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5 Psychological Triggers Every Marketer Should Know: Part 1

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

By Sean Mari Sagun, Founder at SM Social • Published August 15th, 2023



5 psychological triggers every marketer should know


Hey there! Are you ready to embark on a journey into the captivating realm of psychology that holds the key to unlocking your marketing potential? We're about to delve deep into the realm of consumer behavior, tapping into the hidden triggers that can turn your marketing campaigns from 'meh' to mesmerizing!

In this two-part series, we're kicking things off with the first installment: 5 Psychological Triggers Every Marketer Should Know Part 1. Get ready to explore the inner workings of the human mind and discover how to wield psychological insights like a marketing expert!

So, without further ado, let's jump into our first trigger!


 

#1 - Centre Stage Effect: Captivating the Spotlight


The Magic of the Centre Stage Effect

The Center Stage Effect in marketing refers to the cognitive bias where individuals are inclined to choose options that are positioned in the middle of a given set of choices. This phenomenon is observed in various contexts, such as product selection, decision-making, and even preferences for physical arrangements. When presented with a range of products side by side, individuals are more likely to be drawn towards the option placed in the middle. This preference for the middle option is based on the assumption that items in the center are perceived as more popular or relevant.

Applying the Centre Stage Effect in Marketing

So, how can you put this spotlight magic to work in your marketing campaigns? Here's the scoop:

• Always pick the MIDDLE: For example, in a row of products on a shelf or in a shop window, the item placed in the center is often perceived as the most popular or desirable choice, leading individuals to be biased towards selecting that item.

• Starbucks' most popular size is the GRANDE: Studies have demonstrated this effect across different scenarios. In a series of experiments involving choices between various products, participants consistently showed a preference for options placed in the middle, even when the choices were visually or contextually similar. This bias is not limited to physical products but extends to choices like selecting a number within a range or answering multiple-choice questions.


#2 - Priming: Setting the Stage for Success


The Intricacies of Priming

Imagine walking into a café and catching a whiff of freshly brewed coffee. Suddenly, you're craving that warm cup of goodness, right? That's the magic of priming! It's the art of influencing someone's thoughts or actions by subtly exposing them to related stimuli.


Putting Priming into Practice

Now, how can you leverage priming to your marketing advantage? Here's how:

• Color Choices: Select colors associated with your intended message. For instance, if you're promoting a sense of calm, go for soothing blues and greens.

• Verbal Cues: Craft your content with words that evoke the desired response. If you're selling adventure, pepper your content with action-packed verbs.
• Visual Triggers: Incorporate visuals that reinforce your message. If you're selling health products, images of vibrant, energetic individuals can subconsciously connect with feelings of vitality.



#3 - Hick's Law: Navigating the Paradox of Choice


The Essence of Hick's Law

Ever felt overwhelmed by a menu with endless options? That's Hick's Law in action! This psychological principle suggests that the more choices you present to someone, the longer they take to make a decision. It's like a traffic jam in their brain!


How Hick's Law Can Transform Marketing

Want to streamline your marketing strategies? Hick's Law has got your back:

• Simplicity Wins: Simplify your offerings. Rather than bombarding your audience with a multitude of choices, curate a selection that's easy to navigate.

• Clear Call to Action (CTA): If you want your audience to take a specific action, make that CTA crystal clear. Reduce any unnecessary distractions that might lead them astray.

• Step-by-Step Processes: If you're guiding your audience through a process, break it down into clear, concise steps. This reduces the mental load and helps them progress smoothly.



#4 - Empathy Gap: Bridging the Chasm of Understanding


The Enigma of the Empathy Gap

Have you ever struggled to understand someone's perspective? That's the empathy gap at play! It's the tendency for people to underestimate the influence of emotions on their future choices and behaviours.

Building Bridges with the Empathy Gap

Ready to connect with your audience on a whole new level? Here's how the empathy gap can guide you:

• Storytelling: Craft compelling stories that evoke emotions. Make your audience feel understood and validated, bridging the gap between their experiences and your product's value.

• Relatable Content: Use content that resonates with common human experiences. By tapping into shared emotions, you can create a sense of unity and understanding.

• Anticipate Needs: Understand your audience's pain points and desires. Offer solutions that cater to their emotional needs, showing that you 'get' them.



#5 - Cognitive Load: Navigating the Mental Maze


Decoding Cognitive Load

Ever tried to solve a complex puzzle while juggling multiple thoughts? That's the cognitive load for you! It refers to the mental effort required to process information and make decisions.

Simplifying with Cognitive Load in Mind

To prevent your audience from feeling overwhelmed, consider these strategies to manage cognitive load:

• Clarity is Key: Keep your messages clear and concise. Avoid using jargon or convoluted language that might confuse your audience.

• Visual Hierarchy: Organize your content with visual cues that guide the eye. Highlight important information and use headings to break up dense text.

• Progressive Disclosure: If you're presenting detailed information, consider using progressive disclosure. Start with the essentials and provide deeper layers for those seeking more.



 

Final Thoughts


Congratulations, marketing mavericks! You've just unlocked the first installment of the ultimate psychological triggers that can transform your marketing game. The Centre Stage Effect, Priming, Hick's Law, Empathy Gap, and Cognitive Load are your secret weapons to captivating your audience and driving action.

As you integrate these triggers into your marketing toolbox, remember that authenticity is your best friend. Each trigger should be used thoughtfully, keeping your audience's needs and desires at the forefront. Let these triggers empower you to create unforgettable campaigns that resonate deeply and drive unparalleled results.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we'll delve into more psychological wonders that will leave your competitors in awe! Until then, keep experimenting, keep innovating, and keep being the marketing experts you were meant to be!

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