What is Marketing Psychology? How to use?

In order for a marketer to do his job successfully, he must first know his customer and understand the wants and needs of these people. Accordingly, What is Marketing Psychology?

What is Marketing Psychology? How to use?

Of course, it is not compulsory for marketers to have a psychology degree, but we can easily say that marketers can reach consumers more easily by using some theories of psychology, analyze their customer base better and make more sales.

In this article, we will explain what marketing psychology is and how you can benefit from marketing psychology.

What is Marketing Psychology?

Marketing psychology can basically be defined as using various psychological principles from content, marketing and sales strategies. We can also think of marketing psychology as an attempt to understand the decision mechanism people use when shopping.

5 Commonly Used Principles of Marketing Psychology

Let's look at some of the common psychology principles used in marketing.

The principle of reciprocity: This principle is based on the idea that when a brand does a favor to a customer, it will be rewarded, that is, the customer will do a favor for this brand.

The principle of lack of knowledge: This principle is based on the principle that if a person has a lack of knowledge about a topic of interest, he will do something to make up for that lack.

The scarcity principle: We know that people value rare things more, and there is an understanding that easily available things are not in demand.

The social proof principle: This principle suggests that when people buy something, they take into account other people's thoughts and comments about this product.

The principle of avoiding loss: According to this principle, people give more importance to not losing something than to gain something.

Let's examine these principles in more detail and how they are used.

1. The Principle of Reciprocity

Basically this is actually this principle: If you want to sell as a company, you must first think of the customer. So to buy something you have to give it first.

Because psychology shows us that in order to do a favor, people wait for a favor to be done to them first. If you want people to shop from you, you must first offer them an attractive opportunity.

Digital Decluttered is an online platform that provides information on marketing and content production. The Instagram post here gives people helpful advice about taking photos. In other words, it offers value, information, advice, and tips without expecting people to become a member of this platform.

There are many companies that attach importance to digital marketing and you can do something according to the principle of reciprocity.

For example, having useful guides and articles about the industry on your company's website, sharing inspirational quotes on your social media accounts, shooting and sharing videos explaining how something is done and sharing will benefit the customer even when there is no shopping in question.

So even sharing an inspirational quote on your company's Instagram account allows you to benefit from the principle of reciprocity because you tried to inspire people without waiting for anything.

2. The Principle of Lack of Information

According to the information deficiency theory (imperfect information theory) developed by George Loewenstein in the early 90's, if there is a gap between what people know and what they want to know, an element of curiosity emerges.

Marketers use this principle in content marketing and social media marketing.

For example, blog titles in the form of question sentences can be given as an example. In fact, the title of this article was written exactly according to the principle of missing information:

“What is Marketing Psychology? How to use?"
10 Things You Should Know About Elon Musk
5 surprising facts about the Instagram algorithm
These and similar titles are those that scratch the curiosity element and enable people to click and quit their curiosity.

We observe that this method (titles in the form of question sentences) is frequently abused and used as click-bait. So a person who sees that a blog post with a very attractive title is empty, may not stop by your blog again. Therefore, the content as well as the title should be appropriate and of high quality.

Companies want to direct their followers on their social media accounts to their own websites and sell. For example, you can use the "scroll up" feature in Instagram Stories to drive traffic from the story to your website.

3. The Famine Principle

Psychologists reveal that the harder it is to reach something, the more value it is.

Prof. According to Shahram Heshmat, it is possible to benefit from famine because the scarcity of something, the thought that it will end immediately, and the fear of not being able to catch up activate the idea that people have unsatisfied needs.

When people fail to take advantage of a discount, they think they miss an opportunity and even lose their freedom of choice.


Black Friday Sale: This discount week, which started in late December, has become a worldwide phenomenon. This week, by making attractive discounts on existing products, a sense of scarcity is created and a great profit is achieved. People try not to miss this discount by making a great effort to buy something that is sold for 180 liras in a normal time for 130 liras.

