Why psychology is essential to your marketing strategy
For some companies and some marketers, psychology is nothing but abstract science. Yet for many, it is an innovative opportunity to understand and reach their target in an efficient way.
The challenge faced by marketing and sales campaigns is to accurately assign customers to different profiles. Campaigns thus either reach a single sociodemographic segment that is irrelevant and too extensive (generation X, Y, socioprofessional category, age, interests, and so on). Or they attempt to reach too wide a spectrum of various prospects in a unique and single manner. The latter strategy bears the risk of not reaching anyone by speaking to everyone all at once…
“Using psychology into marketing and sales strategy has produced spectacular results for pioneering companies”
Psychology deconstructs traditional marketing segments
Customers of a given segment – socioprofessional categories, sociodemography, age, location – can actually show substantial psychological differences. These customers won’t be sensitive to the same sales and marketing messages. Conversely, customers from these different traditional marketing segments may be sensitive to the same marketing content owing to similar psychological profiles.
The benefit of integrating psychology to your sales and marketing strategy is simple. Psychological segmentation criteria allows you to 1) categorize customers in a more accurate and relevant way than traditional marketing segments; and, 2) adjust sales and marketing content to different psychological profiles. Taking psychology into account enables you to establish new marketing segments that turns out to be more accurate, more efficient, and based on science.
What are these psychological profiles?
Your target can be categorized using psychological variables called psychometric scales. For instance, personality can be assessed following 5 scales – aka the Big Five – which are extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, openess to experience and conscientiousness. These scientifically-validated scales generate a score for every customer that is assessed. Sales and marketing content can then be tailored to different personalities for greater efficiency.
Which content for which profile?
In neuromarketing, the prevention-promotion psychological scale helps us identify different types of customers. On one hand, customers can be more sensitive to prevention-based content, such as the reduction of potential risks or uncertainty (ʺThe braking system of this new car model reduces braking distance and thus diminishes crash risksʺ). On the other hand, customers can be more sensitive to promotion-based content which emphasizes benefits (ʺWith a more efficient engine, this new car model allows you to cover longer distances with a single full tankʺ).
Bringing customer psychology to sales and marketing strategies remains underused. Yet, some pioneering companies have already obtained spectacular results. In a 2017 study, British and American researchers assessed the efficiency of tailoring advertising content to customers’ personality. The personality scales used were extraversion and openess to experience. Scientists recorded the number of mobile app. sales when advertising content was tailored to customers’ personality. These sales were compared to a second campaign where advertisements were the same for every customer. Results show that mobile app. sales increased by 79% when advertising content was tailored to customers’ personality.
Psychology applied to marketing and sales strategy in 3 phases.
In a future post, we will discuss how to assess customers’ psychology and how to adjust sales and marketing content accordingly.
Dr Morgan DAVID
A former academic and behavioural sciences expert, Dr Morgan David is the founder and director of ANALYTICA, a consultancy agency based in the UK and in France. ANALYTICA uses the way our brain works to design better products and better services in the realm of neuromarketing, webmarketing, customer experience, sales strategy and pricing tactics. ANALYTICA created CogniSales, a neuromarketing sales service, and CogniMenu, the first new-generation menu engineering service.