10 Psychological Secrets for Marketing Success

10 Psychological Secrets for Marketing Success

To master the art of marketing, one needs to take into consideration the psychology of human beings. More specifically, the “Why”s and “How”s of human thought and behavior, especially concerning consumerism. Plus, it would not make any sense to create content that would not in any way shape, or form attract or interest your target audience. 

Don’t worry, you don’t have to be a licensed psychologist or have a university degree to incorporate elements from the field in your line of work. As a matter of fact, we got you covered. In this article, we will be sharing the top psychological principles in marketing. 

Social Proof

Social proof is a term coined by American psychologist Dr. Robert Cialdini in the 1980s, which describes the phenomenon whereby people mimic the actions and adopt the beliefs of others. Think of it this way. People are more likely to buy a certain product or service if they already know that others have bought it and were satisfied with it. Sometimes choosing not to follow certain trends will lead to an unpleasant experience of what is known as “FOMO,” a.k.a the fear of missing out. 

So, how do we take advantage of social proof in the marketing sense? Well, one way to go about it is to have testimonials, case studies, reviews, and shout-outs all over the Internet. Share it on your social media account, via emails, and on your website to spread it even better online. 

Decoy Effect

Did you know that people are bound to change their preference between two options when a third one is placed in between? This tactic can typically be found in pricing models. To elaborate, business owners usually include an additional price point – the “decoy” item, to push customers to buy the more expensive option. 


It seems as if the rarer a product or service is, the more valuable it becomes. This can be evident when we see advertisements and announcements of “only a few seats left,” “sold out,” “first come, first serve,” etc. This is the power of scarcity – another psychological concept formulated by Dr. Cialdini. A simple occurrence of supply and demand. 


It is safe to say that discounts and sales are incredibly difficult to resist. The reason for this is that people usually base their final decisions according to the initial information bits they acquire. We call this anchoring.

For example, if you’re favorite pair of sneakers that were originally priced at a hundred dollars are now available to buy for fifty dollars, then you’ll be over the moon to get your hands on them right away. Whereas, if you hadn’t known that their starting price was a hundred dollars, fifty dollars might have seemed a bit too much for just a pair of sneakers. 

So, if you ever decide to discount your products or services, be sure to display the initial price and highlight the percentage off that your clients could receive from the sale. 

Loss Aversion

The term loss aversion is pretty self-explanatory. It refers to how one dreads losing something they like. To put it another way, the fear of loss could outweigh the pleasure of gain and marketers usually take advantage of this by giving potential customers freebies in the form of demos, trailers, teasers, free trials, etc. For instance, it is unlikely for a consumer to unsubscribe from a subscription plan after a free trial, as long they enjoyed it. 

Color Psychology

In our everyday lives, we regularly associate colors around us with different emotions, vibes, feelings, and brands. In fact, color psychology is its own area of study – the study of how colors affect human behavior and perceptions. 

It is often believed that red encourages appetite and that is why many food chains adopt it as part of their brand color. McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, and Pizza Hut are just a few examples. Purple, on the other hand, is often linked with royalty and luxury. Whereas, green is associated with nature, health, tranquility, and relaxation. 

The takeaway here is to pick a color that best suits the industry of your business and establish your brand around it. 

Law of Least Effort

It is safe to say that the convenience and ease provided by today’s technology encourage laziness and we are all guilty of that to some extent. It’s no surprise that during decision-making, we will most probably choose the path that requires the least time and effort. 

Marketers utilize this principle to make the purchasing and transaction process as easy, quick, and simple as possible. So, add as many payment methods as possible during checkout, allow platforms to save banking information so customers don’t have to fill it out every time, etc. 

Paradox of Choice

Here’s a fun little statistical fact – the more choices a person is presented with, the less likely they are to buy any one of them. This is because too many choices can cause someone to feel overwhelmed, stressed out, and confused, ultimately complicating their decision-making process. Therefore, with every piece of marketing created, make sure to offer the least possible number of choices. 


Urgency is a crucial psychological technique that compels people to act quickly. It is therefore a time-based concept that would in a way create a sort of chaos in a person’s mind. Simply put, when something is urgent, people will try their best to get a hold of it as soon as possible. 

Some marketing phrases inspired by the urgency that might have heard of are:

  • “Order before it’s too late”
  • “Few hours left to end Black Friday”
  • “Hurry! Only a few places left”
  • “Prices go up in 7hrs 22mins 12secs”

For urgency matters, use countdown timers, deadlines, and the like alongside your call-to-action.


When someone does something for you, you will be inclined to reciprocate the act of kindness. This is what Dr. Cialdini refers to as the reciprocity principle. Tipping is a good example of reciprocity here. It happens that if a waiter is being extra nice to us, we feel obliged to tip them more than the minimum amount. One way marketers can make use of this principle is by providing freebies like ebooks, guides, giveaways, and so on. 

In conclusion, all of the above mentioned points are just some ways by which marketers can improve their campaigns and strategies using basic psychological principles.

Founder & CEO at Aragil Marketing agency | Marketing Strategist | Over $30M spent on ads and counting! | Saving the internet from boring ads.

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