Unlocking your customer with customer psychology
Sep 30 2019

Using Customer Psychology in Digital Marketing

I am sure you’ll agree that finding customers (and retaining them) can be quite difficult, not to mention HOW to get them to convert!

 

In this blog, I will talk about how to use customer psychology in digital marketing to create happy and productive customers.

 

But:

 

Before we start, here’s something you need to understand first.

 

Your customer and their behaviour!

 

Why is Customer Psychology Important?

 

Here’s the thing…

 

Marketing is not the same as selling. Selling is pushing your product on everyone in the hope that someone will buy it. Marketing is a bit more holistic and targeted. It involves understanding what the market needs, and then presenting it to the people who you have already determined need it.

 

Understand your customer’s psychology – Understand your customer’s needs.

 

Gives You Actionable Insight

 

Actionable insight is analysed information that enables you to take meaningful action.

 

How does this help you?

 

First:

 

It tells you what your product should be.

 

Then:

 

It tells you what actions you need to take.

 

For example:

 

If you know what websites your customers frequent, you can target them there. If you know their preferred social media platform, you can engage with them there too.

 

If you know what time they check their emails, you can plan your email campaign for that time.

 

It also tells you how they will search for what they need.

 

How?

 

Let’s say you sell dog food.

 

Is your customer’s priority ‘cheap dog food’ or ‘healthy dog food’?

 

Are they more likely to search for ‘dog food’ or ‘dog nutrition’?

 

The user’s intent affects the keywords you optimise your website for.

 

When you have a clear customer profile, you get a clearer view of how to design your marketing campaign.

 

Labrador puppy sitting with a chef's hat on, with three bowls of different foods in front of it

 

Tells You How They Act

 

People behave differently. They spend money differently. They buy differently.

 

Customers can be impulsive, or they may like to spend days thinking and planning before taking action.

 

They may give you their email address just because a subscription pop-up… well, popped up.

 

Or:

 

They may close your website because they thought it was too ‘pushy’.

 

Your customer may budget every penny or they may buy on the spur of the moment. They may be careful spenders but are happy to pay a premium for a high-quality product.

 

How they spend money affects how you position (and market) your offerings!

 

Tells You What Kind of Content Works for Them

 

Does your customer like images and videos, or do they prefer the written word? Do they like long, wordy reports or do they like to skim through bullet points?

 

Once you know what they like, you can give it to them.

 

Another thing:

 

Make the language of your content match the language your customer uses. (I’ll tell you why further in the article.)

Different types of content formats, like images, blogs, articles, podcasts, etc.

 

 

 

How Can You Use Customer Psychology Insights in Your Website and Digital Marketing?

 

So now you know your customer, what they need, and the way they think, how can you use this information to drive conversions?

 

Here are 9 ways in which you can use customer psychology to get them to do what you want – stay loyal, click a link, subscribe to a newsletter, or buy your product.

 

Offer Knowledge Before You Try to Sell

 

Whose buying advice would you trust more – An expert or a salesperson?

 

If someone is trying to sell you something, they are obviously doing it to make a profit, so what’s in it for you?

 

However, if you get advice from someone you consider knowledgeable, you are more receptive to it.

 

In this case, if they recommend a product, you will happily consider buying it.

 

What does this tell us?

 

If you can build authority, you can build trust.

 

Use Implicit Egotism

 

What is Implicit egotism?

 

People like things that resemble them. We are drawn to anything and anyone resembling us in some way.

 

Match your content’s language and tone to your customer’s.

 

It will make them like your brand because it resembles them so much!

 

Create a Sense of Belonging

 

People want to belong to a tribe and this need is so strong that the phenomenon has its own name – Belongingness.

 

Belongingness is what drives trends, social groups, and even religion.

 

But how can you use this? It’s simple, really – you create a tribe around your brand.

 

Apple has done this very successfully. So has Innocent. So can you.

 

People tend to gravitate towards that which they think resembles them, so design your brand persona to align with your target audience. Build a personality and stay consistent. This might mean you lose out on some customers who don’t share your brand values, but it will mean that the customers who choose you will be a lot more loyal!

Group of people in a park linking arms - We all need a tribe to belong to

 

Use Social Proof

 

Human beings are group animals and tend to follow the crowd, so if enough people are doing something, we want to do it as well.

 

Social proof is the reason why you would rather buy something your friends recommended than a random product you saw in the shops. It is why testimonials work better than any sales copy and why celebrities make such good brand ambassadors.

 

Emotional Engagement

 

It is not enough to simply emulate your customers with your brand identity. You also need to build an emotional connection.

 

But how?

 

Tell a story, make it personal (“Because you’re worth it!”) to evoke an emotional response, or build excitement (e.g. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was EVERYWHERE!)

 

Also, create copy that talks TO your customer, not AT them. Don’t use generic language to address a group instead of the individual. Use their name in emails and newsletters. Get them engaged to get them invested.

