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How does psychology influence marketing?

Updated: 5 days ago

Author: Dimitria Simeonova

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Date of Publication: 14/06/2022

Psychology is generally the term for a scientific study concerning the mind and behaviour of individuals that includes many subfields such as social behaviour and human development. Therefore, this means that psychology enables us to get an insight into others' feelings and thoughts. In this way we see what choices they are making and what actions they are taking.

Marketing sums up all activities taken by a company to promote its products/services to its targeted customers. This indicates that the most crucial thing in marketing is to create and deliver value to satisfy customers' needs. Therefore, to understand your customers and what they need, you have to look into their behaviours and feelings towards different products and brands.

The connection between Psychology and Marketing

After a closer look at the terms of psychology and marketing, it became clearer where the connection between those two comes from. As we already mentioned, marketing is all about the customer and understanding human behaviour which is where psychology intervenes. Generally speaking, marketing's biggest aim is to influence people's thinking to convince them to make a purchase or repurchase a product. Because of this, we can confidently say that applying the principles of psychology at different stages of the marketing process can be essential for the company's success.

Marketing Psychology

Marketing psychology, also known as neuromarketing, is the process of understanding why people make certain decisions. For example, knowing why your customers do what they do will help you perform better as a company. Marketing psychology can be fulfilled by incorporating various psychological principles into your marketing strategies. This can happen when communicating with your desired audiences and impacting their decision-making towards your brand and the thing you offer. Now some of the leading marketing psychology principles will be explained to fully understand the effect psychology has on a business's marketing activities.

Marketing Psychology Principles:


Nowadays, the principle of scarcity is also known under the abbreviation of FOMO, which stands for Fear of Missing Out. As the name implies, this principal's focus is on absence, indicating that people are more interested in scarce products than those in abundance. Using this persuasion technique in your marketing strategies creates a sense of urgency in your customers, encouraging them to place an order. Thus the reason for this reaction by consumers is because the perceived value of a product/service will indicate how rare it is. In fact, when people see that something is in limited quantities, they will rush to buy it immediately, so they do not feel left out of the crowd.

In addition, an excellent example that illustrates the principle of scarcity is Black Friday marketing campaigns. We are all familiar with this type of sale that occurs each year after Thanksgiving. Black Friday has become a global trend and attracts many customers each year. In particular, retailers make great use of the scarcity principle by creating this sense of scarcity and urgency among popular products. As a result they influence customers' behaviour which will lead to final purchases generating sales.


The reciprocity principle refers to returning the favour when a company does something good for the customer. In other words, to increase cooperation and reach sales, you as a brand must give your targeted customers something first. This approach is also based on psychology studies which indicate that people are more likely to return a favour if someone makes the first step and approaches them first. Moreover, this will create a sense of indebtedness in the customer to the company by giving them a free product, for example.

However, there are not only products that you can offer your customers for free. For example, you can share content with them, such as articles or e-books, which will also be an excellent opportunity for your company to get contact information from potential customers.

Social Proof

Social proof is another well-known principle marketers use to attract customers by using the power of psychology. Thanks to psychology, we know that people trust others with more knowledge and experience than themselves and would likely buy a product or a service that others trust.

Product reviews are a great example of social proof theory. Typically when customers feel unsure about a product and its features, they will check how others think of it and trust their opinions. When comparing several products, the one with better reviews will always be chosen by the consumer. However, some types of social proof marketing can help you gain trust in your product/service and win the customer:

- Experts – using an expert to promote your product/service is one of the best ways to increase trust in your brand. This is because people will take recommendations from an expert simply because he/she has dedicated their whole life to learning and working in a specific field matching the product being promoted.

- Celebrities – including celebrities in your marketing campaign is a valuable way to make customers trust your brand. In fact, there is no scientific evidence why this works flawlessly, just that celebrities have tremendous power over their audiences. So, even a mention of your product in one of their posts on social media can make their followers make a purchase.

Loss aversion

Another incredible way that psychology influences marketing is through the principle of loss aversion. As its name suggests, loss aversion concerns the human tendency to avoid losses over the gain of an equal amount. In fact, this approach is used daily by marketers. After figuring out what their customers hold dear, they can incorporate this method into their marketing strategy.

A typical example of loss aversion is trial offers. When offering your customers to own something without paying for it, you allow them to feel the loss of not having this product/service temporarily. Therefore, this can convince your customers to make the purchase even though they did not plan on making it in the first place.

Information Gap Theory

Information gap theory points out that when people lack knowledge on a specific topic they are interested in, they want to know more about it. Marketers use this so-called existing gap to build interest and curiosity among their customers. They do this by revealing some information and leaving customers to search by themselves to discover the remains of the data.

An example of this principle in marketing is headlining such as "How to do something" or "What you must know…". This creates excitement among customers and pushes them to take action in learning more about a certain topic. Also, a typical way of incorporating this theory is in blogs. For example, by posting stories on social media with curious headlines and a "Swipe Up" button you allow customers to see the exclusive offer.


Incorporating psychology into your marketing strategy can only help your business blossom and open new doors. In particular, understanding human behaviour can help your business influence customers' way of thinking and their actions. Nevertheless, leveraging psychology in your campaigns can make you stand out from your competitors and make you unique. Thus, do not be afraid to invest your time in human behaviour because it can significantly boost your sales and improve your customer engagement.



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