The growth of the internet in terms of active users has brought with it a commensurate proliferation of advertising. This phenomenon has made online advertising a very competitive arena where consumer psychology now plays an increasingly important part.
Every day more and more people are entering the online advertising arena hoping to capture a tiny sliver of the huge, and an ever-expanding, worldwide market.
To that end, advertisers and copywriters seek advertising inspiration that will result in just the right advertising content. The problem is, most turn to their own creativity for inspiration rather than consumer psychology. What they don’t seem to realize is, creativity in advertising often becomes more about the creator of the advertising than the prospective consumer. And, when you lose focus on the consumer, your results will suffer, and you may never even know it.
Here are three psychological characteristics that are present in virtually all individual and business consumers:
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson said:
“There is always a place I can take someone’s curiosity. . . .”
When Tyson said that, he was speaking in the context of education. But the same is true in advertising. People are naturally curious, and the advertiser who triggers that innate curiosity can lead them anywhere. You can do that by creating a headline or other lead-in that arouses curiosity. If you do that, people won’t be able to resist reading the body of your ad, clicking the start button on your video, or clicking through to your sales page.
Most people would be insulted if you implied that they were selfish. But, when it comes to being consumers, the truth is we all are. We all want the best for ourselves, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The question that underlies every decision we’re faced with as consumers is; “What’s in it for me?” So, advertising content, whether it’s textual, photographic, audio, or video should answer that question in some way.
When it comes to making purchases, we all have a bit of a competitive streak – some of us more than others. That competition is manifested in our desire to get the best deal possible on whatever we’re buying.
Most marketers understand that consumers want the best deal possible, but many mistakenly liken “good deal” to “low price”. For some consumers, that’s true. But for most, a good deal simply means acquiring a product that meets all their needs at a price that they consider to be fair. Of course, fair is in the eye of the beholder, and not all products have a flexible price.
Just remember that people want what they want, and most are willing to pay a fair price for it. Your job as an advertiser is to convey the benefits of the product you’re advertising in such a way that any reasonable price will be seen as fair by the prospective customer. So, when they purchase that product, they’ll see it as a bargain. And that will make them feel as though they’ve won.
By pursuing this lost discipline of advertising inspiration, you’ll tap into a reservoir of ideas that will set your advertising apart from the rest of the crowd in terms of effectiveness.
Is there still room for creativity in advertising? Of course there is, as long as it’s used to convey a customer-focused message, and not just for creativity’s sake.
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This article is published by Will Sherwood | The Sherwood Group |Website Design | Graphic Design | Marketing Communications: The Sherwood Group has over 30 years of experience working with all sorts of companies, small and large. Our clients range from entrepreneurs to Fortune 500 firms, in nearly every business sector, from across the street to around the world (and yes, even Europe, China, and South America). Our goal is to create advertising, graphic design, website design, and marketing communication that still looks fresh and relevant 10-15 years later. Our mission is to stir your imagination and leave your competition shaken and wondering, Now what do we do?” We are located in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
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Please comment. We’d like to know if you found this article informative or helpful?
By Dudley Hirata 21 Aug 2014
Very True and Relevant.
By Laura Holt 22 Aug 2014
Will I couldn’t agree more. When I started applying consumer psychology to content the results were astounding. The challenge is always getting past the creative and down to the message, (I’m sharing your blog with my creative team!)
By Will Sherwood 22 Aug 2014
Hello Laura… Thank you for your kind words AND for sharing my blog.
By Nikki Black 22 Aug 2014
I appreciate this information very much. It validates what I was taught recently in college. I value my consumer prospects and have been utilizing techniques that have created a larger consumer base in a short matter of time. I commend the Sherwood Group for sharing this information.
By Mark Farley 01 Sep 2014
Thank you for posting this! This helps to keep us all on track. I like to get feedback from my customers so that I can adjust my marketing based on their comments. The customer will always tell you what they want – we just need to listen. Thanks again Will…I am printing this article for future reference!