Psychological Marketing: Part of your Strategic Marketing Plan
A type of marketing, called psychological marketing, is an important aspect of the strategic marketing plan for your business.
At first, psychological marketing may sound strange, or even dishonest - as though you are trying to trick someone into buying your product or using your services.
True psychological marketing is nothing that sinister. It focuses on understanding how and why people make the product choices that they do, as well as taking into account social and environmental variables that affect people's choices. Understanding psychological marketing, and doing a bit of your own market research in this area, is an integral part of a successful strategic marketing plan.
Studying your Customers
We have all been exposed to psychological marketing techniques, whether we realize it or not. For example, food and snack companies understand that consumers are more receptive to food, particularly quick, on-the-go types of easy to access food, when people are hungry. Thus, they often schedule television and radio commercials for snacks in the later afternoon - which is a prime snacking time for most people, between lunch and dinner. Most Internet based companies won't be advertising on the television or radio, but there are still psychological aspects of customers and consumer habits that will help you form an integrated strategic marketing plan.
To get started with this portion of your strategic marketing plan, there are a few key points to keep in mind when trying to better understand your customers:
- The psychology of how consumers think, feel, reason, and select between different alternatives (e.g., brands, products)
- The psychology of how the consumer is influenced by his or her environment (e.g., culture, family, signs, media)
- The behavior of consumers while shopping or making other marketing decisions
- Limitations in consumer knowledge or information processing abilities influence decisions and marketing outcome
- Understanding differences in consumers related to age, values, attitudes and lifestyles
These are important factors for marketers to understand, so they can adapt and improve their marketing campaigns and marketing strategies to more effectively reach the consumer. For example, the aging population bubble caused by the baby-boom generation, and from people living longer than in the past causes a difference in marketing demographics and in the demand for a wide range of products.
Environmental Influences An additional aspect of psychological marketing to create a successful strategic marketing plan is the understanding of social, cultural and environmental shifts that affect people's consumer choices. For example, the rising cost of fuel means that many commuters are finding alternate ways of getting to and from work. Some people who used to drive may now be taking the bus or the train. Because they are taking the bus or the train, they have time to sit and read a newspaper or work on their laptop or Internet ready phone. This means that there is a marketing opportunity for a group of the population that did not exist a year ago.
Understanding a variety of psychological factors that influence consumer choices, as well as social, cultural and economic variations in the environment will help your company stay current with changing trends, and to better be able to form a successful strategic marketing plan.
Budget: Priceless. $350 - $1,000 per month for research
Christian Fea is CEO of Synertegic, Inc. A strategic Collaboration Marketing consulting firm. He empowers business owners to discover and implement Integration, Alliance, and Joint Venture marketing tactics to solve specific business challenges. He demonstrates how to create your own Collaboration Marketing Strategy to increase your sales, conversation rates, and repeat business.