The Power of Psychology in Marketing

Originally posted on Twitter by Nikhil

Marketing is essentially applied psychology – using human behaviour to achieve a goal.

Here are 9 Psychology tricks and tactics to help you ace it:

  1. Loss Aversion

People have a tendency to prefer avoiding losses to acquiring equivalent gains.

How to use:

  • “Save X amount of money by adding this to cart”
  • Things like “Deal of the day” with a countdown clock.
  1. Zeigarnik Effect

When you start working on something but do not finish it, thoughts of the unfinished work continue to pop into your mind even when you’ve moved on to other things.

How to use:

  • Reminder to complete the purchase of things in cart.
  • Show progress bars.
  1. Cognitive Dissonance

This is seen when two ideas/beliefs conflict. Solve this conflict for the consumer and their decision is made easier.

How to use:

  • Show how your product works to make their life easier.
  • The key is don’t make your customers think!
  1. Decoy effect

When choosing between two options, adding a third, less attractive option (the decoy) can influence people’s perception of the original two choices.

How to use:

Keep the price between the 2nd and 3rd tiers small, so people choose the most expensive option.

  1. Price Anchoring

Establish a price point which people can refer to when considering options. It helps with perception and decision-making.

How to use:

Use the price as a guide and show customers how they’re saving/benefiting by taking the deal.

  1. Hick’s Law

More choices = harder decisions.

If users end up stuck in the decision-making process of “what next?”, you may not get that lead, sale or click.

How to use:

Keep it simple on the landing page and offer clear Call-to-Actions (CTAs).

  1. Endowment Effect

An emotional bias that causes people to value things they own higher, often irrationally than their market value.

How to use:

Offer free trials – a great way to get users in and then convert them into paid users.

  1. Don’t use commas in price tags

If you want your customers to look at your price as low, then omit commas and decimals.

How to use:

Don’t use KES 1,199.00, just say KES 1199.

  1. Reciprocity

Offer something valuable to potential customers, in return for them performing an action that helps your business.

How to use:

  • Offer a free trial.
  • Coupons/promotions to convince customers to make purchases.


Shupav Group is supporting business owners to build and scale successful brands in Africa. We do this through pioneering Digital Marketing, PR & Communications, and Sales Enablement solutions.

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