Scrolling though our feeds we are bombarded with content. Some we scroll past without giving a second thought. Sometimes we pause, taking a moment to consume. Often we pause because of an emotive trigger but sometimes something catches our attention for particular reason.
We all engage with content on a daily basis. Question is, what content subconsciously draws our attention better than other content?
Reciprocity is not something we think about in our day to day lives too often. We acknowledge that if someone does something good for us we are more likely to do the same in return. Andreas Diekmann in his study of the power of reciprocity found that reciprocity is frequent and is defined as normal human behaviour. He also found that the norm does not change should the stakes be raised. Essentially, if you do a small favour for someone, they are more likely to do the same or more for you in return.
In terms of your marketing strategy this theory can largely form the basis of your value proposition. Giving people content that is of value can increase their willingness to give you something in return. One way of improving your reciprocity might be your email pop up. To be instantly bombarded on a website with “give me your details now” pop ups is off-putting for many. By delaying this until a prospective customer has had some time to consume the value you’re giving them will increase the odds of them not only signing up, but actively engaging. Here is a best practice guide for using MailChimp sign up forms.
2. The Decoy Effect
This is an age old psychology trick used from companies like Apple down to newspaper subscriptions. The phenomena occurs when customers tend to have a change in preference between two options when a third option is introduced. A basic example of this is popcorn at the cinema originally highlighted by National Geographic.
When asked to choose between the two options below, people are more likely to choose the smaller size.
However when a third option is introduced, the large is perceived as being of better value and therefore becomes more appealing to the consumer.
Using this to benefit your marketing strategy is ideal if you have a subscription based model. Introducing a mid tier subscription can increase peoples perception of the value of the more expensive version.
3. The Endowment Effect
This is our tendency to value things higher than their actual value when we own them. The effect was first highlighted by Richard Thaler back in the 1970s. This effect is especially true if you have an emotional attachment to the object. Experiments conducted by Reb and Connolly in 2007 around the endowment effect (amongst other studies) have the same result; the sense of endowment leads to higher monetary valuations of items.
This can be used as part of your marketing strategy by giving your customers the opportunity to increase their ownership in your brand, product or service. Use your social media to allow users to voice their feedback and interact with your brand. One easy way to do this is by using a free service such as UserVoice to gather feedback. The closer people feel to your brand – the higher they will value it.
4. The Propinquity Effect
This theory is based around the theory that the more we meet and interact with people, the more likely we are to become friends with them. The theory was initially brought forward by Festinger, Schachter and Back in the 1950s. However the theory can be applied to more than just friendships and relationships. Technology can provide you with the opportunity to be closer to your customers and create the illusion of personalised communication between you and your customer.
To use this theory in your marketing strategy it is best to start by mapping out the points of online contact with your customers and where they are likely to interact with your brand. This may include physical locations as well as online. Propinquity is built through repeated interaction. Using personalised forms of communication as well as using multiple channels is a great way to have repeat brand interaction and to make your customers feel closer to your brand. Here is a great guide to using this technique.