Limited product: We often see it on cheap airline ticket websites. Last 5 seats are left on the plane. People decide faster if they have a limited number of seats left. If they see that there are 130 empty seats on the plane, they close the page to make the purchase later. However, if there are 5 seats left, there may be no tickets left after an hour.

Exclusive access: Brands offer exclusive access (exlucive access) to add a premium feel to some of their products and services. In other words, having a product or service that not everyone has and only certain people can access creates a sense of importance in people. For example, we see "limited edition" smartphones. The hardware and software are exactly the same as the normal version, but with slight visual differences this product is marketed as a "limited edition".

For example, we have seen this situation in the past years. The Samsung Note 7 model was withdrawn from the market because it was out of order and caused a lot of trouble for Samsung. However, the brand later released the same Note 7 model under the name Note Fan Edition. People also lined up to buy these limited numbers of phones.

In summary, when purchasing a product or service, being in the upper segment for an extra fee, having a pro package instead of the basic package are what people desire.

4. The Social Evidence Principle

Robert Cialdini, a marketing and psychology veteran who wrote the book called "The Psychology of Persuasion," argues that when people are hesitant to do something, they look around and get ideas from them.

Social proof marketing, on the other hand, takes a step ahead of word of mouth and draws on the comments and opinions of experts, celebrities and users.

Consider the washing machine anti limescale ads. A skilled mechanic will definitely recommend this anti-limescale because he is the person who knows best how bad the lime coating is.

Include expert opinion: People who are experts in their field acquire their expertise not with a revelation from heaven, but with the experience they have gained from working on this subject for years. In this respect, when you are going to market a product or service, include the opinions of an expert in the field. It is one of the most common examples that dentists always appear in toothpaste advertisements.

Get help from a famous person: This is now called influencer marketing. When a famous, popular, phenomenon person advertises your product or service, their followers and fans become more inclined to buy the product in question because of their love and admiration for this person.

Take the famous football player Cristiano Ronaldo. There are millions of people who admire this football player. The fact that Ronaldo played in the Clear shampoo advertisement had a huge impact on the shampoo choice of millions.

Include customer comments and opinions: Often the best marketing is word of mouth. A person who is very pleased with a product he bought from you will definitely tell his family and friends about you.

Likewise, 91% of people read the comments made on the internet before buying a product and make their purchasing decision based on these comments.

Include your customers' opinions about the product or service on your own website. The opinions of real people who have used the product before and who have benefited from, which people can rely on, are very effective in persuading the customer at the purchasing stage.

Show security elements: If you have an e-commerce site, use things that indicate that this site is reliable, credit card information will not be stolen, and excess money will not be withdrawn from your account. For example, under your website, use various certificate logos showing payment methods, website reliability.

Likewise, the blue click on Instagram is a similar element of trust

5. The Principle of Avoiding Loss

Nobel laureate psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky discovered this principle while developing the theory of welfare.

The principle of loss aversion tells us that people prefer not to lose X amount rather than earn X amount.

For example, the "last chance to buy" type e-mails sent to your e-mail inbox are an example to this.

However, since this method is used excessively and open to abuse, it should be applied carefully. Otherwise it may cause a more negative effect.

Let's look at the uses of this principle.

Offer a free trial: Research shows that we value what we have more than what we don't have. In this respect, when you give customers the opportunity to try a product or service for free, these people experience the sadness of not having that product or service in person. This encourages them to own this thing.

Give gifts: This can be free shipping, discount can be prepare free gift package.

When you give another free gift along with a product, people are more inclined to buy it so they don't miss out. In other words, if another company sells only product A and you present a product B besides the same product, customers prefer you to not miss this opportunity and to have both A and B for the same price.


You can also apply the above-mentioned marketing strategies. However, first of all, you should consider your field of activity, your products or services, and the profiles of your customers.

As a result, taking advantage of psychological facts in your marketing strategy gives you a competitive advantage in the market where competition is fierce and helps you find the ideal communication-interaction method with your customers.