Consumer Psychology and Emotions; How should it guide your campaigns?

Netmatters Ltd
Posted by Netmatters Ltd
24th August 2015

What is meant by consumer psychology?

Consumer psychology is all about the thought processes that a consumer goes through before purchasing a product. There are many factors that affect whether or not a consumer purchases a product, and fortunately what that means is there are many points where you can secure a conversion.

Consumers in the current day are exposed to so many advertising campaigns in every advertising medium possible, and because of this it is becoming challenging to stand out and get your marketing messages heard. This is where the psychology comes into play, and it’s important you give your campaigns more substance and thought into what a consumer is going to think when they are exposed to your campaign. There are two very broad categories that marketing can fit into when thinking about how to influence consumer’s thoughts and actions, and these are:

  • Emotional marketing – this is the process of appealing to a consumer emotionally to influence their buying decision and make the consumer feel as if they are connected to your brand, or that your brand relates to thoughts and feelings that they have. Marketers try to appeal to the strongest emotions, such as compassion, fear, empathy, sympathy and happiness as they often spark interest from consumers. This approach does not go into detail about the product so much, and is completely relying on the consumer’s emotional response to the advert.
  • Rational marketing – this is the exact opposite of emotional marketing, and does not attempt to appeal to consumers on a personal level in anyway. Instead this is attempting to prove the products actual quality and usefulness by placing a lot of emphasis on the benefits of said products. This is the sort of marketing that appeals to logical, rational consumers.

What openly effects a consumers decision to buy?

Research done with neuro imaging technology (source: Psychology Today) shows that the majority of consumer behaviour comes from the general likability of a brand. What that tells us is that most consumers do not actually think logically about a product before they make a purchase, and that they are making the decision with their heart over their head per say. Information, attributes, features, specifications and the such are playing a much smaller role in the decision to buy a product than the emotional relatability of a campaign.

What effects consumers in making a decision to buy is also dependant on what sort of product it is that you are selling. Some demographics will be much more susceptible to emotional marketing than others, with certain demographics putting a lot of thought into a product than others. Those that have more control over their emotions, and can manage them are less susceptible to emotional impulse buys than those that are not so good at managing their emotions, and those that openly acknowledge that emotional marketing is a thing and think about products from a usability stand point may not be affected at all by emotional marketing. 

You may also be interested in our article on how to appeal to consumers psychologically.

Guides See How We Do It