Successful business owners know how important it is to be able to understand their customers. If they can tap into the way their customers think, they can appeal to their emotions, their senses and ultimately influence their behavior.
One of the ways to get to know your customers better is to understand their cognitive biases as these affect the way that people make decisions. A cognitive bias is something that affects the way we might perceive something or make a judgment about it. If business owners can gain insight into what some of these are, they can use them to influence consumer decisions through their marketing strategy.
So which cognitive biases should businesses be paying attention to?
Loss aversion comes into play where the risk of losing something becomes more powerful then what we might gain if we are to make a particular decision. If a person imagines loosing $1,000, for example, this might have more of an effect than if they think about gaining $1,000. Businesses can take advantage of this that makes customers feel as though the risk of loss is high if they don’t act in a certain way -i.e., buy your product or use your services.
The Bandwagon Effect
One powerful cognitive bias that businesses should utilize is the bandwagon effect, coming from the phrase ‘to jump on the bandwagon.’ In its essence, this means that if people think that lots of other people are doing something, i.e., buying into an idea or investing in a product, they are more likely to do so as well. If marketers can demonstrate social proof, this can be a great way of influencing more people to buy.
Framing and Priming
Framing and priming is where words or phrases are used to paint a positive picture without the person subjected to them knowing they are being steered in a certain way. To use this, businesses must subtly influence their customers through their choice of words and imagery to direct them to view their brand in a positive light.
Confirmation bias is where people seek out opinions and beliefs that are already aligned with their own, thus creating an echo chamber where they are validated because they aren’t seeking viewpoints from people who don’t agree with them. Savvy marketers can use this technique by feeding customers information that they already believe in, thus increasing their sense of trust and connection with the brand and winning their loyalty.
Zero-risk bias is a hugely influential effect that all businesses can take advantage of. This is where a person sees no negative to taking up an offer or buying a product. If you give a ‘no questions asked money back guarantee,’ for example, or ‘try before you buy’ offers, customers will feel there is zero risk and therefore be more willing to agree.
Exploiting cognitive biases can be a powerful way to influence customers decision making, therefore generate more sales and increased trust in your brand.
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