Get your head around Psychology in Marketing

Psychology is heavily used in marketing but is usually done in a respectful, legal and ethical way to encourage consumers to be more attracted towards the services or products companies offer.

Part 1. What is the Psychology behind Marketing?

Abraham Maslow – Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

As humans, we have a hierarchy of 5 basic needs that we need to fulfil in our daily lives, strangely these 5 needs also help you to make the decision as to whether you will commit to a purchase or not. It’s important for marketers to understand these needs as it defines people’s different possible motivations to buy. We buy because we want to look better, to have more time, to have better health and to have more leisure and comfort.

So, what are these needs?

Physiological Needs – This is what is absolutely essential to us. In everyday life this would be, air, food, water, sleep and shelter.

Safety Needs – As humans our safety is important to us and in life we think about, stability, protection against certain elements and protection from danger.

Social Needs – We love having friendships, to feel we belong, that we are socially accepted and that we belong to a community.

Esteem Needs – Feeling a sense of achievement, independence, self-respect and feeling respected by others.

Self-Actualization – When a person reaches full human potential, self-fulfilment, personal growth and a sense of meaning in life.

Take a nice new car for example, what does it provide?

  • Physiological – You need the car to get you from A to B.
  • Security – It provides safety for you and your family.
  • Social – The car brings the family together & allows you to travel long distances to see friends (keeping the relationship strong).
  • Esteem – A brand new car can make you feel good about yourself & make others feel envious of you.
  • Self-Actualisation – The car is fuel efficient, therefore making you feel good about yourself, helping the environment and making the world a better place.

So how does your audience decide what they want to purchase, click, share or favourite?

Well, in almost every purchase or decision we make, we do it with an emotional connection, without even realising and this is how psychology can be used in everyday marketing. When you’re on the search to buy a product or select a service, the main thing you are looking for is how this will benefit you, the consumer. When marketing a product or service, it’s important to always highlight the benefits it will bring to the customer and not to drone on about your thriving success.

There are 5 steps of the buying decision making process every person goes through (subconsciously). These are:

  • Need recognition – How much do we need it and why?
  • Information search – Recommendations, how will it meet their needs?
  • Evaluation – Checking out alternatives.
  • Purchase – Evaluation of shopping experience, shipping & return process/policy and ease of transaction.
  • Post-purchase – Customers final evaluation of the product and if they are satisfied.


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