As I like to think marketing is psychology applied in commerce. Those who think it is all about numbers and statistics aren’t completely on the wrong path because you need some kind of instrument to measure the impact of your results but usually, those methods don’t evaluate the whole picture and they are not all that marketing can offer the company. Having in mind this, if one adopts this view he doesn’t understand marketing completely.
Marketing is about humans and their needs.
You can’t understand a consumer by applying a questionnaire or using a focus group for a simple reason, consumers don’t understand themselves. They think what they would like or what they would do but many times that is not in fact what happens in real life. The best way to understand consumers, in my opinion, is to observe them or use neuromarketing (if you have the money).
If you want to make genuine marketing, you must acknowledge the flaws in human logic and explore them. Homo sapiens are not rational beings they are emotional ones, the moment you realize you are selling a feeling is the moment when your job as a marketer is half done.
We don’t sell products we sell hopes and dreams
We sell emotions
People don’t go to Starbucks because they need a coffee. If they would just go there for this drink in particular and if they were rational beings they would not accept to give more the 1$ (the real price having in mind all costs). They go there for what Starbucks means: the atmosphere, the people there, how the others perceive you the Starbucks customer, they go there for the music etc.
You don’t pay 5$ for a coffee you pay 1$ for it and the rest 4$ for the framing the brand gives the product and that is the value that good marketing produces.
Now some things that humans do and marketers should consider. If you give a customer a piece of information he will build an entire story around it offering it meaning and sense. Humans are very funny creatures because they create theories for everything that happens around them, they need a cause and an effect. Men can’t stand chaos he needs order. Moreover, once he builds the narrative he will protect it by ignoring pieces of information that would affect it. We are consistent with our views and only something extraordinary can change them. Once these tales stay with us long enough they became axioms (= self-evident truth) and customers take their buying decision based on them.
The buying decision is taken in less than 4s
Why people pay ridiculous prices for VOSS water? Is just water after all… They pay for the Norwegian story, they pay so other people would see them in a certain kind of way when they drink it, they pay for the design of the bottle. They don’t purchase a product they purchase an experience.
It has been shown by studies (never trust someone who uses this as an argument) that acquiring a product stimulates the pleasure parts of the brain while the act of paying produces pain. The explanations, besides the scans, can be many, is is our natural need to acquire property that gives us safety or is it the fact that when you have less money you have fewer options, either way or none it really doesn’t matter. What you should understand is that if you want to sell something you must offer more implicit value (produced by the frame) than the price, hence your customer feels he is making a deal, he feels like he is a win situation and he will come back.
The ideas here were inspired by the work of Seth Godin and Phil Barden
Feel free to ask questions or comment if you want.