 

Persuasion Architecture

 

So, you have a customer who identifies with your brand… what’s next?

 

Well, you now need to convince them to convert.

 

Persuasion architecture is the art of designing a layout in a way that drives conversion.

 

For example:

 

Using lines or arrows to take the viewer’s eyes to the call-to-action button or using text to direct the order in which to view the page.

 

(The language in which you think is very important in the direction your eyes ‘flow’. English speakers will view the page from left to right. If you align the content to move from left to right, you can place the call-to-action where the eye stops.)

 

Another bit of customer psychology that can be used in digital marketing is the fact that people tend to focus on faces. If you use an image of a face in your content, the viewer will automatically look towards the direction of the gaze.

 

Make your Call-to-Actions text simple and self-explanatory. Don’t go for generic when you can be specific. One of the simplest things you can do to focus on your Call-to-Actions is to make it a colour that stands out. Make it big, make it bold!

 

Persuasion architecture - Using customer psychology to direct the eye to the CTA - A bright bold button and the baby appears to be pointing at it

The 5-Second Test

 

Human beings are great at ‘thin-slicing‘, which means we can infer a lot from very little information. A glance at a webpage or an article or an image will tell the viewer whether they like it or not.

 

With this in mind, you will need to convince the viewer to stay on your website the instant they land on your homepage.

 

So is your website designed to grab the viewer’s attention?

 

Try the five-second test and find out.

 

Make it Easy to Convert

 

Ever heard of the Principle Of Least Effort?

 

As the name implies, it states that people follow the path of least resistance – the easiest path.

 

If you apply this to your digital marketing, you’d need to make it easy for people to find what you are offering. So, what can you do?

 

  • Don’t hide your pages behind layers of navigation
  • Make your call-to-action button REALLY obvious
  • Reduce the number of steps to checking out to reduce abandoned shopping carts
  • Get rid of that long registration form

 

Make it EASY for them to convert.

 

Use Implied Gain and Loss Aversion

 

Free! New! Instant Results!

 

These are words that buyers love to hear. The implied gain in these words can be very persuasive in selling your products or services.

 

However, even more persuasive is the implied loss.

 

Limited Edition! For a short time only! Only 5 remaining! Offer valid till midnight today!

 

If you don’t buy/register/call now, you might not get it at all!

 

Loss Aversion is a powerful psychological tool. People have a Fear of Missing Out (FOMO). If you create urgency, you can make them convert.

 

Anchoring

 

Human beings are weird in that we don’t deal in absolutes. We compare, and our brain is extremely primed to compare. So much so that unrelated item prices (and even unrelated numbers!) displayed together can influence decisions.

 

How do you use this to promote your product?

 

Let’s say you’re selling a bag for £100. This bag is your best product. It gives you a good profit margin. The design and quality are all top-notch. It’s an all-round good bag.

 

Display it by itself and, chances are, most people will say it’s too expensive.

 

Now place it next to a bag that’s priced £500. Suddenly, 100 quid doesn’t seem too bad.

 

This ‘anchor’ provides your customers with the ‘perspective’ you want them to have.

 

Cinemas do that with their popcorn sizes and prices. (Have you noticed that buying the large popcorn always seems like better value when compared to the medium prices?)

 

Baristas do it with their coffee sizes…

 

Feel free to do it with your products and services. Give your customer something to compare the price with so that your price seems better value.

 

Woman holding two handbags, comparing them

Ensure a Quick Response

 

When it comes to building a customer base and creating brand loyalty, nothing beats good service and an important part of good customer service is speed. Quick delivery, quick responses, and quick troubleshooting… your customer will always appreciate that.

 

If they buy your product, make sure they get it quickly. If they send you a question, make sure you reply as soon as possible (preferably within 24 hours). If they make a complaint, get on it and troubleshoot immediately.

 

Live chats or chatbots on your website, and quick email responses will help you serve your customers better, and will also help drive sales and conversions.

 

Display your phone number front and centre and make sure you have someone to answer it at all times, or at least during business hours.

 

One caveat here:

 

NEVER sacrifice quality for speed. If you’re able to give quality service and products quickly, you’re golden.

 

Will You be Using Any of These Customer Psychology Insights in Your Website or Digital Marketing Strategy?

 

With these customer psychology insights, you should be able to make your customers happy. You will also find that they are easier to convert as a result.

 

Do you have any comments? Would you like to add to the list? Which one of these is your favourite insight? Write in the comments below!

 

If you’d like to talk to us about web design or digital marketing please contact us on 01489 232 312, or fill in the form here.

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Parul Mathur

Parul is the newest addition to the One2create team, and brings her extensive experience of blogging and web work to the marketing team. She's got her finger on the pulse of all things digital, and loves writing about SEO, marketing and social media.

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