Yelena Petic
December 1, 2021

6 Cognitive Biases Used In Marketing To Increase Sales

Cognitive biases can significantly influence decisions because human beings are not as rational as they seem. This is due to the common mistakes in reasoning that occur when one values perceptions or beliefs over reality.

Consumers' choices are still influenced by simple tweaks decades after the research showed it decades ago. Researchers have discovered that we all make mistakes in reasoning because of our own biases. For example, when an item's color changes just a little bit, you might perceive it to be more valuable since there is less supply.

Many people don't even realize that these types of simple adjustments can impact a person choosing an item and their decision to do so due to cognitive biases. Cognitive biases are the reason we believe that a product is so much better or has more value than it actually is. For example, This can cause us to buy an item because of the name, shape, color, and other irrelevant information.

We don't even realize the impact cognitive biases are affecting us all every day and this article will cover 6 cognitive biases you should be using in your digital marketing strategy for success!

1. The Mere Exposure Effect

One crazy experiment conducted showed that just seeing something repeatedly can turn from hesitation into curiosity and friendship.  With no explanation, Professor Charles Goetzinger had one student come to each meeting in a black bag with only their feet visible and then observed how his students reacted as time went on.

At first, they treated him like an outcast but soon enough curiosity turned to friendly chats as the students began getting used to seeing the blackballed person over and over again. The study conducted by Goetzinger is interesting because it shows that familiarity breeds content.

‍How To Use This Tactic To Increase Sales

  • Retargeting is a form of advertising where advertisers will target website visitors who have already visited their site. These types of ads are significantly more effective than traditional display advertisements because they're only being shown to people who've expressed interest in the product or service before and by visiting the company's website again, it shows that person has some level of curiosity about what you're selling. One study found that retargeted campaigns yielded 10 times higher CTRs (click-through rates) for an ad compared to raw prospects with conversion rates 70% greater when displaying these ads on websites! Retargeting allows companies like yours to get past all those pesky "cold" leads sitting out there not knowing whether your products are worth checking into.
  • Repurpose and distribute existing content. Creative ideas to repurpose your content is a great way for you to boost sales. A simple blog post can be turned into an infographic, video, podcast, slide presentation and so much more! This means that people see it in multiple places which increases the likelihood of them viewing or purchasing it.
  • The more we see something, the better it can perform on social media. You might be wondering how to get your posts seen by everyone in a way that will generate engagement and reach. Well, we told you there is an easy hack for this called “the mere exposure effect” or resharing content already shared before. Research has shown that just 686% of people who saw an article would like it after being exposed again!

2. Loss Aversion

Did you know that people prefer not to lose something they already have than to gain an equivalent value?  In 1979, psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky found this phenomenon when looking at loss aversion. This means most people will find it more difficult if they were offered $10 but lost their current possession instead of gaining a new one. It turns out we are all hardwired for these types of things!

If you want to be successful in sales, remember that your prospects will go out of their way to avoid risking a loss. They'll do this by avoiding making any changes from the status quo and thus holding back progress for themselves as well as those around them.

How To Use This Tactic To Increase Sales?

  • Studies show that when someone tries out something for themselves before committing, they are more likely to be committed because their ties go deeper than just a purchase agreement from afar. Give them this opportunity so you can cultivate lasting relationships! Offer free trials and samples of your product or service to give people the chance to fall in love with it.
  • If you give your customers the impression that they are getting an exclusive, high-value offer for a short time period, then it encourages them to make their decision quickly and commit to making purchases now rather than later on. For example, People will buy one before supplies run out if we are giving away only 50 free T-shirts today, even if they don't need another shirt at the moment. However, I would have appreciated a similar deal tomorrow or next week when there will be no rush for other buyers trying to get into the shop as all offers end tonight. Offer a limited-time offer that’s only available for a short time to encourage consumers to buy now or they might not get it again.
  • The countdown timer is the ultimate tool for turning a cold lead into an eager customer. When someone sees how many hours are left until they can't buy your product, it's hard not to want it anymore. It's the end of the day, and you're racing against time. You have a few minutes to make an off and wouldn't that be stressful? That feeling is what countdown timers are for and why not use one in your marketing campaign so people can see how fast they need to act if they want this amazing deal?

3. The Compromise Effect

Starbucks uses the compromise effect, most people opt to buy the grande in the middle.

