Do you know what a Nappaccino is or how it can improve your marketing? What about temporal landscaping or input bias? Discovering the psychology behind how customers think can help shape our marketing strategy. Recently, a friend referred me to a self-help book where I learned about chronotype. Chronotype is how your brain’s natural inner schedule works. Learning about my inner clock was interesting, but even more impressive was relating these types of human psychological patterns to Marketing. I ended up reading two of these Psychological Thrillers and there were some great marketing strategies reminders along the way.
6 Marketing Lessons that Psychology Reminds us to Apply in Marketing Strategies
Lesson 1 – Timing is Everything!
Marketers spend an abundant amount of time creating emails and content. These are important marketing tools, but considering the timing of when each tool should be released is equally important. The Psychologists call this your temporal landscape, match timing to when a customer is most interested and available to read about a topic. For example, send emails with information at the beginning of the week when people are ready to learn something new. Send emails at the start of the weekend when you can relate the content to weekend plans. You could say, “The weekend is almost here” or “Now that the weekend has finally come.” You will have more impact on your audience if they are “ready” or “open” to the subject. Thus, thoughtfully timing your interactions with your audience is essential.
Lesson 2 – Life’s Not Fair! But can it be…
People need to find fairness. I tell my kids all the time that life is not fair. But this does not keep them or most of us from striving to find and feel fairness in daily interactions. You can use this in marketing messages like social media posts by appealing to this desire for fairness. For example, a nonprofit could say, “Did you know members of our community are denied healthcare. Do you think this is fair?” Let your customers know you are here to level the playing field. Customers feel encouraged when their business experience is transparent, and when they think they matter to a business. Customer Service comes into play here. As a business, be responsive, let the customer know they matter and treated fairly.
Lesson 3 – Why Pay More - Input Bias
Customers are willing to pay more for services that seem to take longer, or pay more for a product that takes an exceptional amount of time to develop. This is what Psychologists call input bias. People want to know the effort you put into something. You may have become an expert at a skill, so it takes you less time than most other people. It would help if you let customers know what you went through to develop an expertise. For example, “After 5 years of graduate work and 3 years traveling” or “Every piece we make is handmade and quality assured.” These statements work well in an email subject line to get people’s attention. People want quality and make decisions about quality relatively quickly. Because of input bias, business owners should refer to the time and effort taken to create a product or service.
Lesson 4 – “The New Power Nap”
So, this one doesn’t have much to do with Marketing, but I find it fascinating, and I can’t wait to give it a try. Daniel Pin calls this the Nappaccino. You have a cup of coffee, then nap for 20 minutes. You will wake up just in time to get a boost of energy from the caffeine. A boost of energy around 3:00 every day sounds good to me :). He also states the ideal break time is 17 minutes for every 52 minutes of work. You might think you are losing time, but research shows that breaks help increase productivity.
Lesson 5 – You Don’t Control Me
People like to be in control, so customers need choices. When customers have options, they are deciding on how to respond, not if they should respond. Moreover, the more control a customer feels, the more likely they will do what you want them to. Instead of asking, “Would you do this?” ask, “Which one do you choose?” Provide options for getting more information. For example, when you want a customer to contact you, provide options such as, Click-here, email or give them a scannable code to use. Different package options, contact options, and more information options appeal to a customer’s sense of control.
Lesson 6 – A Little Flattery Goes A Long Way - Labeling
Refer to people how they would like to envision themselves. A wellness company could start an email with “As a responsible person taking control over their health” or “As a valuable resource to your organization.” Shining the light on your customers’ visions and goals allows them to see that you know them and understand what they need. Provide your customers with a reference group and compliment who they are. Create a vision, allowing customers to see themselves positively and achieving their goals.
Understanding your customers is a critical piece in any marketing strategy. These lessons help enhance our understanding of customers' behaviors. Supplying your audience what they need, when they need it, how they need it, and why they need it keeps customers interested. And most importantly, make a sale– hopefully from your business!
Help us all continue learning. What other behavioral techniques have you learned about customers from Psychology? Share on Facebook for even more ideas.
Kellie Emrich, DBA
Social Media Marketing Professor
If the essential elements are not present in your content, it does not matter how fancy or the usefulness of the information you provide. The reader will lose interest if they cannot easily find the main points. Don't make it hard on yourself, it takes following some guidelines each time you write. Check off these 9 elements to ensure you have the necessary components for easy reading.
Use this checklist before you post any content for a blog, email, or social media article.
1. Know the problem you are solving for the audience. - Your content should be about the customer and what information they need. Not about your business and what products or services you are providing. Know the type of content that fits your buyer persona and write the content to them.
2. Use headings and subheadings – Have an eye-catching heading at the top. Then, create subheadings to break up every 1-3 paragraphs.
3. Use images – One image at the top and another 1-3 images throughout the content. But, make sure each image is relevant and adds to the content.
4. Keep paragraphs short, on average, 4 sentences. – Stay away from a long paragraph, instead break into 2 or 3 paragraphs. Readers tend to lose focus during longer paragraphs
5. Create lists or bullets where possible. - Readers enjoy looking at and reading a list or a set of bullet points instead of ideas separated by commas. Break processes up into steps and use bullet points to summarize a topic.
6. No underlining in your content, use bold or block quotes. – On the web, underlining text makes readers think there is a link.
Instead of underlining, use bold, italicize, or use block quotes. You are currently reading an example of a block quote.
7. Make sure the writing is scannable for main points - People like to look through readings first. If it does not seem easy to read, and the main points do not stick out, they are less likely to read the content.
8. Add a Link – Pick your call to action and add the link to go along with it—a link to your website, email sign up, or social media. But, do not have a link to everything. Decide the one action you want from a specific piece of content.
9. Edit – Don’t rely on your editing technique. Use Grammarly and Hemmingway apps to find errors. Also, read each sentence backward to help draw out errors in sentence structure and wording.
Creating a habit writing with these essential techniques will increase the number of people who read your content. Get in the habit of including these, then you can start to get fancy and people will notice.
I am often asked my favorite website or blogging platform. I have tried many different ones and all I needed was wordpress and bluehost. They make the process easy and affordable to get started.
Good luck on your writing journey. It's not easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.
Kellie Emrich, DBA
If you do not have a strategy to monitor your brand online, then someone else will do it for you. Imagine a negative comment, a question, or a review online about your business that you or not aware of. 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses. 84% of these consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations (https://www.brightlocal.com). Social media is an amazing marketing tool, but you must monitor the conversation because there will be one whether you are controlling it or not. Protect yourself by incorporating Brand Monitoring into your strategy.
Be a brand that is quick to respond and a trusted resource in your industry. Remember, if you do not take control of what people are saying about you then someone else controls your image.
Kellie Emrich, DBA
Follow @thesocialprof on Facebook
Promoting content the right way can help you work more efficiently. After all, you spent a ton of time creating content why not make sure the right people can see your content. Social media provides a source to immerse your business with an audience. Creating engagement has proven to be the key to an effective promotional strategy. This is why social media marketing is important for small businesses.
With 3.2 billion worldwide social media users (Source, Statistica) even a fraction of that audience can benefit from your business. To increase engagement you need to promote your business on social media consistently and creatively. Promoting your content with these tools for social media marketing can engage an audience and providing value where others cannot. Here are techniques to help you promote your content.
Follow the social prof on Facebook for more tips and resources for social media marketing.
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Dr. Kellie Emrich