Contrary to popular belief, human beings are not the most logical creatures. Emotional factors play a huge role in how humans make decisions, especially when it comes to purchasing goods and services.
Why do buyers sometimes prefer to get a more expensive product or service instead of the cheaper alternative? Why do they sometimes feel happy after spending more money than they had originally intended? And, finally, why is it in human nature to get so hooked on stories?
In this blog post, we’re going to uncover the secrets of buyer psychology and give you practical tips and tricks to learn how to influence purchasing decisions and increase sales.
Grab your favorite beverage – and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos if you wish! – and get cozy, because this one is going to be a FUN one! 🤓
Understanding Buyer Psychology: What the Heck Is It?!
Let’s start with the most important question. What is buyer psychology and how can you use it in your marketing strategy to convert and retain potential customers?
Buyer psychology is the study of the mental and emotional processes that influence consumers in making purchasing decisions.
It considers motivations and thoughts, both conscious and subconscious, that drive individuals to choose one product or service over another.
In the past, businesses used to only pay attention to more straightforward and objective factors that inform buying decisions, such as the price of the product or service.
Over time, marketers and business owners have come to understand the essential role that emotions play when customers are choosing what they want to buy.
The study of the emotional and mental factors that go into a buying decision is called buyer psychology 🧠
Why Does Buyer Psychology Matter? A Look Inside Your Customer’s Brain
Buyer psychology is not some random pseudo science that has no basis in reality. There are known brain reactions that happen when customers are faced with a choice that show the important role that emotions play in decision-making.
The limbic system, particularly the amygdala and hippocampus, plays a central role in processing emotions and forming memories associated with them.
When faced with a decision, the brain’s emotional centers often activate before the rational ones.
This means that emotions, stored experiences, and personal values shape the initial response to a choice. Crazy, right?!
The prefrontal cortex, responsible for rational thinking and decision analysis, comes into play later to evaluate the emotional responses. However, the emotional impact can linger, influencing the final buying decision.
This is why many brands are now using buyer psychology more and more often in their marketing.
5 Brain-Friendly Ways to Use Buyer Psychology in Marketing Efforts
1. Use the Power of Social Proof
Deep down, everyone wants to feel that they belong. Human beings enjoy feeling that they’re a part of a bigger community, and strategic use of social proof taps into the psychological tendency of people to follow the actions and choices of others.
Featuring customer testimonials and reviews not only builds trust and credibility, but also inspires your target audience to become a part of your community.
Examples of social proof that you can use to drive conversions include:
- Case studies
- User-generated content
- Success stories
- Before and after transformations
To infuse your marketing strategy with buyer psychology, try to use communal language that makes your consumer feel that they WANT to be a part of your brand.
Always cultivate your community!
This can vary from business to business and depend on your marketing strategies, but some ideas include directly interacting with your followers on social media and establishing partnerships with content creators.
2. Tap into the Fear of Missing Out
Fear of Missing Out – or FOMO for short – is a powerful tool in buyer psychology that marketers can strategically leverage to influence purchasing decisions.
FOMO is rooted in the innate human desire to be a part of exclusive experiences and not miss out on opportunities perceived as valuable or scarce.
If you position your product or service in a way that establishes it as an amazing opportunity that you don’t want to miss out on, you can easily engage your customers and boost purchase decisions.
Some ways to infuse your marketing strategy with FOMO include:
- Showing demand for your service or product
- Emphasizing limited availability
- Using limited-time offers, exclusive deals, or unique promotions
- Exclusive events
- Flash sales
- Early access
- Social media teasers
- Countdown timers
- Exclusive memberships
When using FOMO in your marketing strategy, it’s important to stay ethical and authentic.
To put it simply, DON’T LIE.
If your membership is not actually exclusive, don’t say that it is. If your coaching program has fifteen spots left, don’t tell your audience that you only have two spots to emphasize limited availability.
To grow a community of loyal customers, it’s important to use marketing strategies like FOMO without being icky!
3. Tell Your Customers a Story
I’m a copywriter, so naturally storytelling is one of my favorite – and most effective – buyer psychology tricks. It taps into the fundamental way the human brain processes information and makes decisions and is essential to understanding buyer psychology.
Narratives have the unique ability to evoke emotions, create memorable experiences, and establish connections.
When you encounter a compelling story, your brain releases oxytocin, a hormone of trust and empathy. This chemical reaction not only enhances the emotional impact of the story but also fosters a sense of connection between the storyteller (your brand) and your target audience.
Storytelling engages various parts of the brain, including the sensory and motor regions, making the information you process more vivid and memorable. This means that your customers are more likely to remember your brand and recommend it to others!
