Yes, marketing influences consumer decisions. Good marketing is based on a thorough understanding of consumer behaviour. Consumer behaviour is the decisions and actions that influence the purchasing behaviour of a consumer. Over the years, the behaviours that drive consumers to choose a particular product over another have been widely analyzed and studied by marketers across the globe.
From these studies, it has been agreed upon that the majority of the processes involved in purchasing are based on consumer reasoning and emotions. Hence, to be able to influence consumers’ decisions, a good marketing strategy should be found on the factors that make consumers choose a particular product over another.
Instances that show that marketing influences consumer decisions
By now, you should have noticed that when people are unsure of what the best choice is, they look at the behaviours of others for cues on what the proper course of action should be. A great illustration of this is when;
- A person chooses a chock-full restaurant over an empty one even if it means waiting an hour to be served
- When buying a product online, you are more likely to choose one with the highest reviews
- You decide whom to follow on social media based on the number of followers
Here are four ways you can use marketing to influence consumer decisions
Provide irresistible offers
According to various research studies, consumers, when presented with compelling offers, can quickly change their mind. The same holds true even in situations where they previously held firm believes. The studies show that offering incredibly attractive offers can spur people into taking action. The proposal may be regarding a sale or a discount. So what makes an offer good enough to influence consumer decisions?
- A clear promise. For the offer to work, the visitors shouldn’t have to second-guess what value they are getting.
- The proposal should provide a solution for one of the consumers’ key pain points
- The benefit of the offer should be greater than the cost
Become an authority
Consumers tend to follow what they consider authorities say or do. However, it is important to establish your authority on cues they associate with. For instance, most people associate authority with expensive clothing, impressive job titles luxury cars and other possessions. People, in general, believe what they see.
When it comes to online marketing, some normal cues people associate with authority include large social media following as well as publications on high-authority sites and so on. With these in place, marketers can leverage them to get consumers to take action based on providing recommendations and instructions on what to buy. To improve the effectiveness of your marketing, focus on developing authority cues that your audience recognizes.
Take advantage of the curiosity gap
In this day and age, one of the biggest challenges marketers face is getting visitors’ attention and engaging them long enough to convince them. However, it is not impossible. One way of achieving this is by targeting the curiosity gap. The curiosity gap is a term that was introduced by George Loewenstein, which refers to the underlying need of man to fill in any blanks in his knowledge.
The idea behind this is that when a person realizes they do not know something; they immediately feel compelled to find that missing piece of information. In marketing, you can leverage this behaviour when writing headlines and social media updates.
Words have power
Finally, but certainly not least, the words you use in marketing campaigns can affect the consumers’ behaviour. Simple words like 'you,' 'free,' 'cheap,' and 'because' have a way of persuading users to take action. How?
- You: Creates a personal connection
- Cheap: Indicates that something is affordable and within budget
- Free: Suggests an incentive and keeps consumers interested
- New: Builds curiosity
- Because: This gives a reason, which is often why consumers need to take action
When looking to use your marketing strategies to persuade the consumers to take action, try to focus on helping them in making the right choices. Think carefully about your audience, and try to find out as much as you can about them. A marketer who knows their audience can use their mindset to attract, persuade and make sales. Psychology provides the insight you need to understand what makes consumers buy, signup or click.