psychology in marketing illustration

How Psychology Is Used in Marketing Strategies

Marketers and business owners need to be smart when finding ways to promote their products or services. One of the steps that determine the success of your marketing campaigns is developing a good marketing strategy.

Aside from deciding tools and media to use for their campaigns, marketers also need to figure out how to create a more customer-centric marketing strategy using psychological principles. But how does psychology work in marketing?

In this article, we will dive deeper into the concept of marketing psychology by understanding what it means and exploring some examples of how to use it in your business.

What is Marketing Psychology?

Marketing psychology or neuromarketing is a way of applying psychological theories to promotional efforts. Brands use this technique to understand how their target audiences think and behave in order to match their marketing strategies with this information.

Marketing psychology is applicable in various industries and a wide range of products and services. Therefore, many brands use this strategy to appeal to target customers and potentially influence their buying decisions.

With technology’s constant and rapid growth, neuromarketing is becoming more apparent in the digital marketing ecosystem. We can see this by looking at big companies like Google and Facebook, which have developed algorithms that improve content and advertisements to drive more engagement.

The Importance of Psychology in Marketing

Many studies have shown that consumers are mostly irrational when it comes to purchasing decisions. A lot of buyers’ choices are largely influenced by their inner biases instead of logical research. This leads to many impulse purchases made by people.

The ability to understand human impulsiveness and utilize it to increase sales is crucial for every marketer.

Neuromarketing can help you create more engaging campaigns, personalize customer experiences, and build brand loyalty. All of these goals are important for businesses to gain an edge in today’s highly competitive market.

Using Psychology in Marketing Strategies

There are various ways to apply psychological principles in your marketing strategy. In this section, we will look at six approaches to utilizing marketing psychology in your promotional campaigns and how they can benefit your brand.

1. Create Urgency

Businesses can influence consumers’ buying behavior by utilizing a strategy called scarcity marketing. This marketing strategy works by tapping into people’s fear of missing out (FOMO) and creating a sense of urgency in your marketing campaign.

adidas sale landing page

Scarcity marketing is also based on the psychological principle that people tend to desire what is in demand and hard to attain. That is why we often see brands use the concept of limited availability on listings or marketing media to attach a sense of exclusivity to their products.

Other scarcity marketing techniques marketers need to consider include time-limited discounts, early-bird prices, or device-limited promotions. However, remember that your products might lose their exclusivity if you overuse this strategy in your marketing campaigns.

2. Connect with Consumers

Research by Immersion Neuroscience in 2018 found that understanding what the brain actually resonates with is more important than knowing what people say they like. One of the most prominent ways to connect with consumers’ inner biases is by practicing emotional marketing.

This marketing strategy focuses on appealing to target audiences’ emotional values to influence how they notice, remember, share, and buy your products or services. Marketers use this principle to create persuasive messages and form a deep connection with the audience.

According to a Nielsen study, ads with an above-average emotional response from consumers caused a 23% sales increase as opposed to average ads. This shows how effectively emotional marketing can persuade audiences to engage with your brand.

3. Color Psychology

Humans are visual creatures that tend to understand visual messages better. One of the core elements in visual communication is color. Colors are not only important for aesthetic purposes; they also carry different meanings and emotions that can affect audiences’ perceptions.

Applying color psychology in to your marketing and branding media is important to get the desired responses from your target audience. It is proven that audiences’ reaction to your color appropriateness is the most important aspect to consider when choosing a color palette.

spotify blue and green home page

Make sure you understand your brand’s core values and how you want them to be perceived, then choose the right color to represent you. Consider also doing market research to see how your competitors use color in their marketing campaigns.

4. Reciprocity

Reciprocity is one of the social psychology principles applicable in various marketing efforts. This is based on the concept that people tend to feel obliged to do something for you when you’ve done something for them.

Practicing reciprocity is important to establish long-lasting positive relationships with customers and gain their loyalty. Some marketers and business owners cease meaningful contact with clients once they complete a purchase, but this is a bad practice.

Businesses need to provide a good post-purchase customer experience by maintaining communication, asking for feedback, or facilitating return and exchange when needed. This shows customers that you care about their experience and entice them to make repeat purchases.

5. Social Proof

Social proof is a term used to describe the idea that humans tend to copy other people’s actions and decisions when they aren’t sure how to act. In marketing, this concept is applied to encourage customers to share their positive experiences with businesses to attract new clients.

The most common way to practice social proof in your business is by showing testimonials and reviews in your promotional media and product listing pages. This is proven to be an effective method considering that 83% of consumers trust consumer reviews over brand advertising.

Since customers have a powerful voice, businesses need to make an effort to embrace their opinions. Use tools like Mopinion, Feedier, and SurveyMonkey to gather and analyze customers’ feedback and optimize their impact on your business.

6. Decoy Effect

The decoy effect is a method of presenting a third option to change customers’ preferences between two main options. For example, fast-food restaurants would offer three sizes of soft drinks with small price variations to influence customers’ into choosing the largest size.

mac book comparison landing page

This principle is widely used by brands to help their pricing strategies. The decoy effect is useful for businesses to subtly upsell their products while also offering more choices for customers. There are several factors you need to consider when applying this principle in your marketing strategy.

Stick to three options for your pricing since offering too many choices may confuse potential customers. Avoid making the decoy option too appealing, especially if the choice you desire is not the decoy one.

Finally, consider placing the desired option in the middle of the array since people tend to choose the middle option regardless of value.


Psychology is an integral part of a successful marketing strategy. It allows marketers and business owners to understand target customers’ behavior and develop marketing strategies that better suit their businesses.

In this article, we have learned about what marketing psychology is and why it is important for your business. We also looked at six ways to implement psychological principles in marketing campaigns, including:

  • Create urgency
  • Connect with customers
  • Color psychology
  • Reciprocity
  • Social proof
  • Decoy effect

Understanding marketing psychology can give you an advantage in this competitive market. Find ways to implement this concept in your business and hopefully, your business can engage its target customers better and drive more sales.

Juliet Jones


Juliet is an Editor at, all in one content marketing agency. She loves creating articles about technology, innovative product reviews, and technical writing to help scale up digital growth. She is a writer by day and a frustrated singer by night.