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  • Writer's pictureBite Marketing

7 Marketing Psychology Theories That Actually Work


Marketing psychology

If you are familiar with the team here at Bite Marketing, you will know that our business philosophy is all about authentic, emotional connections. We apply psychological theories to the strategies and tactics of all of our clients but we do it in a genuine and honest way- meaning, we do not use our psychology knowledge to 'trick' customers into buying services and products they do not need.


We would like to encourage you to do the same.


Understanding consumer psychology and crafting strategies that resonate with their emotions and behaviours, allows you to connect with your target audience on a deeper level. And, that is how you attract the right customers for your brand and keep them for longer. Essentially that's the purpose of marketing!


Here are seven marketing psychology theories that have proven to be effective when leveraged by entrepreneurs looking to boost their marketing efforts.


1. Social Proof


Social proof is the psychological phenomenon where people follow the actions and decisions of others, especially in uncertain situations. In marketing, it's about showcasing that others trust and enjoy your product or service.


Why it works:


Social proof works because it provides a sense of security and validation. When potential customers see that others have had positive experiences with your offering, it reassures them that they are making a wise choice.


How to use it:

  • Showcase customer reviews and testimonials.

  • Highlight the number of satisfied customers or subscribers.

  • Display social media shares and likes on your content.


2. Scarcity


Scarcity is the psychological principle that plays on people's fear of missing out (FOMO). It involves creating a sense of urgency or limited availability for your product or service.


Why it works:


Scarcity works because it taps into our innate desire for things that are exclusive or hard to obtain. It compels individuals to act quickly for fear of losing out on something valuable.


How to use it:

  • Run limited-time promotions or flash sales.

  • Highlight low stock levels to convey high demand.

  • Utilise countdown timers or deadlines for special offers.


3. Reciprocity


Reciprocity is the principle that people tend to give back when they receive something. In marketing, it means offering value before asking for a sale.


Why it works:


Reciprocity creates a sense of obligation and gratitude. When you provide something valuable upfront, it fosters a positive relationship with your audience.


How to use it:

  • Share free resources like ebooks, webinars, or templates.

  • Provide valuable content through your blog and social media.

  • Offer free trials or samples of your product/service.


4. Anchoring


Anchoring involves presenting a high-priced option first to make subsequent options seem more affordable.


Why it works:


Anchoring works because it influences the way people perceive pricing. By setting a higher price point initially, other options appear as better deals in comparison.


How to use it:

  • Offer a premium product alongside standard options.

  • Highlight the value of your premium offering to justify the higher price.



5. Emotional Appeal


Emotional appeal is about tapping into people's emotions and feelings to influence their decision-making.


Why it works:


Emotions often drive decision-making more than logic. When you connect with your audience on an emotional level, your brand becomes more memorable and relatable.


How to use it:

  • Tell compelling stories related to your brand or product.

  • Use imagery and visuals that evoke desired emotions.

  • Identify the primary emotions your target audience relates to and emphasise them in your marketing.


6. Cognitive Dissonance


Cognitive dissonance theory suggests that people seek consistency in their beliefs and actions. In marketing, it's about addressing potential doubts and concerns.


Why it works:


Cognitive dissonance can create discomfort when there's a perceived conflict between a customer's beliefs and their purchase decision. By addressing these concerns, you reduce buyer's remorse.


How to use it:

  • Provide comprehensive information about your product or service.

  • Address potential objections and concerns upfront.

  • Offer a money-back guarantee to reduce perceived risk.


7. Authority


Authority involves leveraging the trust and credibility associated with experts or established figures in your industry.


Why it works:


People tend to trust and follow the advice of authorities and experts. By positioning your brand as an authority, you gain trust and credibility.


How to use it:

  • Showcase certifications, awards, and credentials.

  • Share content authored by industry experts.

  • Collaborate with influencers or thought leaders.


Understanding and applying these seven marketing psychology theories can significantly enhance your marketing efforts as an entrepreneur.


By leveraging social proof, scarcity, reciprocity, anchoring, emotional appeal, cognitive dissonance, and authority, you can create more persuasive and effective marketing campaigns that resonate with your target audience on a deeper level. Remember that psychology is a powerful tool, but it should always be used ethically and responsibly in your marketing strategies.


If you like the sound of these psychological approaches and would like some help applying them to your marketing strategy, book your free consultation with us today.

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