Why Digital Marketing is a Human Industry

Digital marketing relies heavily on understanding human behavior. You may think it’s all about algorithms and keywords, but Gravitate One wants you to know there’s a lot more to it.

Relationships are at the heart of marketing. Selling a product or a service is about relating to people’s problems and offering a solution. That’s why digital marketing is more than just data collection and analysis.

The Human Side of Marketing

Our Utah marketing firm understands that marketing appeals to human instincts and behaviors. Here’s a look at a few of them.

Loss Aversion or “FOMO”

We don’t want to miss out on anything these days. We want to have it all: a happy family life, supportive social circle, great job, fulfilling hobbies, etc… Marketing that targets loss aversion or “Fear of Missing Out” (FOMO) appeals to this behavior of wanting to hang on to something good. Your digital marketing strategy should prove that your product or service can help a customer maintain their current social status, lifestyle, or appearance. 

Human Connection

Many brands target the desire for human connection when marketing. They tell a story about their founder and how their product changed his/her life. As a result, the brand wants to offer the product to others just like them. They do so not by bragging that they have the best solution in town, but by asking if you have the same problem as they do. The brand resonates with potential customers, asking more about them and showing an interest in them as people.

This appeals to the human connection so many of us crave. Sharing a brand’s story, and the stories of the people behind it, helps to create meaningful connections with potential customers who can relate.

Satisfying Curiosity

We’ve all heard the saying, “curiosity killed the cat.” But curiosity is also what makes people buy face creams, shapewear, and diet supplements. It’s also why people respond to clickbait. People are curious and want to see for themselves if something works as promised, or find out what unbelievable thing some celebrity recently did. Entrepreneur.com shares the following from Professor George Loewenstein: “Whenever we perceive a gap between what we know and what we want to know, we can’t help but seek to close the gap.”

Testimonials and Endorsements

To go along with the human connection motivator, successful marketing relies on testimonials. This way, if a potential customer can’t personally relate to the brand or its creators, they can find that connection with another customer. The social proof of a product’s or service’s value is very common in the Influencer Marketing circle today. Rather than having a film or TV celebrity endorse a product, brands are turning to Instagram and TikTok micro-celebrities with hundreds of thousands of followers. These “Instagram famous” influencers often have a cult-like following who will buy anything that can help them achieve the same status as the person endorsing it. 

Confirmation Bias

Understanding what people believe can help you market your product or service better. We all tend to seek out information that supports what we already believe. So why try to counter someone’s point of view when selling your product? Instead, get to know the beliefs of your target audience and cater to them. 

For example, if you’re selling a beauty product in a high-end department store. It’s likely that the customers of this department store already believe they deserve high-quality products and goods. To cater to that confirmation bias, your marketing strategy should focus on confirming what the customers already think- they’re beautiful and they’re valuable. Your product will simply enhance and preserve those attributes (which goes hand-in-hand with loss aversion marketing).

People are Lazy

Yes, we said it! But you know it’s true. How often are you deterred from purchasing something on a website because you have to fill in a million text boxes with information before confirming the sale? Retailers such as Amazon and eBay have spoiled us with their “Buy Now” buttons that help circumvent traditional checkout processes. Understanding the psychology behind why people avoid being inconvenienced can help you streamline your checkout process and create loyal customers.

Marketing Strategies Based on Psychology

You don’t have to have a degree in psychology in order to market successfully, but it can help. Understanding the nuances of human behavior can help you identify your client persona, and develop a digital marketing strategy with one of the following points of focus:

  • Emotional Connection – Appeal to the vulnerabilities of potential customers.
  • Promoting Exclusivity – Promote your product or service as something only available for a certain time, or to a certain demographic.
  • Transparency – Address any flaws in yourself and your product as soon as they come up.
  • Appeal to Fear – Let your customers know there are consequences for waiting to make the purchase (higher price in the future, time wasted being unhappy, etc…)

As you can see, you can’t build a brand and make sales simply by analyzing traffic, implementing keywords, and focusing on search engine optimization. You have to remember there’s a human element in the mix and that marketing needs to capitalize on human behavior to be successful. At Gravitate One, we explore the human side of marketing as well as the technical side.