your brand as a market leader and industry expert.
The Anchoring Bias
According to this principle, our mind relies heavily on the first piece of information it receives and it is this assessment that colours or anchors subsequent judgements.
For example – when two questions are posed to people in this order:
Do you think these pair of shoes are reasonably priced at $100?
How much do you think the blue ones are likely to cost?
The answer to the second question is influenced by the figure mentioned in the first. A smaller number would have resulted in a lower estimate as the answer to the second question and vice versa.
Taking advantage of The Anchoring Effect from the online marketing perspective
The Anchoring principle suggests that our brains often do not evaluate any option based on its actual value but by comparing it with other offers/alternatives. These “anchors” impact our decision making process. By cleverly positioning the various options you place before the customers, brands can, to some extent, influence their flow of thoughts and lead them to a successful purchase.
Marketing is all about psychology and analysing the mysterious processes of the human mind. Incorporating these valuable insights into your online strategy will most definitely help your brand achieve higher conversion rates and a create a favourable impression with your audience – both online and offline.
Have you ever experienced any of the above ever before? How likely are you to notice these now that you know insider tricks of marketing