Here's few psychological biases that Marketers use to persuade people to buy their product/service. If you own a business, these tips would be much helpful towards getting more customers. If you a frequent shopper, this post would be helpful to be wary of unscruplous marketing practices, a few of which could be unethical as well, and help you identify those who sell you things that you may not need.

The Halo Effect.

The Halo Effect is the cognitive bias based on the "first impression" of a brand/business/person. This is the first impression you have with a brand, a business, or a person, that is going to influence your future interactions with the said brand/business/person. The first impression is so heavily weighted that it would color and influence, and direct all your attitudes towards the beliefs and understanding about this brand/business/person. Marketers need to be aware of the "first touch points" that play a lot into people's perception, that decides the future of any potential transaction/sale. Its imporatant to make this positive impression, and putting your best foot forward in marketing your brand with your leads/customers, since it would buffer against any possible negative experiences in the future. This is where the test for brand loyalty kicks in, as you onboard your customers on a solid foundation of trust and brand identity. Your client, would still perceive your brand as positive overall if your first impression worked out well.

Serial position effect

The next cognitive bias that we are looking into is called the serial position effect. The very first piece of information, and the very last piece of information is going to be taken and remembered, and viewed far more important than anything in the middle. As a marketer, you would be more obsessive about your customer journey, and about the marketing funnel, introducing ourselves with the best way possible, with a strong message and a clear call-to-action, that gets them to some kind of buying decision, purchasing, or whatever that it is in your conversion funnel. Its imporant to prioritize this cognitive bias in your marketing, that helps you work on actionalble insights. Well, that leads us to our next pyschological trigger,..

Recency effect

We as humans tend to give higher weight or more authorithy, more importantance, to the recent bit of information we've received, rather than all of the stuff we heard before. This is the reason that one of the core strategies of marketers who create strategic marketing campagins, comes down to ways to increasing frequency, or increasing touch points, essentially increasing the recency, how recently someone saw or engaged with some kind of marketing content. There is a higher chance your work would be perceived more by your clients, if you are going to create fresh content, that is engaging, outbeating your competitor's chances by being more recently. This is essentially going to help your prospect valute information they get on a recent basis, and makes your pitch more valuable! Basically, if your prospect is exposed to stuff that is more recent, fresh, and engaging, they preceive it as more important!

The Mere Exposure Effect

The more somebody sees something, the more familiar they are with it. The more often you are going to appear before your clients, the more natural it is you would be liked, and trust you. Both of which is more important to build a solid and sustainable business. By trying to appear more often in front of your customers, you kind of increase the relevance of your message, and customers would view it more important, and holding more weight. This naturally leads to increasing the likeablilty and trust. When it comes to marketing, more increase in frequency, and more increase in touch points, essentially is great!

Loss Aversion

People hate missing out of stuff. FOMO - Fear of missing out, is real. One of the most valuable tools you have at your disposal, is using some form of scarcity, urgency or some kind of incentive that is going to disapper if they don't take action soon, setting some kind of deadline. Given the option of taking an action, or putting the action later, most people go for the latter. But, typically if you incentivise the experience by adding a call-to-action with a deadline, people would be interested in cashing on the opportunity immediately, rather than put the action later. Later means never!

The Compromise Effect

People are busy., Often its impossible to evaluate all kind of options. Given the choice, they tend to compromise! What it means to a marketer is simply this - If you have a product/service that you are trying to sell, its better to break it into 2/3 options. A low-priced option, a mid-priced option, and a high-priced option. Essentially, you are going to sell the mid-priced option more, as your client would be in the state of mind as "going to get more value", rather than banking on the higher-priced option that would be percived "over-priced". The marketing strategy essentially makes your customers to compromise on higher options, and bank on medium tiers which is perceived to be budget friendly, and econimical. No wonder why Costo-co sells $4.99 roasted chickens. Simply by labelling your mid-tier option as "Most popular", which takes advantage of the band-wagon effect.


