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Hacking Human Psychology: Is That The Essence of Your Digital Marketing?

Gaining a thorough comprehension of human psychology can be a huge asset to your digital marketing endeavors. A recent post by Facebook and Napster founder Sean Parker regarding hacking of human psychology sparked plenty of controversy on the web. So much controversy that at a recent Axios event he spoke in-depth regarding Facebook and how the platform aimed to get inside our human brains.
This blog post was largely inspired by Sean’s statements regarding Facebook and use of human psychology.
In today’s modern age everything is digitally operated. As consumers we manage our finances online, we pay our bills only, we communicate with acquaintances online. Everything we do or a large portion of our daily endeavors circumvent some form or another of digital initiatives. As result of this we have also become far more educated, sophisticated, and agile when it comes to usage of digital platform and technology. Simply because we utilize these platforms and technologies on regular basis in order to accomplish certain tasks and endeavors.
Due to the rise of usage in digital platforms and technology companies are essentially at the mercy of consumers. Usage of digital platforms and technology has boasted accessibility, communication, and selection from consumers. People are simply more selective about the products or services they interact with due to the fact that technology and digital platforms are allowing for such opportunities. The decision making process and buying cycle of consumers has extended to greater lengths. They spend more time researching, reading, reviewing, and eventually engaging with a brand before a purchase occurs.
What does human psychology have to do with digital marketing? Everything!

Ensuring you are appealing to the right target audience.

A target audience are the people who engage with your brand and ultimately purchase your products or services. There are a few fundamental things to always consider when ensuring that you are appealing to the right target audience.

  • WHO are they? (i.e. male/female, age, interests)
  • WHAT are their preferences/likes/dislikes?
  • WHERE do they reside? (on the internet, social media platforms, etc.)
  • WHEN is the right time and place to reach them?
  • WHY are these people considered your target audience?

If you think about it, there is  a form of human psychology revolved around each of the questions mentioned above. Getting inside the heads of your target audience will probably be one of the most difficult things a company will be able to accomplish.

Identifying the platforms your customers frequent on regular basis.

A huge part of digital market success relies on the ability to fully understand which platforms your target audience resides on. Through continuous market research and big data analysis most companies can identify the platforms that their target audience tends to frequent. Most online users these days utilize Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Now this is of course the platforms that majority of online users leverage on daily basis these days.
Even though Facebook now caters to 2 billion users does not necessarily indicate that it’s where your target audience resides. It is however highly probable that the majority of your target audience does indeed have a personal profile. The real challenge at hand is to understand their engagement patterns, interactions, and interests in order to market to them adequately.

Understanding the intricacy of emotional engagement in digital marketing.

Emotional engagement is one of the few main reasons why customers would be enticed to do business with you. Some other important reasons include awareness, interest, trust, and of course intent to purchase which falls further down the sales funnel. Back in 2014, the Institute for Neuroscience and Psychology performed an independent research on the human emotions and social interactions of humans.
There are essentially 4 major emotions that we all experience as human beings:

  • Happiness
  • Sadness
  • Fear/Surprise
  • Anger/Disgust

Since the beginning of time, everything that has to do with marketing has always been focused around these four emotions. Human psychology in part revolves around these emotions and as result we may purchasing decisions on products and services based on the outcomes of each. In today’s digital world these four emotions still offer a tremendous amount of opportunity with digital marketing endeavors.

The right time and the right place.

Brands are at the mercy of today’s digital consumer. That’s a given and any brand who fails to acknowledge that will face serious consequences short-term or long-term. Companies must understand that the consumer now has a voice unlike ever before. This is precisely what social media has accomplished in giving consumers a voice and ability to express themselves.

How do you identify the right time and place where your customers reside?
Big Data.
Analytics plays a huge role in understanding user behavior. Particularly when it comes to gauging interactions and accessibility with your brand across multiple platforms. This is precisely why it’s important to continuously monitor, analyze, and extract important information to identify specific trends and patterns of your customers. If you’re not using Google Analytics to do that by now then unfortunately you’ve been living under a rock.
Many marketing specialists will argue that in a real-time world the big data available at our disposal is in fact historical information. Sure, we absolutely agree with that however technology has not yet sophisticated to the point that we can extract real-time data and be able to fully analyze it in order to make intelligent business decisions.

The right time…

  • Social – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram to name a few. You should be putting forth a strong emphasis on big data analysis of user trends and patterns across these social platforms.
  • Search (Paid & Organic) – just because you are doing some SEO or PPC (Pay-Per-Click) advertising does not automatically result in success. Many brands fail at thoroughly analyzing the analytics trends and patterns of their customers. The outcome of this results in overspending, underspending, or complete failure with Paid and Organic initiatives.
  • Blogging/Content – a lot of brands are still misled on the fact that just because they are blogging or doing content marketing initiatives that success will come rolling in. Wrong! Studying analytical data to determine which specific pieces of content your target audience and buyer personas engage with most is one of the smartest moves a brand can take. Not to mention identifying the days, times, and Average User Session lengths are three important KPIs to be cognizant of in tracking, measuring, and analyzing.

The right place…

One of the major ongoing challenges for every brand is identifying which specific digital channels customers engage with the most. Not only this plays a huge part in cracking human psychology but once again being able to identify there trends and patters across the digital stratosphere.
This post can literally stretch to greater lengths but we’ll reserve that for another one. Still curious about human psychology, human marketing, human business, and human centricity?


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