Marketing Tricks & Traps To Look Out For!

Marketing is basically the use human psychology to sell things.

In the nicest way possible... The more you can understand human psychology and what makes people tick, the more influence you have on their buying decisions. I know... It sounds kinda evil! Anyway...

Over the years marketers have developed an arsenal of tricks they have at their disposal to hit you in all the right places at all the right times. Every successful digital marketing campaign leverages psychology at one point or another. In fact, it wouldn't be wrong to say that getting buyers psychology right is the biggest determining factor on the success of a marketing campaign. So understanding these tricks is really handy for a business owner trying to make waves online! 

Here are the top 3 most common psychological tricks in marketing:

1) Framing

People go into a buying decision with predefined considerations and notions, which end up influencing their buying behaviour. If you can pre-predefine those notions you'll have a much better chance of making the sale. This is because the discussion is in your comfort zone. Aka, the ball is in your court.

Some people call this "priming" and others call it "framing." But regardless, the goal is the same. The mission is to position your product in a way that your customers will be more accepting of your message. If they're on board with your message, they're on board with the sales pitch. 

Perhaps one of the most wide spread examples of this is the typical "8/10 dentists recommend this brand." But nobody is talking about the 2/10 dentists who aren't? That's because the marketing teams at these companies are using the framing effect to directly influence how customers perceive their product. 

A recent study, published in the Journal of Consumer Research, found that when people were primed with information about a specific feature, it held much more value when they were shown different choices later on.

For example, when browsing showrooms for a new car, if a consumer is given an example of what "good" pricing is for a vehicle, that'll be the most important aspect she considers in the showroom. If another consumer is primed with the boot space, that aspect will be taken into consideration with a higher perceived value over the cost.

The real challenge is deciding what frame to use with your customers. If they're aware of your product, open with why yours can help them best. If they don't realise they even have the problem in the first place, but they sense something might be wrong, help them to identify what that is first, and then offer your product as the solution.


2) Clustering

Clustering is a memory exercise. If you put similar pieces of information together you'll be able to recall them better through simple association.

When the long-term memory is called upon to recall something, it searches through what is called "like-instances." It's believed that this is a trick the brain has developed because it's a more efficient way to store information. An example of this in action is whenever something "jolts your memory." One thing reminds you of another thing because your brain subconsciously clustered them together.

And it makes sense to be fair. You wouldn't put your socks in different draws. You cluster them together because that's a simple and extremely effective way or organising things.

One study focused on clustering items semantically. The psychologists gave participants a list of 15 words chosen at random and asked them to recall them. After this, they gave them another list of 15 words but grouped them into similar categories. The data showed a significant increase in cognitive recall in the second group.

If you put cluster features together, they'll be remembered by your customers better. This is especially effective in marketing when listing benefits. That's because you want your customers to remember the key benefits over everything else. Bulleted lists is the most common way of doing this.


3) The Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO)

Social validation is one of the strongest deciding factors when people make a purchasing decision. Showing someone what others experience is one of the most powerful methods to influencing a psyche. It pokes the part of us that wants to be involved. Perhaps the single the most effective methods it does this is through the Fear of Missing Out effect. Aka FOMO. Just ask Andy!

People don't want to be excluded from the rewarding experiences they see others enjoying. It nests into the subconscious mind, creating anxiety that bothers them until they join in. FOMO is perhaps one of the nastiest ways that marketers use human psychology.

We've always been tribal beings, taking deep value in the opinions of our peers. When others validate a product's worth, we trust their opinion, assuming that they wouldn't recommend something unless it was truly beneficial to others.

Nielsen conducted a study that found 83% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family. If you really want to capitalize on this statistic, introduce testimonials and reviews to your marketing approach, and social sharing buttons can help you customers introduce you to others.


So that's it! Those are the most common ways that marketers influence human psychology to their benefit. If you're a business I'm sure you'll take some ideas from these! And if you're not a business this is certainly something to be aware of... Stay vigilant!


If you have any questions regarding your marketing approach please reach out to us.

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