Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Psychology of Marketing

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It takes some knowledge of basic psychology and human behavior to succeed at marketing. People buy things to either meet their needs or satisfy their wants and desires. As a marketer, you are looking not at what your product has to offer, but at what is motivating your target audience to buy your product or service.

For example, people aren't buying perfume because of the aroma. They are buying romance. The new exercise machine doesn't sell because of the latest features, but because the customer is buying a healthier, perhaps thinner look. The end result of a product or service is what it does for buyers — how it makes them feel, look, or act. Even children are looking to have the same games as their friends, not just to play with, but to be popular and fit in. Therefore, you need to keep broad motivational reasons in mind when planning your marketing campaign.

There is also a psychological aspect to establishing trust and forming a relationship. Most customers have been burned, treated badly, swindled, or disenchanted at least once. They will not necessarily jump at the opportunity to buy something unless they have a sense of confidence in the seller. In an age where people are tired of receiving spam and a glut of marketing materials, the modern consumer has become savvy and somewhat cynical. Only a company with a strong proven reputation will gain their trust. You, therefore, want to always build a level of trust through quality of service, and this should be reflected in your marketing.

Finally, there are practical factors that enter into marketing. If it is simply inconvenient for a customer to purchase from you or you simply cannot satisfy their needs with the product they are seeking, then don't attempt to fit a square peg into a round hole. Too many sales are lost by trying to do so. More importantly, you may risk ending a future relationship with the customer by losing their trust.

In the end you want to sell customers by gaining their trust and building a relationship based on customer satisfaction and by being honest and not trying to be everything to everyone.