Anchoring essentially relies on perception. Essentially, as in the 3-tier concept, anchoring relies on what you perceive as budget friendly, or most popular as a mental anchor, a bias on pricing. If the first price, you present to someone is incredibily higher, or expensive, everything that comes out next won't be considered budget friendly. But if you have 3-buckets, your odds are that your clients would perceive one of the options as a really good deal, and this helps you vett your clients on basis of how much they are willing to spend. Anchoring like most other pyschological trigger is a combition of serial positioning effect, (more weight to first and last piece of information,), as well as receny effect (the most recent piece of information someone heard). People are kind of over-reliant on information, which again biases the future decesion making.

Choice overload

In the previous examples, we discussed about 3-bucket strategy. A low price, a mid tier, and a high priced option. But, what if you want to go more? When we have too many choices, we limit the odds, or chances that they do any of it all. If they take an action, they might be disappointed with the decision they have made. Its the ultimate lose-lose. If they do make a choice, they are not likely to be very happy! Case in point - Jam tasting study. It was observed people never got into buying, when they were presented with loads of options, rather than when stocked with a select kind of jams, is when they engaged in ending up buying. As a marketer, your job is to eliminate the confusion. Simplify things for your prospects, and options that they can't think for themselves. Not because they are not smart, but its the way how buying instinct works - limit the options, and save their overload on over-thinking!

The Framing Effect

This is just about positioning your message, in a way that makes it more attractive to the audience you are going to pitch to. Here's a classic example - Imagine for a second you are diagnosed with an illness, and you approach 2 doctors. Doctor A says, you have 80% chance of recovery. Going on to have a normal life. Doctor B comes in and says, - there is a 20% chance that its not going to work out for you, and better start making final plans. Now, here's the thing - Both of the doctors have said exactly the same thing, 80:20 chances on recovery, vs death. Lot of most people, will go with doctor A. Because, when you are creating your marketing message, you need to be framing your pitch that is positive/optimistic, which is appropriately talks about their problems, and positions them in a way that their outcomes would be successful. It's always about the client/customer.

The IKEA Effect

The next cogintive effect is the IKEA effect, where prospects get to play in a part of the creation. The marketing strategy here is to involve your customers in the creation process of the product/service as much as possible. Ask for feedback. Ask for comments, ask for surveys, guidance and advice - anything that would make the conversation going. Tmje

The Pygmalion Effect

The Pygmalion Effect is a pyschological trigger, where high expectations lead to better performance and better results. When you put higher expectations of people who you serve, the results tends to be higher performance. Treating your clients as smart, capable, and respectable people - is not just kind of commonsense, but its a pretty good business practice. Win-Win.

Conformaiton Bias

We as humans, when we receive information, tend to run it through a certain kind of filter, where it confirms and sort of affirms the beliefs and identity we already have. If you read something that is relatively neutral, you end up taking your position, and supporting your views. But, if someone else, who have the opposite beliefs tend to get into hot water with different views. The way to tap into confirmation bias is to really understand, your ideal target market. Identifying who your customer is, and what makes them tick is the key here. When you do this, you would be able to frame pretty much all of your future content, and really allow them to start nodding their heads in everything you say, because you are confirming them with things they already have be exposed to.

Peltzman Effect/Zero risk bias

The key here is understanding how people want to take no, or little risks., Taking your messaging, extra step further., and making sure your business is low/no risk. Given the choice, if your business offer has some element of risk, versus a business/offer that has 0% risk, most people would choose the no risk one. The obvious way is to provide some form of guarentee, money-back offer. Sometimes if you are not in a postion to provide a guarentee, you need to provide social proof elements that secures the offer as iron-clad. Provide testimonials. Doing your case-studies, and proof-of-results. Doing best to establish trust, and often in your client relationship. Make sure the first impression is a good one. When you able to tap into elements of social proof, it builds more trust factor in your brand/business.

Bandwagon Effect

Its all about doing what other people do. We look to other people, and often tend to do what others do. Providing elements of social proof, and showing others who have gone before, are motivational triggers to your business/brand strategy. The more you can show your client, how other peopele have had their success, the better.

Blind spot bias.

Of all of the pyschological biases, this is most interesting. What the blind spot bias says is, all of the pyschological biases are invisible to the people who you are trying to talk to. We can't recoginze, when they are actively being used against us.

Thanks for reading!