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What is Consumer Psychology and How to Get it Right

Is marketing an art or science? It's both.

Creativity is a huge part of every successful marketing campaign. You need to capture the attention of people and leave them in an awe. So, an artistic mindset and approach is a must for everyone who works in advertising, design and marketing-related fields. But this alone is not enough.

For any promotional campaign to work, it needs to be targeted at the right people, the right time, using the right tools and channels. How do you nail this? Here comes the scientific part.

Consumer psychology is a vital part of branding, advertising and sales. Learning to understand your ideal client is the first thing any business owner should strive to do. Long before they embark on crafting a marketing plan. Because, quite frankly, any plan not built on the consumer behaviour as a cornerstone, is a waste.

What is Consumer Psychology

Obviously, consumer psychology is a science. It includes the studying and analysis of different consumer behaviours and interests. The findings and data from the research are used to form consumer profiles and predict the reaction of those people to your offering. This is what truly strengthens any marketing campaign because it provides evidence-based knowledge.

It is worth mentioning that even with strong data analysis and the ever-improving artificial intelligence there is never 100% guarantee your campaign will be successful. Although human actions can be well predicted based on previous behaviour patterns, one of the most fascinating things about our mind is that it can change.

Personal circumstances and life changes also play a significant role in someone's decision making process. This is why studying consumer psychology and analysing target market behaviour is a continuous job. One-time effort, no matter how big or expensive, will never be enough.

How to Get Consumer Psychology Right

Study, study, study. Observe what your ideal client does on social media, how do they engage and with what type of content. What are their favourite places to go? What activities do they enjoy for leisure? What stresses them out? What is their biggest fear? What are they currently struggling with? All these questions are crucial in forming a comprehensive consumer profile.

You can't entice people with positivity alone. As grim as it sounds, humans respond faster and stronger to negative factors, such as problems that need solution, fears that can be eliminated, emotions that push our buttons.

Colours & Visuals

Another important point to remember is that people are visual beings. See it, want it, get it. It's not just part of Ariana Grande's song, it is truly the primary signal our brain receives when our eyes meet something that appeals to us.

Colours can make or break your game. The right selection is vital part of your branding. It is worth studying the meaning of colours in consumer psychology, as well as how they are perceived in different cultures. You will be amazed to see what a westerner associates pink with in comparison to a Japanese person, for example.

For designers of all types of goods, colours also play a big part in the volume of sales. Let's take clothes for example. When you go to any online fashion shop you will notice that for the same design only one of the colours is going on a half-price sale. Why is that? That colour was not selling well, so they decided to offer it with a discount to encourage more people buying. In other cases you will see a particular colour of the same design completely sold out. It means the designer chose really well.

Feelings and Emotions

Content marketing is heavily based on evoking certain feelings and emotions in the consumers. Well, at least good content marketing is.

Apart from the format, you also need to think about the power of the content you are putting out there and how this will affect your audience. There are 5 main emotions people respond to the most - awe, anger, amusement, anxiety and excitement (4xA+E). As you can see, not all of these emotions are positive, but they are extremely effective in capturing the attention and pushing people to take action.

Improving on your emotional intelligence is a great way to help yourself create better content and understand your consumer psychology. You can read books or take courses on the topic and up your game.

Remember, people buy when they feel heard, understood and connected. Your job as a marketer or a business owner is to listen to what your ideal client has to say, understand their position, needs and problems, create the solutions and present your offer in an engaging, relatable way.

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