Your average marketer strives to improve SEO, increase traffic and conversion rates, post on social media, check heat maps on landing pages, etc. This is why it's so easy to forget that behind that computer screen...
There are real people. And real people are super complex. There are no two absolutely alike, everyone has their own way of thinking and dealing with things. Even those who like to blend in will likely find that it's impossible.
So it's no surprise that when it comes to running a business and marketing a product, psychology should ideally be a factor.
Not only should it be considered as important as the growth hacking steps you take, it should also be considered critical in terms of understanding your audience.
Because the more that you understand them, the better you can market to them, and meet their consumer needs.
Let's dive into some consumer psychology tricks that can help you get started.
The days of shady tactics, with surprise banners and free iPod scams, are long gone. Although it took an adjustment period for both marketers and consumers to find their footing and wisen up, these days things have vastly improved.
To be more specific, marketers have had to up their game, because consumers quickly figured out how empowered they actually are. With things like anti-spam filters and ad blockers, they can limit their ad bombardment.
And in order to not be filtered out, marketers have to be smart about where and how they run their ad campaigns. And that's just one of many factors.
That's not even touching on the fact that a smartphone is like a pocket wizard. There's a wealth of information readily available at all times, ready to make that shopping decision that much easier.
If a consumer wants to read reviews, get suggestions, see product pictures taken by other consumers, or anything else, they can pull it all up in seconds.
And that means they can also pull up your competitor's details. And if they have something that you don't, or offer something in conjunction with it, then you're on the losing side of the spectrum.
Obviously, all of this is rather intimidating for an entrepreneur. How are you supposed to deal with the modern ease of access that your average modern consumer has? What happens if your competitor has a better product, or markets it better?
Well, as painfully embarrassing as it is, think back to your teenage years. Chances are that when you went through your goth phase, and your preppy phase, and any other phase for that matter, your parents just kind of rolled with it.
Maybe they laughed a little, poked some fun, or even asked you not to do certain things sometimes, but at the end of it all, they understood what was going on. Because they were once teenagers too.
So, they probably bought you the stuff to dye your hair. They probably let you borrow the car for that one party that changed your life.
And one day, you grew up and that was the end of the crazy, painful, beautiful teenage years of your life. Boom done, thanks parents.
In much the same way, it's best to support your consumers by giving them whatever it is they need. That's your job as a business owner, you meet needs.
That means you should be giving them access to reviews, to comments by other consumers, to video and image renditions of product details and functionalities, and anything else you possibly can. Even blog posts, or comparisons to other products.
It may sound terrifying, much like your parents buying you those bright aqua blue combat boots when you were fifteen.
But when you give your consumers exactly what they need for whatever phase in the sales funnel they're in, they're happier. It saves them time, and proves that you have nothing to hide.
And they're much more likely to approve of you and develop a solid connection with what you have to offer.
Here's how to make your content accessible:
Another aspect of this that entrepreneurs often lack insight on is that your content should always reflect your audience. What do they need from you? What do they need to know about your product?
Don't make the mistake of blogging about product functions, when they really want to know the product benefits.
If you're unsure of what content they need, then follow these steps:
When speaking to consumers, always remember to pay attention to what's motivating them, the details of which could be hiding between the lines.
For instance, if you're selling home decor items, and a person says "Your items make me feel like I'm living a clean, organized, stylish life," what they really mean is that they are motivated by wanting to portray a life that is put-together, even if it really isn't.
Of course, that's just one thing to handle. Then there's the fact that every sensible individual out there has an ad blocker.
How does a marketer get past that?
Well, first it's important to note that when a consumer is filtering information, they're doing it both rationally and emotionally. And that leads to their ad blocker settings being altered accordingly, at least most of the time.
It's your best bet.
That means you need to appeal to both mindsets, which requires you to understand the top motivators:
Now that you have the tools required to really understand your customer needs and wants, it's time to put that into effect in an inbound marketing funnel.
Remember, the stages of it are planning, reaching, acting, converting, and engaging. You should have several customers in every stage at any one time.
First, understand that each stage leads to the next one. And it all revolves around the natural way people shop, which typically begins with exploration.
That's when customers browse around to see what their options are, what the price ranges look like, and which brands are known for providing the product(s) in question.
Which leads us to brand awareness.
Whatever you do, don't try to sell anything in this stage of the funnel. These people are not ready to purchase anything, because they are weighing their options. They are researching.
If anything, this is the perfect opportunity to offer information. Use social media and ads to tell your company story. Set up a wall to gauge interest, such as offering free, exclusive content (knowledge) in exchange for an email. Think blog posts, ebooks, deals, etc.
And measure web traffic, email list sign-ups, and average time on your website.
Once your potential customers know more, and linger around, they are in the consideration phase, or middle of the funnel.
All of the people who didn't intend on buying anything from you are long gone, they've fallen off the funnel, which is normal. Your products, much like everyone else's, aren't for everyone. You cater to a specific crowd, and as long as those people stuck around, you're doing things right.
The people who have stayed are now evaluating your brand, which makes this the perfect chance for you to offer content that reflects it the most. Think of YouTube videos, blog posts, and FAQ pages.
Your metrics, and best resources, are leads, sales reps, free trial sign-ups, and 1 on 1 conversations with them (conventions work).
