Psychological Hacks for Marketers – Part 2

Welcome to the latest installation of our weekly blog series – Psychological Hacks for Marketers. Each week we will introduce a new shortcut that the consumer’s brand takes and how the crafty marketer can take advantage. Last week’s topic was Scarcity.

This week we are discussing:

Confirmation Bias

Confirmation Bias is defined as the tendency for human beings to search for, interpret, favor and recall information in a way that confirms one’s existing beliefs rather than competing or alternative beliefs. We do this because it makes a complex world much simpler to understand. That’s why it can be so hard to change one’s mind.

For marketers, this is an exciting tendency to play with. There are a number of ways we can use this to our advantage to create more effective marketing.

One way to do this is to use clues on your website that keep people motivated as they get closer and closer to checkout. For example, if I come to your site looking for a new jacket and I see a sale on jackets right away, that helps convince me I came to the right place, making it more likely I continue.

Next I narrow down my search and land on the product I’m most interested in. Here you can use product ratings or customer reviews that tell me how much other people like this product, thereby confirming that I am still on the right track.

During the checkout process, which can be multiple steps, you can use a progress bar or some other visual cue that tells me how much effort I’ve already put in and how close I am to the end, making it more likely I will continue versus having to start all over someplace else.

One area where confirmation bias can play a rather large role is in customer loyalty and retention. We are hardwired to continue down the same path we started on. It takes something significant to make us reconsider and change course. But you can use the tools at your disposal to confirm we’ve made the right choice by purchasing from your company.

Tell your customers about the various awards you’ve won, new products you’ve launched, good corporate deeds you’ve done. Share customer success stories and testimonials. Share positive news about the brand.

Whereas these things might not help you recruit new customers, they are all powerful ways to suggest to your past customers that they were smart to choose you. They confirm what we already believe, that we’re intelligent consumers who make the right purchasing decisions.

Stay tuned next week for another installment of the Psychology Hacks series. Have a suggestion? Let us know.