Marketing and psychology have some overlapping components – in fact, many psychology principles can help you improve your marketing. Some psychology principles, such as the Reciprocity and Familiarity Principles, can not only show you how to get into your perfect persona’s head, but help connect them with the steps they need to become a qualified lead or even a brand-advocating customer.
1. The Familiarity Principle
The Familiarity Principle, or Mere-Exposure Effect, states that people will develop a preference for something merely based on their familiarity with it.
The Mere-Exposure Effect was originally discovered in the 1800s, but was formally tested and attributed to Robert Zajonc, a leading psychologist who definitively showed in the 1960s that the more an individual sees, hears or experiences something, the more that person will like it. Participants in the study who had seen a picture for the first time had no real preference, whereas those who had seen the same photo before showed a preference for that object over a new one.
To use the Familiarity Principle in your lead nurturing, present your brand in a very positive way across every platform that you publish to. Publish often to increase familiarity with your brand and use platforms your followers are more familiar with.
2. The Self-Reference Effect
According to the Self-Reference Effect, people more successfully retain information that has been linked to themselves. For example, when people are asked to rate or judge something, they are more likely to do so in relation to who they are as a person.
In terms of marketing principles, use the Self-Reference Effect when crafting your marketing strategy and content. Using more words such as “you,” and “we”, the marketing content will be received better by the consumer.
While personalizing your marketing content and newsletters, it’s important to use the Self-Reference Effect to frame your content in a way that relates the information to “the self.”
3. The Reciprocity Principle
The Reciprocity Principle is also known as the norm of reciprocity. It’s a social condition in which if someone gives you something, you feel obligated to give them something in return.
A useful example of this is an action many of us are accustomed to: free samples. A salesperson gives you a free sample of a product, hoping that will lead to you returning the favor by buying it.
Another marketing tactic you may be familiar with that uses the reciprocity principle is the free giveaway. Companies often give away a free eBook or white paper in exchange for the customer’s personal information.
4. The Social Proof Theory
The psychologist Robert Caldini popularized the idea of the Social Proof Theory. It states that when a person is unsure of the appropriate behavior or action for the situation they are in, they will look to their peers around them. People will imitate what they see others doing as unconscious guidance for their actions.
This psychology theory is sometimes known as “Monkey see, monkey do”. It’s utilized in influencer marketing often, when a popular celebrity displays “expert” knowledge on a situation or product to influencing the way you behave or buy.
The main types of Social Proof are:
- Current users.
- Crowd wisdom.
- Associate wisdom (wisdom shared by your friends).
5. The Propinquity Effect
Propinquity is when you feel a connection with something, either physical or mental, and develop a strong bond with it.
Propinquity generally occurs between people with similar attitudes, ideologies and goals, which leads them to develop long-lasting and enduring relationships. While propinquity can happen out of the blue, it’s more likely to occur when people have frequent and pleasant interactions, such as at work, at school or online.
The Propinquity Effect often builds on the Familiarity Principle, in which the more you become familiar with something, the more your affinity for it increases. This often leads to an increase in interactions and even purchases.
6. The Availability Heuristic
The Availability Heuristic is the process of judging a product or situation based on one’s personal experiences. People base their judgments of the quality or likelihood of success with your product on information they’ve already received or current availability.
Judgments based on real-life experiences function as mental shortcuts that help us make fast assessments – whether they’re right or not.
When using the Availability Heuristic in marketing, you should make sure to provide real-life examples of the actions your users may take, or real-life outcomes of someone using your product. This makes the use of your product easier to grasp.
7. The Acquiescence Effect
The tendency to blindly agree with someone or something, rather than disagree, is known as Acquiescence Bias. When questions are posed with more “black and white” options, such as agree/disagree or yes/no, acquiescence bias shows that people are more inclined to say yes than no.
The words you use and the way you frame your content have a direct impact on your readers’ reactions. Whenever possible, frame things in a positive light so readers can see a clear gain. People can be easily swayed to answer in a certain way if the question seems tilted in a specific direction.
Researchers have shown that this effect happens due to inherent politeness. People are more likely to agree unless they have a very strong negative opinion about a topic. Researchers have also discovered that when given too many options, people will more often than not click “agree” without ever reading all of the choices due to information overload.
8. The Paradox of Choice
The Paradox of Choice is a newer psychology term popularized by researcher Barry Schwartz. Schwartz demonstrated through extensive research that when people are given too many choices, it can actually lead to disorientation and indecision paralysis.
Schwartz discovered that in consumer marketing, there’s actually a sweet spot of choice. This is where customers are given a variety of options to choose from, but not too many.
Give customers options to pick from, but limit the number of choices that can help them narrow down their options.
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