The psychology of marketing


The words and actions associated with marketing can sometimes feel manipulative, false or exaggerated to small business owners.

Some may even see themselves as selling out by adopting certain marketing strategies which whilst effective, can leave them feel slightly ‘icky’ inside. Marketing in itself is not a bad thing – after all, how else can you raise awareness and sales if customers do not know what you have to offer?

However, what some small business owners may struggle with is how to sell in such a way that they are neither overpromising nor misleading customers, while at the same time remaining true to themselves and doing what is in the best interests of the business.

One could argue that it comes down to values. As a small business owner, knowing what beliefs or ideas you hold important and are not willing to compromise can be useful in navigating the ethical dilemmas posed by some marketing strategies. Feeling confident and enthusiastic about yourself and the product or service on offer is a crucial element of that.

Understanding your customers and their values (and tolerance thresholds) is the other half of the equation. This requires small business owners to see their customers as more than just ‘cash cows’ but human beings whose core values, if recognized and respected, can result in a mutually beneficial relationship. Examples of these values include love for family, physical health and fitness, and having the freedom to express their individuality.

The more closely the product or service matches these values, the greater the likelihood it will be purchased. Small business owners can empower themselves by researching or attending courses on marketing psychology and behavioral psychology.

Post By: Fadzai Munyaradzi


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    If we are going to understand the psychology of marketing we need to understand the psychology behind the buying decisions our clients make... there are four questions we all ask ourselves when we make a purchase. The first is a finacial question can I afford this in some cases the answer is a simple yes in some it requires thought or application and sometimes it's just NO! The second is a practical question will this work will it fulfill the purpose for which I am buying it The third is an emotional question how will I FEEL using or owning this? or how will it make me feel The final question is the super emotional question what will my family and friends think when they find out I made this purchase Few brands make it through the entire scope but trust me people are always wondering
    Admittedly I think that marketing has gotten quite a bad reputation over the years but if you follow current trends in the marketing space it seems that the buying power is moving more towards brands that people believe in as opposed to what is promised so it would seem that brands are being forced to be more transparent especially in their conversations with the consumer over social media and this seems to be forcing them to grow a concience. I think with SMME's this is actually a much easier trend to follow. Show your personality follow your convictions and be transparent with your clients in your marketing efforts and they will want to support you. People buy people!
    Spot on Gareth I have noticed 7 major shifts in marketing trends over the past few years The first major marketing trend is towards honesty and transparency The second major marketing trend is towards less interruption in marketing The third major marketing trend is towards showing people and not telling them The fourth major marketing trend is towards online video The fifth major marketing trend is towards targeting and market segmentation The sixth major marketing trend is towards an integrated marketing strategy The seventh major marketing trend is towards SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING
    Absolutely Mike As SMME's I think we can really use these points to differentiate ourselves in the Market by ticking all these boxes and meeting our client's criteria.
    I agree the landscape is changing. Consumers nowadays need to feel a connection with a brand before buying. Does this brand fit in with my beliefs? Do I feel a connection with their message? People also tend to do business with people they like and trust. Look at the rise in popularity of farmers markets. You believe in the ideal of organic locally produced artisinal type produce and get to buy it from the friendly farmer that grew it. You get to connect with him each Saturday morning and rest easy in the knowledge that you know how and where it was grown.
    I think it is very important fo SMME's to fully and comprehensively understand their brand their core values and their goals and objectives implimenting their marketing strategy. way too often small business owners slap something together and hope for the best without fully understanding the message that they are trying to get across to the audience.
    Trust has become a major issue particularly since we all have access to research. There was a time when you believed your doctor no matter what he said and questioned your religion. Now before you go to the doctor you are googling symptoms while you are there you are checking his diagnosis and when you leave you are googling the prescription he wrote for you (if you can read it) Brands can no longer afford to lie or mislead the public they get caught out too easily
    I'm not sure I agree with this unless it may be the difference in the sexes. Do you not think that it is an emotional reaction first and then financial justification after? Womencertainly tend to make purchase decisions this way what are your thoughts?
    So true TastyChef there is definitely a power in having a very personal connection to your consumer. This is why when I produce corporate videos for clients I will often suggest that the CEO him/herself represent the brand People tend to connect even through video and in doing so develop a sense of trust for the company as a whole.
    Indeed and I love the fact that this is now the case. It encourages fair trade and forces companies to be honest with themselves and the public - which in turn creates better products and services as there is nowhere to hide!
    But it also removes some of the mystery and magic that brands have been able to build (without trying to con the public) Think about the wonderful story on the back of the Mugg & Bean menu so believable yet so made up but it added to the allure of the place. Today someone would google it and 5 minutes later it would be all over social media and someone would be issuing an official apology
    Here is a video by everyone's favouritephysicist Dr Michio Kaku that speaks to exactly what I just mentioned
    What brands do you feel have nailed this? I'm by no stretch a marketing expert and am speaking as a consumer butone that I immediately think of is Virgin consumers likeRichard Branson as an everyman that has made it. He has managed to make an international powerhouse of a brand seem relatable there marketing campaigns don't take themselves too seriously yet are impactful. The brand comes across as honest caring and a little fancy free. Traits we like in others so why wouldn't we feel the same about a brand.
    One of the brands that people certainly BOND with
    Very true and the Virgin Brand always strive to deliver on their promise. Another brand I could think of is Patagonia clothing There biggest promise to consumer is they will always use the most eco-friendly raw materials that have been sourced ethically. They had a situation where they needed to use a non-eco-friendly raw material in one of their jackets in order to produce a garment that would have a sufficiently low cold rating for and environment instead of going into production they put it out to the public to help them come up with an alternative.
    Proctor and Gamble have some really great ads that connect with their clientele a very deep emotional level... Marketing done right!
    I think it is really the way that they are able to connect with the audience on an emotional level that allows people to truly believe what they stand for as a brand! What do you think the recipe for success is?
    I am always reminded of the beutiful advert of the elephants walking through the desert and the song he aint heavy he's my brother playing in the background Maybe a little before your time... Strange thing about that advert is that although everyone loved it very few people could actually tell you what it was for. Can you without Googling it?
    I can picture the advert clearly and the song will now be an earwig for the rest of the night (thanks for that BTW) but no I have no clue what it was about? Sonowtell me even though it is clearly an unforgettable ad was it successful if we cannot recall the product?
    You are right Mike I think it is a very fine balancing act between evoking an emotion and evoking a response... your call to action always needs to come across effectively.
    The advert was for IBM not for any particular computer or service just a corporate advert
    True TastyChef I think what P&G did which really worked is that it wasn't a once off but rather a series and they really captured the talk ability aspect without having any other real way of identifying the advert other that did you see the P&G ad?
    Wow thatis quite a powerful ad and it really gets to the core of human nature our need to be our best selves our need for support and love and from the Mom's points of view the need to nurture and the feeling of achievement. This advert funnily enough parallels the jounrey of an entreprenuer to the tee! It reaches further than a taget audience if you have a beating heart in your chest this will touch you.
    Another aspect to the campaign which I believe mad it so powerful is that mothers everywhere could identify and relate and as such were left with the impression that P&G truely cares about them!