4 Psychology Principles to Power Up Your Marketing

Psychology, that 100-level course in college you took just to get out of the way and it probably won’t ever be useful in your professional marketing career, right? WRONG! 

Psychology helps us understand how and why people act the way they do, which is also arguably one of the most important aspects of being a great marketer. In order to really have effective marketing, you need to understand human behavior to determine key information such as 

  • How do people best receive information?
  • What are people thinking when they see my ads?
  • What marketing efforts will be most effective for my target audience?

Using psychology helps marketers optimize strategies and tactics to maximize intentionality and influence behaviors and decisions to help create more leads. So what ways does psychology play into marketing? Let’s dive into some theories and principles

Law of Least Effort

This law demonstrates how people can be inherently lazy, or at least inherently efficient. When presented with multiple options, it’s almost guaranteed that people will choose the easiest option and opt to take the path that requires the least amount of output and offers little resistance. 

Apply It to Marketing

One way to apply the Law of Least Effort to improve your marketing is to make the most important and necessary information for your consumers readily accessible and available. When people are seeking information, if they appear to have trouble finding it, they’ll choose to find another way to get the same information but with less resistance — normally by going to a competitor. For example, if your goal is to have people contact you, make your phone and/or email address highly visible on your site pages. 

Paradox of Choice

Ever get overwhelmed with lots of choices? That’s the Paradox of Choice! You may think that the more choices you have, the more people you please. But it is exactly the opposite. This paradox explains how increasing choices actually causes anxiety and more stress, which leaves consumers feeling confused and often leads them to make no decision at all. 

Apply It to Marketing

Keep it simple! Remove any unnecessary choice or information when making requests of consumers, like on a call-to-action. Don’t put two different CTAs and force people to make a choice between them. You can also make sure your CTA is highlighting the most important action you want to be taken.


Priming is the act of presenting someone with a stimulus (word, image, sounds) that affects how they will respond to another stimulus, usually to align them with your point of view or influence them to take a certain action. Like when participants were asked to choose between an expensive vs inexpensive product and those who were primed on money by seeing imagery on the website’s background spent more time looking at price information than those who had been primed on safety. 

Apply It to Marketing

There are a few ways to make priming work for your marketing. One way, as mentioned above, is to pay attention to small details. For example, if you were selling an expensive product, you wouldn’t want to prime people to think about the money by having pictures and imagery alluding to money in your content.

You can also prime someone to say yes by starting with small requests, like a free email newsletter or website, and eventually building up to larger requests like buying your product.

Information-Gap Theory

This theory states that whenever someone is interested in a topic, they will take action to fill any gaps in their knowledge surrounding that interest.

Apply It to Marketing

Most often used in content creation, you can make creative that drives people to learn more, such as blogs or social ads that have CTAs or headlines such as “5 Secrets to Gaining Success” or “The Best Way to Improve Your Marketing.” This theory is also important for SEO. If you want to drive people to your site, use keyword research to find the questions and topics related to your products people are most interested in. When you create content on your sites, such as a landing page, blog, or FAQ page, you’ll be getting more people with higher intent. 

A successful marketing professional is never done learning. Challenge yourself to better understand your consumers’ behaviors so you can create more effective content.

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