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Buyer psychology is often described using the old analogy of reason vs. emotion, and in order to understand the buyer’s persona or profile, marketing needs to address both.
Buyer psychology is not a new concept, marketers have always taken it into account using tactics such as peer comparison, exposure of the brand/product, scarcity of the product, rewards upon buying the product, or having “limited supplies.”
One of the tools of today’s marketing approach is personalization. Personalization, with the help of social media and new data and technology, means understanding your customer, their needs and personality (whether a brand or an individual) and creating a sales strategy that addresses and is tailored to them. Focusing on a strategy that is customer centered means learning about the customer, and buyer psychology in this context dives into a specific buyer or a field’s psychological profile.
One of the ways to understand your customer using psychology is to look at their buying behavior in terms of reason vs. emotion. The rational buyer looks at risk assessment, the cost/benefit analysis or ROI, spreadsheets, and the strategic fit between your product or service and the buyer. Information and data, facts, statistics, and making a judgement based upon these is what justifies a purchase.
Tactics that appeal to emotion are not new, but now they may come from having a better knowledge of the buyer. To address the more abstract needs that appeal to customer emotion, marketers often focus on instinct, impulse, values, fears, assumptions, creativity, and imagination. There are several ways to appeal to emotion in your marketing process, including reciprocity, forming a relationship bond with the buyer, and tailoring your brand’s image. According to the Advertising Research Foundation, “likeability” is the greatest indicator of a brand’s success in the sales process. Visuals, stories, packaging, the narrative (the who, what and why of your company), communicating desirable attributes, good customer contact and support, and building social trust all appeal to emotion to inspire customers to like your brand and product.
When you unite the emotional with the rational, you can provide a thoughtful approach using buyer psychology revolving around how well you understand your buyer.
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