[GUEST BLOG] The Power of Psychology in Marketing – neuromarketing

Posted by Ari Pheiffer

Head of Digital Marketing at SYSPRO Corporate, Ari Pheiffer, explains the amazing influence psychology has in marketing.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 58 seconds.

Advertising is a science, we call this science neuromarketing, when you do it properly and understand the psychology of human behaviour. Knowing how the human mind processes information, images, colour, and text - and putting that knowledge to use - can help you become a more enlightened, and effective marketer.

Vance Packard's 1957 book, "The Hidden Persuaders," revealed how advertising agencies used psychologists and other behavioural scientists to probe deep into consumers' minds, and build advertising campaigns based on what they found there.

5.3 Trillion display ads are shown online each year. The emotional response to an ad has a far greater influence on a consumer’s intent to buy a product than the ad’s content does. Advertising campaigns that performed well - 31% had emotional content, vs 16% which had rational content.

The amygdala controls our reactions and emotions, (our primitive brain), and it works much faster than our conscious, rational mind. We experience gut reactions in three seconds or less. Emotions, make a more lasting imprint than rational thought.

Color Psychology

Colour is everywhere, and you are being influenced by it whether you realise it or not. Humans are visual creatures; so visual, in fact, that colour plays a much bigger role in influencing what we purchase than we might think.

Colour psychology is an area of research that looks at how colour influences our behaviour and decision-making. When used in marketing, for example, different colours can impact the way buyers perceive a brand in ways that aren't always apparent. When humans see red, their reactions become faster and more forceful. However, that boost of energy is likely to be short-lived. When asked what their favourite colour is, the most common answer is blue.

According to a study done by HubSpot, it was found that a red CTA button outperformed a green CTA button by 21%. Still think colour doesn’t influence your behaviour?

During my own experiments, I was able to increase click through rate on ads just by changing the CTA, nothing else was changed same images, same text.

Image Psychology

Our brains love images. Our brains process images much faster than text. Approximately 90 percent of all data that the brain processes is visual. We remember pictures with text more than we remember text alone. Our brains love images of faces. Research suggests that natural selection favoured humans who were able to quickly identify threats and build relationships. As part of that, we are wired from birth to recognise and prefer human faces. The part of the brain that processes human faces is right next to the part that processes emotions.

In 3 studies, the evaluative and behavioural reactions of 130 undergraduates to 2 advertising strategies: appeals to a product's image and claims about a product's quality. High self-monitoring group reacted more favourably to image-oriented advertisements, were willing to pay more for products if they were advertised with an image orientation and were more willing to try a product if it was marketed with an image appeal. By contrast, low self-monitoring group reacted more favourably to product-quality oriented ads, were more willing to pay more for products if they were advertised with a quality orientation and were more willing to try a product if it was marketed with a quality claim.

Word Psychology

Studies have shown that certain words affect readers and viewers emotionally, making them more likely to want to buy a product. These words include phrases that imply getting a good deal or sense of urgency (such as "10 percent off, limited stock, closing sale, buy now, don’t be disappointed) phrases that give a feeling of urgency (such as "limited time") and phrases that generate excitement (such as "sizzling product" or "stronger and faster").

American psychologist Maslow argued that human behaviour is always the result of one (or more) of the five basic human needs, such as:
  • physiological needs – hunger, thirst, shelter, clothing and sex;
  • safety – the need for physical, emotional and financial security;
  • social needs – the need for love and belonging;
  • esteem – need for achievement, care and respect;
  • self-actualisation – the need to achieve one’s own full potential.

Successful message should address at least one of these five needs, to meet the user’s needs, desires and aspirations.

Focus on messages that penetrate deep into the subconscious and emotions of users. As an example, think about the emotion you get when a product says it is environmentally friendly, it doesn’t pollute the environment, and the factory where the product is produced has minimised their carbon footprint.

Words have great power to persuade your audience when used correctly.

We crave belonging. We have an innate desire to conform. “When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other,” said philosopher Eric Hoffer.

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This article originally appeared on LinkedIn on January 17, 2019.