Optimizing campaigns with psychological insights saves times and makes you more competitive.
With limited resources, marketers need every edge they can get, including psychology, to get customers closer to purchase.
“All [marketers] are using several different channels, platforms, solutions and tools to track assets, campaigns, user and customer data, performance data, etc.,” said Megan Sangha, Senior Product Marketing Manager for workflow management company Wrike, in her talk at our recent MarTech conference. “You, as a digital marketer, need to pinpoint what’s not working and quickly pivot before more sales are lost.”
What if a campaign isn’t performing the way it was expected to? How does the marketing team pivot?
“And marketing executives struggle to stand out from competitors, creating value for customers while still trying to retain their current customers,” said Sangha.
Marketers can use psychological insights to build this value for their customers.
The psychology of brand awareness
The first psychological insight to put into practice is brand awareness amid all this digital noise and clutter.
“Brand awareness can be found in obvious areas like the ad you see when you’re scrolling through social media, or a pop-up that you click on,” said Sangha. “When you’re reading through a news outlet, or an ad you hear while streaming music, or your favorite podcast, but it also can be found in less obvious places, like a conversation you overheard in a coffee shop, or a certain brand that you’re seeing everyone wear at the gym.”
Exposure is “always on,” according to Sangha. Because of the nature of this exposure, people are always making decisions, and brands are always vying for attention.
“Most importantly, exposure is always influencing decision making,” she said. “So in the consumer purchase journey, it acts as the backdrop of the process rather than a phase.”
Exploration and evaluation
Consumers move from exposure and decisioning when they are triggered to purchase. This can happen from an event that occurs in the customer’s life, as well as by particular methods that marketers use in their communication with the customer.
For instance, if you’re a smartphone maker, your customer is aware of all the ads you and your competitors have placed, along with the social media buzz relating to phone purchases. But then, the customer drops her phone in the ocean. Then the time for a final decision has arrived and the customer makes a purchase.
“It’s really important to focus your campaign efforts on the ‘messy middle,’ where customers are won or lost,” said Sanga.
Customers are swaying back and forth between exploration and evaluation. They have a problem they want to solve, and they’re picking and choosing between solutions, conducting all the research that informed digital consumers now do. Loyalty comes after the fact.
“Brand loyalty and customer satisfaction is solidified through great customer experience, smooth transactions, and in today’s world ,fast delivery,” Sangha stated.
“Consumers are constantly moving back and forth between exploration and evaluation, depending on the size of the purchase,” she said. “So depending on who you are and what you’re shopping for, this whole looping back and forth process can be fun.”
Six keys to purchase through psychology
Sangha highlighted six psychological categories that marketers can act on to get customers closer to purchase and optimize quicker campaigns.
“Why do customers choose one product over the other?” she said. “While many biases exist, [here are] six widely held ones.”
Category heuristics. A short description of the product specs in a product detail section, or product blurb that comes up in a search, with a picture. This might be the first time, or last, that your customer encounters a product while they search.
Scarcity bias. Based on stock or availability. This could influence your customer to buy now, while they can, or miss out.
Social norms. This includes recommendations and reviews from others that are persuasive. According to Sangha, 95% of customers read other customer reviews before making a purchase.
Authority bias. Being swayed by an expert or a trusted research source, either in an article or an advertisement.
The power of free. A free gift with purchase, even if it’s unrelated, can be powerful. “Everyone likes freebies, so if you get one thing, you get another thing for free and this sweetens the deal,” Sangha said.
The power of now. “The longer you have to wait for a product, the weaker the value of that product becomes,” said Sangha. What’s the carrot or incentive to purchase at this moment?
“Understanding behavioral bias and the customer journey are really important,” Sangha said. “So much so that marketing teams that use these principles and psychology see higher customer satisfaction, lower customer turnover, churn, improve sales process and receive better advocacy from current customers.”
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