03 Feb 4 more psych tricks that will make you an awesome marketer
One of the most important parts of being a marketer is being able to anticipate how people will act, even when behavior isn’t always as rational as we’d like it to be. Lucky for you, there are plenty of tricks that will help you and your marketing efforts make the most out of bias. Here are 4 more psych tricks that will help you master the art of influence.
You’re probably already fairly familiar with social proof. Well, this persuasive method is based on a psychological phenomenon called informational social influence, and refers to when people imitate others because they assume it’s the best way to behave.
When you say something positive about your company, it’s marketing. When your customer says it, counts as social proof. Integrate social proof throughout your site, whether you use testimonials, endorsements, or subscription numbers. But whatever you do, don’t edit the life out your social proof, because it’s most effective when it feels authentic.
The illusory truth effect
The more we hear a statement, the more accurate it starts to seem. Illusory truth is a bit of a cognitive shortcut that helps your brain process all of the information that’s thrown at you. Concepts that we hear over and over again are given more weight, which is great tip for marketers.
It almost seems too simple, but it really works. Repetition is one of the easiest methods of persuasion, and that’s why it’s so important to make sure your messaging is consistent across platforms. Use each new opportunity to reinforce a consistent story about your brand.
The anchoring effect
When making a decision, you might think that you’re the type that equally weighs all available options, but this is a huge misconception. In reality, whatever you’re exposed to first influences your perception of everything else. The anchoring effect is a cognitive bias based off of comparison. Whatever you’re exposed to first becomes your anchor.
In his book Predictably Irrational, psychologist Daniel Ariely explains the results of an experiment where MIT students were asked to bid in an auction. Researchers would show the students items like a bottle of wine, a textbook, or a cordless trackball, and then asked the students to write down the last two numbers of their social security number as if it were the price. It turns out that the fake price completely scrambled the students’ ability to bid based upon value. The students with higher numbers ended up paying up to 346% more than their peers with lower numbers: the difference between paying $26 for a trackball instead of $9.
So what does this mean for your marketing? When people don’t have much to go off of, they fixate on the first piece of information they have. By controlling the anchor, you can influence the comparison that someone ultimately makes. The most obvious use would be pricing, but you can also anchor based upon positive and negative values.
Mere exposure effect
According to the mere exposure effect, people have a strong preference for what’s familiar to them. Familiarity, in general, builds affinity; and you can capitalize off of this by making sure your brand’s voice and values always reflect your target.
So the more times someone sees your content, the better, right? Absolutely not. Frequency can be important, but research has shown that the mere exposure effect works best when someone isn’t acutely aware of the repeated placements. (And let’s face it, people find that annoying.) There are a thousand better ways to get your brand in front of your audience. Instead of spamming your audience, consider something more subtle, like brand pulsing.
Use your powers for good
If you use psychology to your advantage, you’ll find it easier to make sure your marketing is effective. Now that you have these awesome tricks up your sleeve, be sure to use your powers for good.