For centuries, people have been obsessed with the idea of being able to control people. But who doesn’t?
If you’re a business and want to drive more sales you will definitely want to see what is in your customers mind so you can manipulate as much thing as there are and make them buy your product.
Lucky for you, the art of psychology has a place in marketing. Picture this – customers are unpredictable. There are days when they are happy and impulsive but there are also days when they are rude and angry. Applying ordinary marketing tactics, you will never know which mood you might catch your customer in.
Sometimes you’ll meet someone who is about to buy your product but suddenly changes mind after learning that you have a really bad strategy in dealing with customers.
As you see, it’s not all about your products. Have you ever wondered why customers keep coming in one store and less in another? I’m sure you have. And if you happened to be the less fortunate business with really good products but less in customers your urge to learn how to control minds will be more.
Naturally, we all want to read our customer’s mind and control it. We want to show to them that we have better products and they should choose us over our competitors. But how do you do this?
The answer is simple. In this article, I will share to you some psychological hacks that will help you control your customers’ minds. By going after your customer’s subconscious mind, you will learn to deal with every type of customer. The reason being that once a subconscious mind accepts the idea many others will follow it.
Put it simply, the more you are able to comfort customers by using smart mind tricks, the faster they are in agreement with you. In result, your customers become more driven at choosing your business and we all know what that means. More customers mean more sales.
The FOMO Feeling
FOMO – the fear of missing out – is the impulsive feeling to buy something even when you don’t need it.
Admit it even business owners can feel this urge when something we want is low in supply. Absolutely, we don’t want to miss out anything. Customers feel the same way too. In a recent survey, there is around 60 percent of millennials who purchase items because of FOMO.
Understand this –when buying stress hits hard and there are only a few left of your products, customers will have no choice but to buy them.
FOMO is a pervasive feeling.
According to a psychological research, people tend to become obsessive-compulsive when they sense urgency. The same logic can be applied to your marketing strategy.
So as a business, you can capitalize on the impulse to buy. You can start by placing a twist on your ordinary “BUY IT NOW” signage. For example, rather than just calling costumers to buy your products, you can offer some limited edition items and entice customers to buy it before supply runs out.
Here are more ideas you can try to take advantage of the FOMO feeling.
- Low stock level. If you are running an online store, you can show a low stock level like Amazon.com does.
- Flash sales. Make your customers watch the clock for some items. This is another tactic that triggers loss aversion that makes people buy before the sale is gone.
- Real time activity. Everyone becomes suddenly competitive when others get something great before they do. So stir your customers’ competitive spirit by showing what other people are doing.
Take for example Booking.com. When you open its website, you will see the number of people viewing the same property. The underlying message is that if you don’t move fast, you’ll end up missing out such a great deal.
The Sale Mindset
It’s absolutely hard to resist a good sale, especially for brands that are normally sold at a high price point.
But this doesn’t mean start-ups don’t have a good chance at it. Whether you’re new to the business world or your brand is not as competitive as the elite brands like Nike or Adidas, having a sale is a great idea.
Sales are great motivators when it comes to shopping. In psychology, there is a theory called “anchoring”. It means people make decisions base on an initial piece of information. Once an anchor is set, the brain makes an adjustment based on that anchor so a bias is formed.
An amazing example of this is an Anniversary Sale. A typical pair of running shoes from Nike would cost around $150 to $200. But every year, Nike would have an Anniversary Sale that would cause the price of these running shoes to drop between 30 to 50 percent off the original price.
Since such sale only happens once a year, people are more motivated to make more purchases than they ordinarily make. Compare that to buying a pair of shoes for $50. Even if it comes from the same brand, it wouldn’t be as fulfilling as it was when the sale was on.
That’s how anchoring works. First, you need to show to the people the initial price of the product which customers can base their subsequent decision. Then display the sale price right next to it. You can also show how much a customer can save by displaying how much of a percentage off they will receive when buying the product.
The Consistency Comfort (a.k.a. Congruency)
We all love consistency. When applied to marketing, this means being able to establish a personality in your brand to be more recognizable.
Imagine going to a Japanese restaurant for the first time to eat sushi. Since you’re a newcomer, the cook gave his all to prepare a very delicious meal. So you came back the next day to order the same sushi but to your disappointment, it didn’t taste as delicious as it was the first time you order. Would you still come back for the third time? Or would you look for another restaurant?
Of course, you would look for another restaurant that can satisfy you. As you see, being consistent fortifies loyalty in customers.
Think again… Why do you think many people still come for McDonalds despite the fact that there are many other fast foods offering fried chicken and fries? The answer is consistency.
