Use of Psychology in Advertising and Marketing

Use of Psychology in Advertising and Marketing


Use of Psychology in Advertising and Marketing

Today, the world of advertising is excelling as humans find themselves constantly surrounded by advertisements of products or ideas. Advertising can take on many shapes such as television advertisements, brochures, billboards, etc. They might seem easy to come up with, but in fact, a lot of thought is put into ways of advertising. In marketing, people come up with various strategies to effortlessly grab people’s attention. Advertising aims to engrave a product in people’s heads or entice them enough to be able to persuade them. This article aims to look at how the advertising industry applies concepts of psychology to be able to reach their target audience.

Understanding Consumer Behavior:

When advertisers make use of any tool of advertising, their choices are dependent on their comprehension of consumer behaviour. Attitudes and beliefs of the target audience lie at the heart of advertising since the goal is to be able to reach to them. All purchasing decisions are made as a result of the emotions elicited, the motivation behind the purchase and the consumer’s perception of the product. Consumer behaviour studies the customer base’s decisions regarding the products they buy, further using these observations to drive them towards certain products.

For example, a food product might seem more desirable if it is advertised as healthy and tasty. Another product that is used by a celebrity might catch the audience’s interest since viewers identify with those that they look up to. Sean Folan, the Executive Vice President, COO and Health Industry Leader at Cronin, says that, in advertising, personal biases need to be put aside to be able to effectively see things through the lens of the customers. Thus, advertisements use messages that speak to their audience and include visually appealing elements that initially draw the customers’ attention to the product.

Read More about Consumer Behaviour

Principles of Psychology in Marketing:

Companies use various concepts in psychology to elicit a positive response from their target customer base. Marketing psychology, thus, lets advertisers make informed choices while designing any kind of advertisement.

  • Social Proof: It refers to a person’s tendency to follow or behave like a group. This is an important aspect of marketing as companies that build a loyal customer base can gain more customers. This can be done in many ways like word of mouth, testimonials and celebrity endorsements.
  • Reciprocity: This is the human tendency to want to give back when someone does something for you. Marketers use this concept to gain more customers, repeat purchases or profit. What is offered to the customers along with the product needs to be cost-effective, and can be as simple as a handwritten note along with the product.
  • Scarcity: This works on the principle of supply and demand. As the scarcity of a product increases, you are more likely to make up your mind about purchasing a product. This, along with other techniques, such as glamorizing a product, can increase sales.
  • Anchoring: Purchasing decisions are based on the first piece of information that an individual can recall. This is the backbone of the concept of discounts. When a price tag shows a high price as the original price and a discount price next to it, a person becomes more likely to purchase a product.
  • Random Rewards: This is based on conditioning. Customers are offered free sample products or rewards to encourage certain behaviours, increasing the likelihood of the occurrence of desired behaviours towards a product or proposal.
  • Fitts’ Law: A marketing psychology model explaining the distance between a website button/ category and the pointer. According to this law, customers are more likely to navigate through those websites that have large and visible menu tabs, making them more likely to purchase a product.
  • Color Psychology: Colors play a major role in determining the perception of a certain product. Each colour generates a different emotion or feeling. Keeping this in mind, advertisements are made to encourage the desired response from the target audience.
  • Verbatim Effect: People are more likely to remember the gist of a message than the details that are incorporated into it. Thus, advertisements are short and catchy. If the material is easy for the viewer to scan through, they are likely to remember the product better.
Tactics used in Advertising:

While advertising a product or an idea, certain things are considered to make it impactful. There’s a reason that everyone still remembers some advertisements such as that of the washing powder brand ‘Nirma’. Let’s look at some things that advertisers and marketers keep in mind.

  • Knowing the target audience before advertising a product.
  • Understanding the buying decisions of the population.
  • Use of powerful imagery in advertisements.
  • Use of language that builds trust and makes the product seem more reliable.
  • Use of emotional triggers that let the consumer feel the desired emotion through advertisements.

Ethics in Advertising:

Psychology is a powerful tool in advertising. So, ethics come into play, making it necessary to be responsible. There is a thin line between persuasion and manipulation that advertisers need to be mindful of. Further, it’s their responsibility to portray the truth. Misleading advertisements not only the customer but also organizations as they lose customers by breaking their trust.

Advertisers also need to be careful about targeting vulnerable audiences, as taking advantage of such populations can lead to questions about one’s ethics. While advertising, it is also important to maintain transparency. This lets the customer effectively gauge a product and also helps companies build strong customer relations.

Summing Up

Psychology has become a key component in the advertising and marketing industry. Customer behaviour determines the fate of advertisements. There are many principles of psychology, such as social proof and scarcity that come into play in advertisements. Ads are meant to reach humans and convince them to use a product or idea. Considering that, the integration between the two fields can be spotted clearly. Psychology can be used effectively in selling a product. With the power it holds, certain ethical considerations need to be taken. This enables the formation of stronger bonds between companies and customers, giving way to a smooth sail in the front of product distribution.

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