7 keys to psychology applied to marketing and advertising

Psychology is a discipline applied in many fields: sport, school or business.

In this last context, we find psychology applied to marketingThis is essential for understanding the workings of the human mind and is essential for persuading consumers to buy our products or services.

Keys to Psychology Applied to Marketing and Advertising

Any good marketing strategy cannot forget how consumers think, what their needs are and what their motivations are. This is why psychology is a staple in the world of marketing and advertising.

In the following lines you can find 7 keys to psychology applied to marketing and advertising.

1. Emotional marketing

Emotional intelligence is one of the great paradigms of modern psychology, Because emotions affect our well-being and our behavior in a decisive way. Most people think that the decisions we make are based on a rational analysis of the alternatives presented to us, an idea that psychologist Antonio Damasio, in his book “Descartes’ Mistake,” says he does not share.

For Damasio, “emotions are crucial in almost all the decisions we make, because these, together with previous experiences, define values ​​for the options we are considering”. In other words, emotions create preferences that lead us to choose one option or another.

Emotional marketing is applied to branding, In customer retention strategies, in business stories, etc.

  • If you would like to dig deeper into this topic, you can do so in our article “Emotional Marketing: Touching the Customer’s Heart”

2. Classical and instrumental conditioning

Classical and instrumental conditioning are two key concepts in understanding behavioral psychology, and are present in our learning, our behavior and, of course, in the world of marketing.

Classic conditioning, popularized by John Watson with the help of Ivan Pavlov, can be seen in the advertising world when pleasant situations or attributes are highlighted that are not necessarily related to the characteristics of a product or service. It is not uncommon to come across similar products from different brands that cause different emotional experiences for users through branding.

However, when the actual characteristics of the product and service are explained, the instrumental or operative conditioning model is used. In other words, when a product really does differ in quality from its competitors, instrumental packaging is effective. For example, letting the product be tested or giving it a sample.

3. Motivation

Motivation is an intrinsic force that guides us and allows us to maintain behaviors oriented towards the achievement of an objective or the satisfaction of a need. Many psychologists have become interested in the study of motivation because it is a basic principle of human behavior. Motivation also affects decision making.

For this reason, it is applied in the field of marketing, then understanding and influencing motivation will result in greater acquisition of products and services by consumers. For example, if we detect through a survey that a user is motivated to buy a vehicle, there is a higher probability that he will be able to buy one of our products if we are engaged in the automotive sector. This technique is widely used today. An example of this is the use of “cookies”, which allow us to track the habits and concerns of potential customers.

    4. Zeigarnik effect: creating expectations and suspense

    The Zeigarnik Effect is closely related to expectations and is named after Bluma Zeigarnik, a Gestalt School psychologist, who realized that unfinished tasks tend to generate discomfort and intrusive thoughts in us. In the world of marketing, the Zeigarnik effect is a technique used to attract customers, which is used in different situations. For example, in movie trailers.

    It is common to see in some TV series a brief summary of the following chapter at the end of the program., To create suspense and provoke the need to know how the scenes they showed us previously ended. This is called “cliffhangers” and is based on the Zeigarnik effect.

    5. Persuasion

    The psychology of persuasion is one of the key elements of marketing. This branch of social psychology aims to study human behavior to understand what causes people to change their behavior under external influence. Although often confused with manipulation, persuasion is the art of convincing people to act in a certain way.

    There are a number of elements that are essential for effective persuasive communication. For example, reciprocity, scarcity, authority, consistency, sympathy and credibility.

    • You can learn more about this concept in our article: “Persuasion: Definition and Elements of the Art of Persuasion”

    6. Neuromarketing

    Neuromarketing is a discipline that studies the mind, brain and behavior of consumers and how to influence it to get more sales. Therefore, on scientific advances in psychology and neuroscience in the discipline of marketing.

    Understanding how attention, perception or memory works and how these processes affect people, their tastes, their personalities and their needs, enables more effective marketing. There are many applications of Neuromarketing, as you can see in our articles:

    • Neuromarketing has a bright future
    • Neuromarketing: your brain knows what it wants to buy

    7. Cognitive dissonance

    Cognitive dissonance is a concept closely related to social psychology. Psychologist Leon Festinger came up with this theory, which explains how people try to maintain their internal consistency. Simply put, we all have a strong inner need that drives us to make sure our beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors are consistent with each other. When this does not happen, awkwardness and disharmony arises, which we strive to avoid.

    Cognitive dissonance is very present in marketing, which is why we often choose products that we don’t really need and make purchases that are not always consistent. Indeed, any consumer who is not satisfied with the product he has just obtained and who does not know the usefulness that he will give to it experiences cognitive dissonance. It can happen that, when choosing a purchase, we wonder about the why, and look for explanations that justify our action. We humans are like that, and cognitive dissonance is present in many of the decisions we make and how we behave.

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