Psychology

In the end you’re selling to the brain of your customer. Understand how it works , how to best get your message across and get people to take action.

Want to Know a Secret? Your Customers Do.

The carefully evasive proposal included intriguing tidbits: Jeff Bezos laughed when Mr. Kamen assembled an It for him [. . .] The proposal also included proclamations from tech-world celebrities like Steve Jobs, Apple’s founder, that the device might change urban life and could be as significant as the development of the personal computer.

The New York Times, January 2001

Dean Kamen’s code name for the project was “Ginger.” That was all most people knew. But few could wait to learn more. Deprived of source material, journalists wrote articles about articles. Finally, in December 2001, came the big reveal: Ginger was the Segway. 

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18 Scarcity Examples that Can Boost Sales

It’s a cultural trope to “want what you can’t have,” but it’s also a principle based in decades of psychological research. That principle, scarcity, is incredibly powerful in marketing, persuasion, and conversion optimization—when done right.

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Psychology of crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is painful.

With standard conversions, people receive value immediately. They buy your product. Then they receive your product. Done and done.

That’s not crowdfunding. With crowdfunding, the end product doesn’t even exist. You need to convince people to give you money for something that they won’t receive for months (and possibly longer).

Sure, you can use perks and rewards to entice people. But the majority of donations come from people’s generosity. How to get more funding? What are crowdfunding best practices?

I scoured the academic research on crowdfunding, philanthropy, and helping behavior to understand when and why people donate money (and how you can use those principles for a successful crowdfunding campaign).

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Semiotics in Marketing: What It Means for Your Brand and Messaging

You don’t purchase products. You buy success, status, a lifestyle. Your purchases furthermore, are driven by subconscious perceptions and emotions.

Semiotics, the interpretation of signs and symbols, helps decipher those subconscious elements. While it has plenty of lofty, academic associations, it has practical implications for marketers, too.

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How Creating a Sense of Urgency Helped Me Increase Sales By 332%

A few years ago, I launched a kind of “Groupon deal for musicians.” I gave away $1,250 worth of products, including recording time, iTunes distribution, and a guitar-string endorsement deal for just $69. The deal was good for only 100 hours, and there were just 5,000 packages available.

I had invested a lot into the campaign. Not only had I spent four months putting it together, but I had also put a significant amount of my personal savings into ensuring that this campaign was everywhere during those 100 hours.

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Learning Styles: The Impact on Marketing Messaging

If you’ve ever worked at an agency, you know the value of client education. Results aren’t persuasive if reports seem like a jumble of acronyms. Trend lines aren’t impressive if they track metrics that appear distant from business goals.

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Purchase Decisions: 9 Things to Know About Influencing Customers

If you want to get people to buy your stuff, you need to understand how consumers make purchasing decisions.

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The “Curse of Knowledge”: How Expertise Can Hurt Marketing

Marketers are intimately familiar with their industry and product. But that familiarity isn’t always an advantage.

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burger king bundle

It’s the early 1980s. You’re in charge of a fledgling ESPN, and you have two choices:

  • Add more college basketball—you’re highest-rated programming—to the schedule.
  • Stick with the skiing and billiards you’ve aired for years (because you couldn’t afford anything else).

Which creates the more profitable programming bundle?

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foot in the door

“How can a person be induced to do something he would rather not do?” Keep reading »