Thanks to Rob Pell for the following guest post:
Much has been made of psychology in retail. The methods in which store managers and planners arrange their stock into “hot zones” and “cold zones”, the different sorts of music they pipe onto the shop floor, the colours they use to alert you to offers and on point of sale displays; all of these things are carefully calculated to make you, the consumer, buy something.
It follows, then, that similarly sophisticated psychological processes are used online. If you think about it, of course they are; how else would one business get the edge on another business if not by employing such strategies.
Enhancing the Value
One of these psychological tactics is to enhance the value of the product or service advertised online. The psychology behind this relates to the inherent human sense of self-interest: we as a species like to feel that we are getting a good deal and not being ripped off, this also appeals to our sense of self-confidence and pride.
To appeal to these natural human traits, you might want to consider bundling your product or service up with an additional extra or a ‘free gift’. Anything that you can add that can increase the apparent value of your product without eating into your overheads will have a marked impact on your profits.
You could even introduce a voucher or e-code system which rewards consumer loyalty. As long as you are giving the consumer the impression that they are getting a truly unmissable bargain, the psychology is working.
Focus on Solutions
This tactic is born out of a very simple piece of psychology; humans are likely to become despondent when presented with a problem, but become empowered when presented with a solution.
When marketing your product or service online – whether by Facebook, Twitter, and RSS feed or other medium – be sure to present it in the form of a solution to a problem, as opposed to simply a problem.
For example, you might be selling an eBook relating to SEO techniques and your advertising spiel might go something like this: “improve your rank on Google with this eBook.”
Of course, this sentence is crass and sales-y but I use it to illustrate a point; presenting your potential customers with a solution to problem will promote a positive response within them, making them more likely to part with their cash. Used in conjunction with targeted marketing – where you aim your marketing campaign directly at a demographic with relevant interests – this becomes even more effective.
After many years of online gossip, rumours and speculation in the fields of sport, science and celebrity culture, the internet browsing public have become hardened. They no longer believe everything they read and instead approach what they see online with an air of cynicism.
To counteract that cynicism your claims must be believable. Too many fledgling internet marketers have gone down the route of offering goods and services that sound too good to be true. The newly savvy public know that most of time they are.
Instead, speak to your audience plainly and confidently and use as many examples as you can to gain the trust of your potential customers. Only when this trust is gained can you subtly subvert their cynicism and convert a potential customer into a customer.
Rob Pell is a marketing enthusiast, all round geek and happy employee of Simplifydigital, the UK broadband, digital TV and home phone experts. Simplifydigital are accredited by Ofcom and provide independent consumer advice on digital services.