When it comes to marketing, understanding how your target audience thinks is crucial. Knowing their wants, needs, likes, and dislikes can significantly help marketers tailor their services and tactics. That being said, over the years, many professionals have come up with theories to explain how the human mind works when viewing marketing materials or making purchases.
In this article, we will be exploring three of the many interesting marketing theories marketers use to enhance their strategies.
Theory #1: Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon
Picture this - your friend tells you about a fashion brand you’ve never heard of before. Then, the next day, you find yourself noticing a lot of people wearing clothing from that same brand your friend mentioned. Have you experienced that? Well, it’s called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon.
This phenomenon typically occurs after a consumer is exposed to the same piece of information, ad, content, and such repeatedly. With selective attention, our brains subconsciously look out for anything related to whatever information we’ve been exposed to.
Marketers often use this phenomenon to subtly “brainwash” their target audience. Because think about it, wouldn’t you be more likely to purchase something if you notice it everywhere?
Theory #2: Hawkins Stern Impulse Buying
Hawkins Stern, an industrial economist for the Stanford Research Institute, developed a theory regarding impulse buying. In fact, he established four categories of impulse buying:
Reminder impulse buying - This happens when a consumer forgets to put an item on their shopping list or didn’t intend to buy the product at the time of their shopping, but because they see it in the store, they decide to buy it anyway.
Suggested impulse buying - This happens when a consumer sees a product for the first time ever and the excitement they experience makes them convinced that they need to purchase the product.
Planned impulse buying - This happens when a consumer goes to the store intending to buy certain items but is waiting for a good deal, discount, and such to make them impulsively buy the product.
With the popularity of online shopping, understanding this theory and how people impulsively make purchases can help marketers better place ads, plan special promotions, and such.
Theory #3: Analysis Paralysis Theory
This theory occurs when too many options are presented to a person that they decide to not make a decision altogether. With this theory in mind, marketers can test out how many products would be ideal and optimum ways to display products both online and in in-person stores.
There you have it - those are three theories that help marketers “hack” the human brain and improve their strategies.