4 Reasons Psychology Can Boost Your Social Marketing Efforts

Research shows that when consumers make small commitments, they’re more likely to eventually make a purchase. Consequently, before asking a consumer to buy something, many professionals ask them to take actions that might include signing up for an email newsletter, following a brand on media or downloading an e-book. The marketers then leverage the consumers’ compliance to encourage them to buy. This increases the likelihood that they will eventually decide in favor of the marketer’s goods.

For this process to work, marketers must understand human behavior. The following sections highlight four more ways that the understanding of human behavior boosts social marketing.

Reason 1: Leveraged Emotions Boost Engagement

Marketing messages that emphasize the emotional outcome of buying a service or a good product can produce better results. Additionally, in today’s competitive marketplace, advertisers must reframe how consumers perceive their competitors to gain an advantage.

While psychologists support the idea that specific actions will result in predetermined outcomes, consumers often have interesting and unpredictable responses to brand advertisements. Some marketers find it interesting to learn new ways to trigger desired emotional responses from consumers. They must also test how marketing best practices apply to their specific brand’s needs.

Be warned that negative commentary about competing goods and services is a recipe for disaster. However, savvy marketers know how to reinforce the idea that their products provide more value compared to other offerings without disparaging their competition. Also, it’s better to address offering shortcomings, rather than to hide them.

Reason 2: Understanding What Your Audience Loves Will Boost Awareness

Athletes hold more influence with consumers than any other celebrity type. Highly promoted deals for athletes who get paid millions of dollars are a common theme in the media. These unions result in more desirable products and impact modern culture considerably.

Corporate athlete endorsements reshape the influence and the profit of many brands. For instance, Michael Jordan’s initial 1984 endorsement by Nike has generated substantial revenue over the years. Another successful collaborative endorsement was when the clothing manufacturer Adidas backed soccer great Lionel Messi, who scored more than 500 goals for FC Barcelona, a partnership that resulted in the generation of $21.3 billion in revenue for the sports clothing manufacturer. Also, in one year, Messi’s social media activity alone generated $53.5 million for the company.

Reason 3: Promoting Exclusivity Can Create Market Value

Some skilled marketers deploy a tactic that’s called exclusivity. At first glance, the practice may appear contradictory to the concept of making a profit. However, consumers like exclusive goods and services. It’s human nature for individuals to want what they can’t have and what others covet.

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Consumers are attracted to the idea of exclusivity because it shows the world that they’ve accomplished something. Because of this, smart marketers use emotions to trigger this feeling. Many enterprises promote the idea of exclusivity with something as simple as words used in a promotion. Some businesses, such as Groupon, promote exclusivity by framing their entire model around the concept of limited supply, and other companies use deadlines to create a sense of urgency.

Reason 4: Repositioning Your Competition Gives You a Competitive Advantage

Consumers are typically loyal to a limited number of brands. Because of this, competing marketers must re-position how consumers think about products to gain an advantage. As a result, smart marketers use psychology in a way that’s ethical and legal to encourage potential consumers to buy. A good example of this tactic is the J.M. Smucker company’s Jif peanut butter marketing campaign. Basically, the food manufacturer instilled in the minds of consumers the idea that other brands did not care about the quality of the food that’s consumed by their children.

Today’s advertisers use the scientific method to generate results. They continually look for new ways to engage consumers by developing hypotheses to test and validate their predictions. Some marketers do stick with familiar advertising best-practices. However, forward-thinking marketing professionals develop their own experiments to gauge how consumers react to brand messages. Sometimes, the insights they discover completely contradict psychological studies. This is because consumers don’t always think rationally and respond to different stimuli when they are in varying environments.

Research shows that psychological approaches that appeal to emotions resonate more with consumers. For example, advertisements that highlight benefits typically outsell ones that promote features. Since the 18th century, salespeople have understood the potential of emotional appeals. Ambitious marketers that want to make the most out of their campaigns need only to keep in mind an advertisement from this time that read, “We are not here to boilers and vats, but the potentiality of growing rich beyond the dreams of avarice.”

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