The science behind consumer behaviour

One of the best-kept-secrets to marketing success is understanding marketing psychology – how (and why) people think and act the way they do. So you can create engaging content that connects with your audience and leads to business success.

So we’ll let you into the secret, by revealing marketing psychology that works:

Top 9 Marketing Psychology Tips

1) Priming

Priming is all about brand association. If you repeatedly show consumers positive messages or images about your product or brand, it will influence how they perceive it.

For example, if a brand always talks about how healthy its snacks are, people might think of them as a healthy choice when they see them in the store. By priming consumers with positive associations, you can make your products seem more appealing and encourage sales.

Healthy Menu Recipe Food Diet

2) Reciprocity

Another interesting one is reciprocity – people feel more inclined to do something for you, if you do something for them first.

This concept by psychologist Cialdini works well in hospitality, but can work in all industries. His research found that restaurants who served a mint with the bill received better tips. With one mint, the tip increased by 3.3% and with two mints it increased by a massive 20%.

A simple giveaway or offering free trial services, will encourage your customers to take up your offers and engage with your brand.


3) Decoy effect

A good example of the decoy effect is in pricing, upselling your customer by offering a middle option to make the higher priced deal seem more appealing.

For instance:

  • Online subscription: £59
  • Print subscription: £125
  • Online and print subscription: £125

A recent study found that without the middle option most people chose the cheaper option, but with the middle option added most people upgraded to the higher-priced option, perceiving it as the best value for money.


4) Scarcity

Scarcity is another Cialdini concept – making people aware there’s only a few left, or only a few left at this price, creates a sense of urgency and people will quickly snap up your offers.

Essentially it’s a case of supply and demand – the more rare the opportunity, content or product is, the more valuable it is.

red love freestanding letters on gray brick floor

5) The Baader-Meinhof phenomenon

The Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, also known as the frequency illusion, comes into effect when you hear about a product and then start seeing it everywhere you look.

It happens when you are struck by a new product, word or concept, then you subconsciously keep an eye out for it and are surprised by how often you see it, confirming in your own mind its popularity, making you want the product more. Regular attention-grabbing email campaigns, content and adverts can trigger this phenomenon and increase brand exposure.


6) Social proof

Social proof, often driven by the Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO), is a powerful psychological concept in marketing. When people see others they like or trust endorsing a brand, they are more likely to try it themselves.

Creating shareable content for socials, will help to increase your followers and make your brand more visible, leveraging the power of social proof to attract new customers.


7) Clustering

Most people can only remember seven pieces of information at a time (give or take two). People tend to cluster words together to help remember them, like mentally grouping similar shopping list items together.

Grouping your content together in similar topics, using bullet points to make your content easier to scan can help your customers remember it.


8) Loss aversion

Loss aversion can be a powerful marketing tool, as once people have access to something they really don’t want to lose it.

For instance, if you offer a usually paid for service as part of a free trial, or for a limited time, people won’t want to give it up and will usually upgrade to pay for the service, instead of missing out on it.


9) Neuromarketing

Neuromarketing has unveiled crucial insights into consumer behaviour using brain imaging techniques like fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and EEG (electroencephalography). Studies reveal that emotional engagement significantly influences decision-making, with specific neural pathways lighting up in response to various marketing stimuli.

Brain study background for mental health care medical technology

Connecting with your consumer, through your storytelling and by understanding and addressing their pain points, can help form strong emotional connections, a sense of belonging and brand loyalty.

Neuromarketing research also highlights how much of consumer decision-making is subconscious. It reveals how subtle cues, such as colour, typography, imagery and language, can influence consumers’ perceptions, preferences and purchase decisions without their conscious awareness.

It just goes to show the long-lasting power the right marketing can have.


For a free virtual marketing ideas session with marketing experts, call us on 01962 600 147 or email

Most unusual ways to get marketing attention

In a world where capturing consumer attention is more challenging than ever, businesses keen to stand out from the crowd are turning to more unconventional methods.

From the quirky, to the daring, here are some of the most unusual tactics that have sparked intrigue, generated buzz and left a lasting impression on audiences:

1) Guerrilla marketing

Guerilla marketing grabs people’s attention by disrupting everyday routines with unexpected marketing tactics.

Popular activities include flash mobs, sidewalk chalk art, or placing eye-catching installations in unexpected public places.

a large group of people dressed in white and blue

2) Tattoo branding

Some businesses have paid individuals to get tattoos of the company’s logo or product. This extreme form of marketing turns people into walking billboards.

3) Product placement in virtual worlds

With the surge in popularity of virtual reality and online gaming, savvy companies are seizing the opportunity and placing their products within virtual worlds to connect with their target demographics.

4) Hiring lookalikes

Employing lookalikes of celebrities or well-known figures to promote products turns heads, especially if they interact with the public in character.

Girls with cups standing back to back

5) Viral marketing

Social media posts have the power to go viral and quickly get widespread attention.

Successful businesses and influencers will create engaging videos, memes, or interactive campaigns that are highly shareable. The secret is to create engaging content that will encourage people to share it with their networks.

6) Reverse graffiti

Reverse graffiti is an eco-friendly way to grab attention in urban areas.

It involves cleaning dirt off streets or walls to leave behind a message or image.

7) Ephemeral content

Leveraging platforms like Snapchat to create marketing content that disappears after a short period can create a sense of urgency and exclusivity among audiences.

Woman sitting on staircase using snapchat app on smartphone

8) Mystery campaigns

Launching a mystery marketing campaign, with little to no detail, can get the curiosity of your audience.

Teaser campaigns with cryptic messages, or mysterious packages, sent to customers can create buzz as people try to solve the mystery.

9) Edible advertising

Using food to deliver your message can be a tasty and memorable way to market. For example, customised fortune cookies or printed messages on confectionery.

10) Outlandish challenges

Creating a challenge or contest that encourages people to engage in unusual tasks for rewards can generate viral content and attention.

11) Using drones

Using drones to deliver products, create aerial light shows with logos, or capture unique footage for marketing purposes can stand out in the technological age.

Quadcopter flying in nature

12) Incorporating scent

Using scented advertisements or having a unique fragrance associated with your store or product can create a memorable sensory experience.

13) Stunt marketing

Stunt marketing aims to create a memorable experience that generates significant media coverage and word-of-mouth publicity.

Think skydiving stunts, extreme sports demonstrations, or large-scale art installations.

You can’t expect all of these wacky ideas to go down well with your target audience. Unusual marketing strategies can be hit or miss, and what resonates with one demographic might not work with another.

It’s important to consider your brand image and what would work well with your brand. We are happy to help with personalised ideas for how to get the right attention for your business.


For a free virtual marketing ideas session with marketing experts, call us on 01962 600 147 or email