At this point, the people who are actually interested are now converting. They are committing to deals, opening your coupon emails, buying your products, and shopping with your company.
You've turned potential customers into established customers.
You should be measuring transaction numbers and average order values. And all the while, keep paying attention to your free trial sign-ups, as well as what people are saying during those one on one conversations.
Just remember that once you convert, things aren't over. It's never over. Post-Conversion ensures your customers continue to feel catered to, even years later.
Things like exclusive deals for long-time consumers, memberships, and easy checkout options are key to repeat purchases.
As previously discussed, consumers think with their rational thought and their emotions. When we buy, it's emotional, but when we think of the money spent and seek to justify it, it's all about logic.
In fact, whenever we evaluate brands, it's been proven that we listen to our emotions regarding it over any factual information out there, including things like features and attributes.
That's why when an ad triggers an emotional response, it's effective, regardless of what the content actually is.
Which means it's important for brands to be likable. The more well-liked you can be, the higher the chances of converting, establishing trust, and getting positive judgment calls.
So, what are some steps you can take to capitalize on all of this?
Because brand personalities can be tricky, let's look at some quick examples. For starters, there's Jeep, which is marketed as freedom, adventure, self-discovery, ambition, etc.
It's a vehicle make that can scale rocks and leave the nicely paved roads behind. In other words, if the driver ever snaps and wants to get away from it all, they can. They can go out to the wilderness in their Jeep, and freely adventure as much as they want.
Then there's Nike, which is named after Nike, the goddess of victory. She was known for conquering, as is the sports brand now. It's marketed as resilience, endurance, and performance, hence the tagline "Just do it."
If you're having trouble coming up with a brand personality, take the following steps:
Obviously, building relationships with your customers is important. It's how you establish long-standing business, and continuously leave the door open for newcomers. However, there is more to it than just building brand personalities and giving people the content they want.
To be specific, there are three major aspects to consider when it comes to consumer psych. Let's dive into each one.
This is the main way businesses can get ahold of their customers, and attract new ones. But although online marketing content is overly saturated, mediocre content is abundant. That means you can always stand out by putting out exceptional content.
The best part about it is that it can help push consumers through the sales funnel, and you can measure that progress.
Tactics like SEO can make that content searchable, while mobile optimization can make it accessible from just about anywhere, at any time.
But ideally, you want to build credibility above all else. Without it, you're just another pushy company that's set on delivering content on some vaguely interesting, but possibly dangerous transaction.
Here are some tips to build up credibility:
As it turns out, color plays a pretty important role in consumer psyche. It's been found that the red bar on the top of one of Quick Sprout's pages accounts for 11% of new leads.
And it's not even a beautiful bar, it's just really red, so it stands out. On select websites, it may blend in, or look decent, but for the most part, it's... an eyesore.
So, what gives?
It stands out, and that commands attention to the text. Which means that after an hour or so of browsing different websites, seeing a red bar is... almost refreshing. It urges attention all over again, even from tired eyes.
Which works, considering people naturally have limited attention spans. There's only so much information that can bombard us on every website we visit before we start to go numb.
Take a look at the color list, and what they're known for doing:
Need more detail? Check out the chart by the Visme Visual Learning Center below.
The third factor is pricing, which should come as no surprise. Pricing can be used as a marketing tactic that can help you boost sales. However, as entrepreneurs, we're all initially after the marketing trinity: cost, revenue, and profit.
That means we all want to cut costs while increasing profits.
But that's not the whole story. As time goes on, you may find that you should be focusing more on the numbers that compel people to buy more. Forget which numbers pay the bills. Which numbers are so enticing, that it's surefire?
As an added spin, you should always be featuring the benefits of buying the product. What will audiences get from this purchase? Emphasize that value above all else, including the price.
For instance, say you're selling a service. You're a copywriter and you want people to know that if they hire you, they will get...
Time saved, hassle saved, peace of mind gained, high-end content that is both informative and alluring to their target audience, etc.
Instead of leading with a cheap price tag, which people don't want anyway because they associate low-priced work with low quality, you opt to lead with a list of valuable benefits that promise time saved and projects handled on time.
And that's valuable. Turns out, most people value the time they can save with products and services that promise to ease your to-do list. That's more time audiences can spend with their loved ones, making memories.
And that's more important than the money spent. Unless it's a high-end product, like a luxury sports car, something people get to equate wealth and self-satisfaction, time will always be a better marketing tactic than pricing.
So, let's see the tactics you should be implementing when it comes to pricing:
We've covered some very specific aspects of consumer psychology so far. Everything from funnels and colors, to building relationships.
But now it's time to take a look at the super simple tactics that are well-known for big results. These are steps you can take whenever you feel the need to do something new, without being drastic.
Finally, it's time to talk about friction, which is when you unintentionally halter the progress of your sales cycle.
This is almost always caused by subtle website details, like missteps in wording, or layout. Sometimes it's the lack of detail, which doesn't do anything to build trust.
Even things like low-quality images or crowded webpages can cause friction.
Here are some things to keep in mind to minimize friction, and make your sales go smoother:
Hopefully by now, we've solidified how important it is to remember that there is someone on the other end of that screen. It's easy to get lost in your business to-do's, your schedules, and funnels, but it's important to retain an element of humanity while conducting business.
At the end of the day, it's about the people. If you can connect, if you can help them, then you can run your business in a way that is both successful, and human.
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