As the marketing industry developed, researchers dove deeper into buying behavior and buyers’ minds. One early researcher was Edward Bernays—Sigmund Freud’s nephew—who coined the term “public relations.”
Bernays believed that people could be influenced via crowd psychology and psychoanalysis. His “Torches of Freedom” campaign in the 1920s promoted smoking among women as a symbol of liberation, opening a new market to cigarette companies.
Decades later, in 2002, Dutch marketing professor Ale Smidts coined the term “neuromarketing.” Neuromarketing maps neural activity to consumer behavior to help marketers craft more valuable, science-based campaigns.
Are you sold on the idea that it’s beneficial to understand your customer personas?
Hope so. If not, it’s guesswork. When you know who your customers are, where they are, what they love, and what they hate, you can market to them much more effectively.
There’s a fine line between online persuasion and manipulation.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
If you want to get people to buy your stuff, you need to understand how consumers make purchasing decisions.