Contemporary marketing requires interdisciplinarity

An effective marketer should not only have extensive communication skills but also keep abreast of current trends. Also, the psychology that helps us better understand our leads turns out to be an essential part of it. Listed below are selected phenomena and behaviors described by social psychology that we think are worth knowing.

We do not need to explain how useful psychology is in marketing, let alone marketers who often seek psychological inspiration for the consumer to increase sales effectiveness through marketing activities.

Marketing geared to the needs of the buyer primarily refers to cognitive and emotional mechanisms that determine the actions of the consumer. Consumer behavior is related to their emotions, personality, learning, perception, needs, and attitudes towards the brand. The selection of particular products and preferences of leads is often influenced by how they perceive reality and go through specific psychological mechanisms. What psychological dependencies and mechanisms influence buyers’ behavior and needs? We’ve put together a relatively short blog post for you, but it shows only a small part of how important psychology is to marketing.

Marketing and Science:

More and more companies are using the achievements of the social sciences, especially psychology, in marketing activities. This is the result of the fact that the modern marketing concept is based on the S-O-R research paradigm known for many years in psychology = SOR model (also S-O-R paradigm or SOR scheme). In short, this concept is fundamental in the modern industry. Therefore it is necessary to know this.
(Stimulus-organism-response model:

This concept is based on the idea that a stimulus (for example, an advertising statement on a specific commercial product or the remuneration system) is processed in the organism (for example in the form of motivational, decision-making or learning processes) and then leads to reactions (for example changed consumer behavior or increased work performance). The S-O-R concept was introduced in 1929 by Robert S. Woodworth. [1] [2]

The model belongs to the structure approaches. These can be divided into total and partial models. For example, total models, such as the Howard and Sheth model or the Engel-Kollat-Blackwell model, try to fully explain consumer behavior through mental and social processes, while partial models (for example, the attitudinal model) only limit themselves to parts of the behavioral explanation.

In contrast to the older stimulus-response concept (S-R), the S-O-R paradigm additionally bills the internal processes of the organism. However, critics of the SOR model argue that group processes are not adequately addressed in this model (for example, discussing a commercial together in front of the TV set or discussing payroll services within a union group) and that only the stimulus emitter (in advertising: the manufacturer) is assigned an active role, while the stimulus receiver (the television viewer) appears externally controlled, ie, passive.

(Wikipedia, individual references:

  1. Norbert M. Seel: Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. Springer Science & Business Media, 2011, ISBN 978-1-4419-1427-9, p. 3462 (limited preview in Google Book Search).
  2. C. James Goodwin: A History of Modern Psychology. John Wiley & Sons, 2015, ISBN 978-1-118-83375-9, p. 203 (limited preview in Google Book Search).))

Increasingly attention is paid to the so-called consumer ethnocentrism, which determines the preferences of individual customers vis-à-vis domestic and foreign goods.

The customer should know the truth about our products, and any defects that are presented in the right way can not prove to be so bad as the customer can accept them, considering that the disadvantages bring additional benefits.

Cognitive Psychology and Marketing:

Perception is a term that describes a series of processes that influence the creation of a subjective image of reality (ie, perception).

Marketing and advertising are based on the achievements of cognitive psychology. Experts in the field seek to influence how the public accepts a particular product or service. They are aware that emotional involvement is not without significance.

Marketing, which in some way compels the recipient to show cognitive engagement in reading the submitted content, is highly effective and often achieves the intended effect. How advertising is conveyed (its form) is just as important as its content.

The next aspect is the trademark

A brand distinguishes a company from the competition and makes it visible and recognizable. When the brand gets a good reputation, it becomes an inseparable part of a particular company and a valuable sign.


The scientific research of memory is worthwhile and not only for science. After all, in the area of ​​marketing, this topic is of no small importance – it is necessary to construct the message in such a way that it permanently falls into consciousness. Clients receive very different stimuli from very different sources, but it is the specific feature that reminds people of some and not others. The results of memory research help create marketing strategies. (There are many scientific articles on this topic, the selection we leave you.)

Intimidating effect:

This is easiest to understand, thanks to an example. Regardless of the situation (plane ticket or online shopping, etc.), we occasionally find this message on the Internet: “Last vacant seats!” Or “Only two more products in stock!” It seems that this is just a straightforward one. The conclusion is simple: if we do not decide immediately, we will have to buy another plane ticket that may be expensive, or the winter coat will be sold out and we will have to do with our search of at this point, the recipient – after all, a potential customer – is overwhelmed by a whirlwind of thought, which in turn should lead to an irrational decision dictated by the fear that others “take away” us not true, and these “last empty seats” are available for months to come, but if it’s on the internet, it must be the truth be.

The next five points in social psychology are worth knowing because they can play a key role in marketing:

  1. Conformism. This term defines a behavioral or opinion change under the influence of another person or group of people. The second is the most common influence. It is challenging to hold on to one’s own opinion and to remain faithful to one’s personal views and principles when a group is convinced of something else. In certain circumstances, we can give it up quickly. (If we see that many people are confident of a product, the more likely it is that we are positive about this product, even if our experience is not good.)
  2. Context of the decision. Logical arguments do not only influence our choices. The context plays an important role. A classic example is estate agents (thanks to various manipulation techniques). They have noticed that how we evaluate a particular object depends on the point of reference, i.e. from the choice with which we make comparisons. All you have to do is back up the offer with a much worse offer so that the dubious benefits of the proposed offer become even more apparent.
  3. Dissonance at the time of the decision. Every decision raises doubts. We are not sure of the right choice. It has been found, however, that in an irrevocable decision, people have more confidence in the right decision. The moment nothing can be changed, our dissonance decreases. (This is a mechanism designed by our brain so that we do not collapse too much in doubt). If we have already decided to buy a product and it turns out that this is not possible (it has been sold out, for example), we will probably conclude purchasing a more expensive model of the same product. After exceeding a certain threshold, we find it difficult to withdraw. This example is e.g., Used successfully by car dealers.
  4. Personalization and Need for Recognition: The Maslow Needs Pyramid shows that the need for respect and recognition, and thus for the attention and particularity of each person, is felt. Marketing and sales specialists are changing some aspects of the offering, such as: For example, the product, method of distribution, or price to meet this need. Personalization (according to Google reporting data) affects purchase decisions by 86% and is based on knowledge of the customer and their needs. Therefore, a customer is more willing to buy a particular product if the manufacturer offers tailor-made solutions tailored to their needs. Examples include activities such as Starbucks coffee. (This is also an essential part of marketing automation.)
  5. The Lure Effect – This effect described by researchers at Duke University in 1982 results in the product being considered more valuable if the buyer can compare it to the less desirable model in close proximity. Therefore, consumers tend to change their preferences between two options when a third, less attractive option appears. This psychological mechanism refers to the principle of contrast, which says that if we see two things in succession and the other differs significantly from the first, that difference seems to be more significant to us because we have seen the first one before. An example of this is the advertisement for washing powder with the “before and after” effect.

The above examples are only selected psychological mechanisms, there are many more, and they have effective marketing and sales dimension. However, we believe that trust will always be the most important thing (but a company must first gain the confidence of its target group).

The more customers are used to a particular item, the easier it is to involve them in the marketing strategy – so branding and loyalty activities are important. Getting used to a specific brand is nothing but a sense of security – it’s a well-known and popular company. Thus, a loyal customer is often afraid of questions such as: Why should I choose something new?

Author: Sarah-Johanna Hamera – MAC