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It’s important for marketers to study basic psychology because most buying decisions are motivated by the needs of Maslow’s hierarchy, which are psychological. People are rarely motivated to buy because of the basic needs of survival, such as hunger or the need for sleep, but most often because of the psychological needs of the upper four levels. People are influenced by a number of different factors when making purchasing decisions. Of course, they’re influenced by information and objective facts. But this objective information is often outweighed by emotional or psychological factors. Entire books have even been written about this. Marketers and advertisers, who have put in a great deal of time and effort in studying buying behavior, have identified these emotional triggers.

Introducing the Marketing Psychology Home Study Course

The Psychology of Marketing

We buy because we want more time, better health, more self-confidence, improved appearance, more leisure or comfort, or what we perceive as a better life. We also buy to avoid taking risks, losing money, leaving ourselves vulnerable to threats, potential suffering, embarrassment or worry. We think our purchases will keep us up-to-date, make us likable or influential, or help us better express ourselves.

Each product meets a real need (if you’re ethical). But it also meets an emotional need. Cars are used to travel and their features can improve safety or fuel-efficiency. But your car also expresses your social status or makes you feel cool. Organic food does help mitigate our impact on the environment, but it also combats anxiety about potentially harmful chemicals. Mobile gadgets help you stay more connected and communicate better with your friends, but they also help you feel more futuristic. There is almost always an emotional component to even the most practical products we buy.

You’re not underestimating your customers or ‘dumbing-down’ your marketing. You’re simply meeting your customers halfway between the actual features and  qualities of your products, and their psychological and emotional needs. You’re directly speaking to their needs or struggles.

When you understand where your products or services fit within your customer’s psychological and emotional needs, you can tailor your marketing approach and tactics. If you know at what point of Maslow’s pyramid they’re struggling, you can identify how your product helps them overcome their struggle or achieve what they want.