5 Principles Of Human Behaviour – Marketing Psychology

September 5, 2015

An important aspect of marketing is understanding how people think and act the way they do. It’s hard to create engaging content marketing if you don’t know why it would be engaging to your audience in the first place.

Before you begin it’s important to understand how people work, which is what the entire field of Psychology basically tries to explain. Understanding some basic principles can take your marketing to the next level. The following lessons can help you attract, convince and convert more people with your marketing:


Priming is the method of how someone responds when is exposed to one stimulus. For instance, someone reads the word “red” followed by either “sky” or “raspberry”. Because people have a natural association between the fruit and its colour, the “red-raspberry” group will recognise the word “raspberry” faster than the “red-sky” group recognises “sky”.

In marketing terms, you could use subtle priming techniques to help your website visitors remember key information about your brand and possibly even influence their buying behaviour.

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A good example of this is when you look to buy airline tickets and you see a banner that says there are only a few seats left. This principle is scarcity – it goes back to the simple idea of supply and demand. The rarer the opportunity, content or product, the more valuable it is.

Verbatim Effect

People are more likely to remember how you say things, not the specific details of what you said. You’re more likely to get a response from a piece of content if it’s said in an appealing and creative manner, as opposed to just bluntly telling them what they can get.

This is the verbatim effect, and it can have a huge effect on how your content performs.

Social Proof

A lot of marketers know about this concept already, but if you’re not familiar with it, social proof is the idea that people will copy the beliefs or actions of people they like or trust. Few people want to do or buy something until they see someone else do it first, then everyone wants to join in!

The first step you can take is to social proof your blog. Use social sharing and follow buttons that show the number of followers your accounts have or the number of shares a piece of content has. Keeping those numbers in the centrefold shows that those who see you already have a few people sharing your post, they’re much more likely to do the same.


People only have a small amount of space in their short-term memory. To adapt, people tend to group similar pieces of information together. For example, if you had a list of random shopping items, most people would usually group together items in certain category (clothes, food, household items etc.) to be able to better remember what exactly was on the list.

So when you’re creating content, keep clustering in mind. How can you design and layout your content to stay longer in people’s memories? A way to do it is to group together similar topics – either under numbers, bullet points or headers. Apart from being easier to scan, your writing will be a lot easier to memorize and remember down the road.

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