In a 1992 experiment, researchers gave participants the opportunity to choose between 35mm Minolta cameras.  The first trial phase of testing 1 consisted of two options: either $169.99 for a Maxxum 3000i or $239.99 for an X-370 camera; participants split 50/50 between both models.

However, when compared to those results from another round that offered what experts consider a "compromise" option, which was priced only slightly more expensive than the cheaper model, but still very affordable, and would not have caused buyers' remorse later.

According to the study, 57% of participants chose the middle-ground option. According to the results, simply adding this kind of compromise can significantly increase sales, as 22% selected the lowest-priced camera and 21% selected the highest-priced one.

How To Use This Tactic To Increase Sales?

  • Options are an essential component of decision-making. In order to make the best possible choice, it is always important that there be a variety of options available for consideration. Keep in mind: some people might not like extreme choices and will never choose them; they may prefer more moderate options on either side so as to avoid extremes altogether which can sometimes lead to disappointment or regret later after choosing one option because you feel someone else would have been better suited for your needs/wants than what was chosen.
  • Creative pricing is a great way to reel in customers, but it has an extra benefit that may not be immediately clear. When you place your compromise option in the middle of choices, it actually draws more attention than if they were on either side. This placement also tends to prompt people into considering this featured option first rather than other extreme options which are often less appealing and too expensive for many consumers looking for something affordable or cheaper altogether; saving them from what could have been a wasted purchase decision down the road!

4. The Framing Effect

In a study where participants were asked a question about an impending outbreak of an unnamed disease in the U.S. Imagine the US had two alternative programs that could save 200 or 400 lives despite the fact that 600 people were going to die as a result of outbreaks.

Based on the scientists' estimates, Program A would only save 100 lives (guaranteed no risk), whereas Program B has a 1/3 chance of saving all 600 lives if properly implemented. The outcome was 72% of participants chose Program A while 28% chose Program B.

You have more power than you think when it comes to how your customers respond regardless if they accept the offer should depend on what is in their best interest, but if we're being honest that's rarely going to happen since people are often putting themselves first. So instead of wasting time figuring out all those complex human emotions, just focus on framing your product appropriately so it'll be accepted by most of them!


How To Use This Tactic To Increase Sales?

  • People are more concerned about losing something they already have rather than acquiring a new thing. Framing your offer so it is clearly not taking up on what you're offering will lose them may encourage customers enough to take advantage before time runs out!
  • Frame your offer in comparison to something similar and mention the value of what they will be getting. Wordplay is a big part of this so keep that in mind. It is all about the way you frame things that change a buyer's perspective.


5. The IKEA Effect

Observing consumers assembling IKEA boxes, folding origami, and building Lego pieces, researchers found that their "creations" had the same value as more specialized products.

As a result of its personal connection, the IKEA effect gives a product value even if the buyer does not initially care for it. By involving your audience, you are much less likely to have them reject your ideas. Digital marketing strategies can be significantly improved with just one small change.

How To Use This Tactic To Increase Sales?

  • Involving consumers or existing clients to get in on the process of building your products is a great way to keep them engaged and excited about it. Consumers can be involved by comm time to product development, giving input or ideas during its creation, or improving their favorite brands with new features they may have been involved in!

6. The Salience Effect

The human tendency is to buy products that stand out from the competition in other words which looks the best or which looks the most impressive. A marketer can capitalize on this bias by designing or branding their unique or not products differently, thereby making them more memorable to consumers. What’s more, if a product has a unique feature that separates it from the rest, it is more likely to be purchased. Using words such as "unique, exclusive, special" can be useful for marketers in exploiting this bias and boosting sales.

How To Use This Tactic To Increase Sales?

  • It is crucial to have a well-designed and unique website. 32% of consumers trust a website based on its appearance, according to a study of 2,000 consumers. ! If you want your visitors to convert you to a high-quality design, user experience (UX), and customer experience (CX). This also applies to physical product packing as well.

In Conclusion

Developing a marketing plan involves figuring out how to take advantage of cognitive biases and use them to your benefit. To determine which tactic will work best with your target audience and goals, you first need to consider their demographics. This can be done by collecting data followed by an in-depth analysis. However, if they are overused, they can actually harm your strategy’s success due to their power and persuasiveness and you don't want to come off ungenuine in any way. When you find the balance of which cognitive biases will work for your target audience you will see the advantages a little psychology can bring to a business.

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