So how do you apply consistency for your business? Consistency in marketing may mean a lot of things. It could mean creating a strong visual brand and experience, and offering the same for a long period of time.
It could also mean using the same keywords and adopting a tone for your profiles – something that people can reliably identify in the middle of similar other brands.
Say for example, you’re selling some baby stuff. You need to set up a theme for your website and choose a lighter color palette for your visuals. Something light like pastel pink would definitely attract moms because we know mothers are more attracted to lighter colors.
Then you can set up an Instagram account and use the same color palette for your posts. So when people look for you across social media, they know what they are looking at.
The Serial Exposure
Exposure is everything.
According to a psychological study, people are more attracted to things that are repeatedly exposed until it becomes a habit.
The best example is the skinny jeans we are wearing today. Years ago we used to love our bell bottoms, didn’t we? In 2001 the skinny jeans were introduced and admit it, not everyone liked them right away.
Yet several brands started releasing skinny jeans and people slowly adapt to it. The next thing you know, the bell bottoms were eventually faced out and almost all people are now wearing skinny jeans.
Now you’re starting to make a realization.
How come this happened? The truth is simple…When things are repeatedly exposed, we become more and more familiar with them. When we become familiar with them, we start to love them. Then we keep coming back for the same things.
It is actually a cycle! And once it starts rolling, it is never going to stop.
So how do you apply this to your marketing strategy?
Just keep your business in front of your potential customer’s brains. Keep a regular advertisement, retarget, and keep sending emails. If you can’t reach your target at first try, then try it again. Remember, around 80% of the sales happen between the 5th and the 12th contact. So don’t give up too easily.
The Emotion Message
People make decisions based on emotion and justify them with logic. The same goes when people shop for stuff.
A concrete example is a totally relatable advertisement by Apple featuring 4s Siri app. The commercial could have been done by anyone. In fact, Apple could have just made an animation like many other brands do.
But Apple was smart enough to hire Zooey Dechanel – an actress that many other women can relate to – to do a very cute advertisement. Now almost all Apple users have Siri in their phone. In fact, many other people converted to iPhone just to experience how it’s like to use the Siri app.
Still not convince? There are many other great examples that you can emulate, from the Budweiser lap puppies to the E-trade baby. Of course, who can’t forget the emotional super bowl advertisements?
If you can remember, Microsoft launched an advertisement for its Xbox Adaptive Controller during super bowl starring some rambunctious kids who happen to have a variety of disabilities. The company used an emotional brand messaging making its adaptive technology as affordable as they can to allow users of all kinds to play the game. In result, Microsoft was able to sell 26 million Xbox consoles with more than $11 billion in revenue.
Sometimes we buy things because we are moved by emotional ads even if we don’t really need it in the first place.
The Give and Get (a.k.a. The Law of Reciprocity)
The law if reciprocity is the idea that we want to do nice things in return when people do nice things for us. The same theory goes for business marketing.
When you put a certain item on sale, you should also give people the quality they deserve. People buy your products because of the sale yet they also expect something great out of it. When you give them what they deserve they will most likely patronize your products even if they are not on sale – this is how customers return the favor to you.
The Law of Reciprocity does not only apply on sales. Some business owners monopolize on this dire need to give back through a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
We are all quite familiar of Coca-Cola and how successful it is today. After gaining billions of revenue from its loyal customers all around the world, it returns the favor by aiding in the alleviation of environmental issues.
Coca-Cola was so smart that it invested on trucks that are powered by alternative fuel. So now, more people are buying Coca-Cola because it has sacrificed its fleet of delivery trucks which accounted for 3.7 million metric tons of greenhouse gases in 2014.
Another example is Starbucks. We all know how expensive their coffees are but many people still buy them because it promised to be a socially responsible company by hiring 25,000 veterans before 2025. The more you buy their coffee, the closer they get to their goal.
Isn’t that wonderful?
A commendable CSR does not just attract customers. It is an incredible reputation management tool that helps you avoid buyer’s remorse.
There are many other ways to give back that are simpler than investing on a CSR. If you’re a small business, you can start with giving some freebies. For example, you can give a pop-up discount code for the first 10 customers who visit your site. Or you can have a buy-1-get-1 promotion or simply offer a small gift when people buy the most expensive item on your product list.
Psychology is probably one of the most difficult subjects you had in college. But I didn’t mean to make things complicated here.
It’s just that when you know why people do what they do, it’s easier to tailor a marketing strategy for your demographics. Now, that you have these awesome psychology hacks up your sleeve, be sure to utilize them to your advantage.