Why Human Psychology Should Be the Driving Force Behind All Marketing


Marketing is a central part of any brand.

Every entrepreneur has a vision, a product, or a service to sell. And if their product or service is good enough to sell, then great. But a common pitfall many companies face occurs when their product doesn’t succeed in the advertising and promotional phase.

Hence, the importance of marketing in selling just about anything. But it’s not enough to just promote something and say, “Hey, here’s my product. Buy this!”

No; effective advertising should actually reach a target audience. It should appeal to them and persuade them to purchase a brand’s products or services.

And perhaps, that’s why advertising isn’t as easy as it seems. Yes, anybody can promote a product. But can everybody do it successfully?

Today, entrepreneurs are starting to recognize the importance of human psychology in marketing.

Flynn Blackie, 18-year-old entrepreneur, had this to say about his company’s approach: “We inject human psychology at each step [of our marketing] so that our clients’ ads resonate with their audience…to deliver a unified, compelling message that drives action.”

How Human Beings Respond to Genuine, Authentic Marketing


An increasing number of CEOs are losing faith in their CMOs. In 2021, Harvard Business Review posted an article online that claimed that the traditional ways of marketing (branding, public relations, advertising, etc.) have reached their time.

And perhaps that’s true. After all, what do we do when YouTube plays an ad before a video starts? We skip it, of course.

A huge reason why some may think marketing is ineffective these days is because of how plastic the industry has become. Everything that’s projected is formulaic: from using Stock Photo-approved models, to using the various synonyms of the word “fantastic” to describe a product, it’s easy for target consumers to lose their interest.

But maybe promotion isn’t really dead in some ways. Maybe it’s just begging to be revamped.

Brian Chesky, the co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, very aptly advised: “Build something 100 people love, not something 1 million people kind of like.”


Marketing isn’t just about reaching as many potential consumers as possible. It’s about actually getting them to purchase your product. It’s about appealing to your audience. That way, a brand won’t just attract customers – it will also gain long-term, loyal consumers.

Psychological Marketing. What Is it?

In a 2015 article, Econsultancy defined psychological marketing as “incorporating a range of psychological principles into your content advertisement and sales strategy”. In simpler terms, it’s using psychology to sell.

This seems like a no-brainer. Everybody uses psychology to appeal to others in some way. That’s why we read up on all those nifty tricks about shaking hands and eye contact before a job interview, isn’t it?

But consciously implementing psychology into advertising is another matter altogether. Many marketers overlook this simple aspect.

It’s just so easy to get caught up in all the fads and formulas. But taking the time to learn about how human psychology deeply impacts the consumers’ psyche when making purchases is totally worth the trouble.

Many theories are worth learning about. For instance, the social proof theory: where people tend to trust a product more when they know other people who approve of the value of that product. There’s also the scarcity theory: people place a higher value on things that aren’t easily accessible.

Marketers need to understand what makes people tick. And they need to relate these aspects of people’s minds to their own marketing message.

To survive in today’s world of entrepreneurship, one needs to stand out. One needs to attract attention. And one of the best ways to do so is to use human psychology.

Mind Over Matter: How Psychology in Marketing Messages Works

So, take that leap with your advertisement message. Deliver something so human and so genuine, it’s almost shocking. Tell stories. Study your target audience thoroughly and tap into the human psyche.

“You can never go wrong by investing in communities and the human beings within them,” said Pam Moore, CEO of Marketing Nutz.

The psychology of engaging with people helps a company deliver its message effectively. For instance, in a study conducted by Cialdini, Goldstein, and Griskevicius, it was found that people would be more inclined to mirror the actions of others who are similar to them. This is known as ‘in-group favoritism’. Here, a brand can pull their customers’ attention by saying that other customers in their situation have opted for their products. A simple example of this would be where a brand tells a group of environmentally-conscious target consumers that other environmentally-conscious people are opting for their eco-friendly products.

There are so many ways psychology can be applied in the art of attracting consumers. This can be in bigger, more blatant ways like the ‘in-group favoritism’ method.

But some other methods require more subtle actions. From using memorable sounds and appealing visuals to stimulating your audience’s senses via subliminal imaging or messages, there are plenty of ways a corporation can get its message across.

Using positive words like “joy”, “peace”, “strength”, and “passion” – also known as ‘God Terms’ – can also motivate your audience to pay attention. These terms essentially bring a sense of positivity and appeal to people’s moral values. In turn, a positive message mirrors a brand’s good image.

Revamping Recycled Ideas of Marketing

So, for those of us who still believe in the power of marketing, it’s important to recognize that consumers are starting to call plastic marketing out. The human mind recognizes what is fake and what isn’t.

People are starting to demand more.

Why not give them more? Why not make the effort to truly, authentically appeal to your target consumers?

Regardless of how great a product is, people will often be motivated to buy a product its creators are genuinely passionate about. That’s where authenticity comes into play.

Take, for example, the cosmetic enterprise Fenty Beauty. It gained popularity for its cruelty-free practices – but, perhaps most importantly, it’s highly favored for its message on inclusivity. This brand was founded by Rihanna, a woman of color, and caters to people of all genders and so many skin tones. And the company’s marketing message is clear, concise, and truthful: ‘Beauty for All’.

All in all, it doesn’t hurt to study. Good promotion takes time and effort, but it’s well worth the price. Let people respond to your genuine message.

With the ever-increasing influx of products in the market, you’ll find that psychological marketing is starting to gain popularity. And it’s best to keep up with the rest of the world, lest we risk being left behind.

Ricardo is a freelance writer specialized in politics. He is with foreignspolicyi.org from the beginning and helps it grow. Email: richardorland4[at]gmai.com