Marketing Is Just Psychology (And That’s Been Written About For 1000’s Of Years).
According to Harvard Professor Gerald Zaltsman, 95% of sales are driven by subconscious decisions. The best marketers understand human psychology and know how to use it to their advantage.
There are 2 things that cause all humans to take action.
1. Seeking Pleasure
2. Avoiding / Alleviating Pain.
Even the most fundamental human actions we take every day to revolve around it.
Think about it…
Eating – We do it either for enjoyment sake of eating delicious food (pleasure) or to eliminate hunger (avoiding the “pain” of being hungry).
Drinking – We do it to avoid being thirsty and literally to stop us from dying (a discomfort or “pain”) and to enjoy the taste of delicious drinks (pleasure) and the side benefits they may give us (alcohol makes you happy and coffee gives you a burst of energy for example.
Sleeping – Some people love it (pleasure) and most of us do it because being tired is a horrible feeling (avoiding being tired which is a type of “pain”).
Relationships (with spouse, kids, friends, work colleagues) – We like to maintain healthy relationships because it makes us happy (pleasure) and avoids stress and arguments (pain).
So what’s this got to do with marketing?
Simple, marketing is just getting people to take action.
Getting your audience to take action and read your content, to opt into your email list, to click your link, and to ultimately buy your product.
So we have to effectively use pleasure and pain in our marketing to help our potential customer see the benefit in making a change in their life.
Because let’s be honest, very few people are willing to make any drastic changes in their life without there being some major pain and/or pleasure involved (usually both).
As you know, change is different, it’s hard work, it’s time-consuming, it’s scary.
There are 101 things we all “should” change in our lives and improve on such as healthier eating, more exercise, less junk food/stimulants/alcohol, learning more and self-improvement in many areas but most of the time we don’t take action on these items because no one has clearly painted to us the pain and pleasure associated with doing so.
So in order to nudge your audience into action, you must show them two things very clearly.
– You must show them the MASSIVE pain they’ll stay in (or soon be in) if they don’t take action to make a change.
– And the MASSIVE pleasure they’ll gain immediately (or as soon as possible) by taking action and making that change.
Let’s look at some examples…
Example 1: Weight Loss Market
– Pain: Not losing the weight will mean you’ll continue to feel unhealthy, disgusted with yourself, and feeling unattractive.
– Pleasure: However taking action means you’ll become fit and health, regain your self-confidence and feel attractive again.
Example 2: Make Money Market
– Pain: Not finding a way to make extra income means staying broke, unable to buy nice things, and struggling to make ends meet for your family forever.
– Pleasure: Take action means generating some extra income, paying off the credit card bills, and being able to treat your wife and kids.
Example 3: Dating Market
– Pain: If you don’t learn how to speak to the opposite sex you’ll stay a single virgin all your life and be lonely.
– Pleasure: However, improve your confidence and learn how to speak to the opposite sex and you’ll be able to enjoy health and happy relationships with the opposite sex and eventually settle down with a partner.
Example 4: Hobby Market (Golf for example)
– Pain: If you don’t lower your score you’ll be the butt of all the jokes in the clubhouse, ridiculed weekly by your golfing buddies and suffer a loss of status.
– Pleasure: Drop a few strokes off your score and you’ll be envied by your golfing buddies, the pride of the clubhouse, increase your status and respect which can only help with landing more business deals.
Who This Works On And Why
This works no matter what you are selling and whatever market or niche you are in because it’s based on fundamental human behavior and psychology.
Whether you sell digital products or physical ones.
Whether you are in “problem” markets (like health, make money, self-improvement, dating, etc) or “pleasure” markets (hobbies, skills, activities, etc).
And whomever your audience is.
Because every human being on the planet doesn’t like being in pain or discomfort and they love being happy and experiencing pleasure.
So always show clearly the transformation your audience will experience away from pain and towards pleasure with your product or offer.
Seriously, paint a VIVID and clear picture. Be specific. Use FEAR if needed to show them what the painful alternative is.
Otherwise only the committed 1% will take action and that means the other 99% of your audience don’t get their painful problems solved or experience the pleasure.
And you don’t make a sale either. So that becomes a losing situation for everyone involved and marketing should always be about win-win situations.
Don’t forget, it’s in everyone’s interest to make positive changes in their life and if you can you should do everything in your power to make that happen for your audience.
Remember, your audience came to you because they have a very real problem they want to be solved and a pain they want to get away from so it’s your duty to help them.
Author: Rakib Hasan
About WebAble Digital
WebAble Digital is a top digital marketing agency with operations in Bangladesh and Singapore. WebAble’s 75-member team helps brands and non-profits to engage with their audience in the right place, at the right time, and in the right context using actionable analytics and scroll-stopping creatives. Contact us for your next big campaign, activation, or strategy work.