Some ways you can infuse your brand messaging and marketing with storytelling are:
- Recounting the journey behind a product’s creation
- Sharing customer success stories
- Sharing your brand values
If you need help creating a psychologically-driven narrative for your brand, learn more about Slade Copy House’s services – storytelling is our jam!
4. Eliminate Pain Points
The emotions that your buyers feel during their customer experience matter more than you may think. While the actual product features or service deliverables play a crucial role, HOW your customers get these features or deliverables is arguably even more important.
Identifying and eliminating pain points is an important factor in buyer psychology that helps you create a big shift in how customers interact with your brand.
And if you’re nodding along but are not actually sure what pain points are…
Pain points are the challenges or frustrations that consumers encounter during their journey, such as an overly complicated checkout process or having to log into multiple platforms to communicate with a service provider.
Take a closer look at your marketing funnel and try to figure out where your clients or customers may be running into annoying or frustrating steps.
Is it easy to communicate with you? Are your project timelines clear? Does your product come with enough support and post-purchase communication to set your customer up for success?
As a business owner, eliminating pain points and refining your customer experience is a process that never stops, but it absolutely pays off in happier customers and referrals 🥰
5. Take Advantage of Buyer Psychology Biases and Paradoxes
There are several biases and paradoxes of the human psyche that you can use in buyer psychology to improve your marketing and sales. Here are some of my favorite ones!
- The Anchoring Bias: A cognitive bias where people rely heavily on the first piece of information they get when making decisions. For example, if you show your customers a higher-priced product or option first and a lower-priced option second, they’ll see the lower-priced alternative as more attractive and reasonable (even if it’s still expensive).
- The Freebies Paradox: Offering free items with a purchase can paradoxically lead consumers to spend more than they originally intended. The allure of getting something for free can overshadow the cost of the main purchase, driving higher spending 🤑
- The Consistency Bias: A cognitive bias that shows that people tend to have consistent beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors over time. For example, you can create a customer loyalty program and reward points for repeat purchases to foster loyalty.
When used intentionally, these psychological biases and paradoxes can lead to great marketing results!
5 Best Books on Buyer Psychology
If you want to dig deeper into the exciting world of buyer psychology, here are some of the best books on buyer psychology that you may find interesting!
1. “The Art of Choosing” by Sheena Iyengar
Sheena Iyengar, a leading expert on choice, explores the complexities of decision-making and the impact of choice architecture in this award-winning book. She asks interesting questions, such as whether the desire for choice is innate or bound by culture and why people sometimes choose against their best interests. It’s eye-opening to say the least!
2. “Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion” by Robert B. Cialdini
A classic, this book explores the principles of influence and persuasion, uncovering the psychology behind why people say “yes” and how these principles can be applied in various situations, including marketing.
3. “Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions” by Dan Ariely
Dan Ariely examines the irrational behaviors that influence decision-making and explores how these tendencies can be used in marketing. If you like reading about experiments and real-world examples to better understand the concepts you’re learning about, this is the book for you!
4. “The Choice Factory: 25 Behavioral Biases That Influence What We Buy” by Richard Shotton
Richard Shotton explores 25 cognitive biases and behavioral principles that influence consumer decisions. Each chapter provides practical insights for marketers looking to apply these principles in their strategies!
5. “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman
Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman (fancy!!!) explores the two systems of thinking that influence decision-making. This book is for you if you want to gain a comprehensive understanding of cognitive biases and how they impact choices.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is buyer psychology?
Buyer psychology is the study of mental and emotional processes and behaviors that influence purchasing decisions. People have different conscious and unconscious motivations to buy a certain product or service and buyer psychology helps you understand what these motivations are and how to use them in marketing.
What is an example of buyer psychology?
Anchoring bias is a good example of buyer psychology. For example, imagine you’re shopping for a laptop. If the first laptop you come across costs $1,500, it establishes an anchor or reference point for your perception of a reasonable price. If the next laptop you see costs $1,200, you’ll likely think that it’s a good price because of your anchor reference point!
What is buyer psychology in copywriting?
In copywriting, you can use buyer psychology principles to write copy that resonates with your target audience and convinces them to take action. Examples of the principles you can use include understanding emotions that go into decision-making and creating a sense of urgency.
Final Thoughts: The Importance of Marketing Psychology
Understanding your customers’ emotions and speaking to them is how you build a successful brand. Utilizing social proof, fear of missing out, cognitive biases, and storytelling are great ways to infuse your marketing strategy with effective buyer psychology.
If you’re not sure where to start, take our storytelling quiz!