Psychology in Marketing: Get Inside Your Customer’s Head to get Inside their Wallets

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you made your last four purchases? Eliminate food, gas for your vehicle or prescription medications. Look at the four that are remaining. Why did you buy those things? What was the driving force behind that choice? Even if you did not stop to think about those purchases at the time of the sale, but you should think about them now. The psychology behind buying behavior and understanding consumer attitudes may go a very long way toward learning the right marketing skills, the right marketing voice to use for your target audience.

Let’s take one product from your last four: an exercise circle we will call the AB-Joy. This product, while certainly no different from many other exercisers on the market, caught your eye by speaking to your needs- the ones that were identified by market research to be the ones most important to your age group or sex. Let’s say that you are a 35 year old woman who has had children. That is your demographic group. The psychology of marketing will then analyze what are the key concerns for this group. In most cases the women in this age group would like to: lose weight, flatten their stomach (lose their post-baby bulge), and narrow their waistlines. It may also be suggested, either subtly or expressly that they will regain their youthful appearance as well. For the next level in the age demographic, these benefits would be described as well as the strengthening of the lower back and assistance with posture. As the women move into new age demographics, the key benefits that are suggested by the marketing campaign as well as their own key needs will continue to change.

Smart marketers, those who keep the psychology of buying in mind, will of course realize that needs change- make up may start off advertising that it makes you look more “sophisticated” (read: older). In the next phase, the advertising will move up to exploring the benefits of having clearer and healthier looking skin by using these products. And so the progression will continue. Of course the marketing will target the younger crowd; those are the new customers just entering the buying world. But, they will continue moving through the demographics with other customers, analyzing the needs that will drive them to once again buy one of their products.

Psychology, the study of how the mind works is very important to the successful marketer. Knowing how a bit of interest can turn into a sale is vital to making that and many other sales. You have to be able to read the demographics and to read between the lines. Return to both the Ab-Joy and the makeup line for a moment. What are they actually trying to sell you, what need are they really trying to fulfill with what they are selling? The AB-Joy may purport to sell “physical fitness” but in truth they are selling self-esteem, the ability to feel better about your physical being. As you look better, you will take on more confidence and start behaving in new ways. Everyone notices these changes immediately. Did the AB-Joy truly change your life? Not exactly, but the psychology behind what made you buy it in the first place suggests that you simply needed a gentle nudge to make a few changes. This exercise machine, far from being a magic cure-all was a tangible way to kick off better habits that were actually the reason behind your positive changes.