10 Psychological Triggers and Biases B2B Marketers Can Use to Drive Results

10 Psychological Triggers and Biases B2B Marketers Can Use to Drive Results


Hi there, fellow B2B marketers and anyone interested in the world of B2B!


Get ready for an interesting read in this week’s newsletter article as we delve into the fascinating world of psychology. Did you know that there are several powerful psychological triggers and cognitive biases that marketers regularly use to influence their target audience’s decisions and behaviors?


In fact, many of the tactics covered in my recently published book: The Ultimate B2B Marketing List: 200+ Innovative Tactics You Need to Try, are rooted in human psychology.


Using these psychological principles can be incredibly effective, but please use them ethically and responsibly. We must avoid using false information or taking advantage of our customers’ emotions. Being inauthentic will only backfire in the end.


Now, let’s get ready to discover how to tap into the psychology of your target audience to drive B2B marketing success!


  1. The Reciprocity Effect


Reciprocity is a strong psychological behavior that gets activated even with strangers, making it an essential concept for B2B marketers to grasp. B2B purchase decisions take months or sometimes even years, with several brand interactions along the way, providing marketers with lots of opportunities to offer value to prospects.


Reciprocity also drives customer interest in the brand, as customers become eager to engage when they perceive value. This can lead to organic word-of-mouth promotion, enhanced brand authority, positive brand perception, and an increase in repeat sales.


The more perceived value that marketers can offer prospects, the more likely they are willing to spend on you.


Reciprocity can take various forms in action, such as providing exclusive valuable content to your target audience, tailored competitor or industry benchmark reports, facilitating important introductions, and even surprising your key prospects with a ticket to an event of value. Any act of kindness that goes beyond the typical scope of the relationship falls into this category too. By incorporating reciprocity into your Account-Based Marketing (ABM) and loyalty strategies, you can foster goodwill and create a sense of obligation that encourages prospects and customers to reciprocate. This can deepen relationships, drive engagement, and improve the overall effectiveness of your marketing efforts ultimately leading to customer loyalty and retention, as well as increased sales and revenue


  1. The Halo Effect


The halo effect, also known as the first impression effect, is a cognitive bias that affects everyone. When we form a positive impression of a person, brand, or product in one area, it can significantly influence our feelings about them in other areas, even if those areas are unrelated.


For marketers, this means that creating a positive first impression is crucial. The first touchpoint with a potential customer is an opportunity to make a lasting impression. Taking the time to create something unique will pay off. Strong content and investing in great design can help you put your best foot forward and make a positive impact. Whether it’s an ad campaign, website, landing page, or offline event booth, a well-designed and visually appealing first impression can help buffer against future negative experiences and ensure that your brand continues to be perceived in a positive light.


  1. Serial Position Effect


The serial-position effect refers to the tendency of a person to recall the first and last items in a series best, and the middle items worst.


By emphasizing key information at the beginning and the end, while placing the least important items in the middle of your sequence, you can leverage the primacy and recency effect to increase the chances of the information being accurately remembered by your target audience.


In online marketing, links presented at the top of email newsletters or on a search engine results page receive many more clicks, illustrating the power of the serial-position effect in driving engagement.


This also means you should conclude your material on a high note and include a clear Call to Action that encourages engagement.


  1. The Recency Effect


The recency effect describes the tendency of customers to give greater importance to the latest messaging they receive from a brand.


To leverage the recency effect to your advantage, increase the visibility and frequency of your brand messaging across different touchpoints. This helps reinforce your message and make it more memorable, especially in the moments leading up to a decision-making event like a purchase.


However, simply bombarding customers with too much messaging or using only one channel can lead to the opposite effect. Adopt a multi-channel approach that offers variety in how and when customers can interact with your brand.


  1. The Mere Exposure Effect


The mere-exposure effect is the reason why content marketing works so well. People tend to develop preferences for things simply because they are familiar with them. It is also known as the familiarity principle.

It requires constant stimuli or content before a positive assessment of a brand or company is achieved. This means that businesses must consistently create content that is engaging, informative, and relevant to the audience.


Resharing, recycling, repurposing, and automating your content creation and distribution process will help you stay top of mind and build that familiarity.


  1. The IKEA effect


The IKEA effect is a psychological principle that states people tend to place a higher value on products or services they have had a hand in creating. By incorporating this principle into your marketing strategy, you can increase customer loyalty.


One of the main benefits of the IKEA effect is that it fosters a sense of ownership and pride in the final result. Customers who have contributed to the creation or customization of a product or service are more likely to feel satisfied and loyal to your brand. This can also lead to positive word-of-mouth referrals.


To leverage the IKEA effect, provide opportunities for customers to give feedback, suggestions, and guidance during the creation process. This will keep them engaged and invested in your brand. You could run surveys to gather customer opinions on your product development or include them in a Customer Advisory Board to involve them in the direction of your company. From a marketing standpoint, you can ask key customers to become co-creators of your event (I highlighted this as a powerful tactic in my last article: How to win over the C-Suite), or content.


  1. Peltzman Effect


The Peltzman Effect or otherwise known as the zero-risk effect suggests that when security measures are mandated, people may actually engage in riskier behavior. (This theory is named after Sam Peltzman’s observation about the use of seatbelts in automobiles. )


As a marketer, it’s a great strategy to mitigate risk in messaging. One way to do this is by including a guarantee. Guarantees are often not possible, so utilize social proof elements such as case studies and testimonials to establish trust early. By presenting the product or service in a way that minimizes risk and assures customers, the Peltzman Effect will work in your favor.


  1. Framing Effect


In marketing, it’s not just what you say that matters but also how you say it. The framing effect describes how people can respond differently to the same information depending on whether it’s framed positively or negatively. This presents an opportunity for marketers to use branding to frame information in a way that resonates with their target audience.


To take advantage of the framing effect, marketers must first study their Ideal Customer profile to understand their needs and preferences. Positioning messages in a way that acutely connects with customers is crucial to success.


Frame the information in a positive light. Focus on emphasizing the benefits in the largest possible magnitude, always focusing on the benefit to the customer, such as how your product can help make their lives easier or more productive.

  1. The Bandwagon Effect


The bandwagon effect is the tendency for people to adopt certain behaviors or attitudes simply because others are doing so. By highlighting how many other customers have already purchased and benefited from the product or service, you can create a sense of urgency and a desire to hop on the bandwagon.


Social proof is another powerful motivator here that can influence buying decisions. Create announcements of new customer wins in an industry and do so frequently. This can provide potential customers with the confidence they need to take the plunge and make a purchase, knowing that others like them have done so too, and successfully.


  1. Loss Aversion


Loss aversion is a psychological principle that suggests people feel twice as much pain over losing something than pleasure over gaining something extra.


When applied to marketing, this means that prospects are more likely to purchase a solution that saves them $200 a month than one that helps them earn an extra $200. To incorporate this loss aversion theory into your marketing strategy, you can offer free trials. Frame offers as gains that save time, money, or energy, create a sense of urgency or paint a picture of a new possible reality by making potential customers feel the benefits of your solution.


You can create a sense of urgency and FOMO (fear of missing out) in your marketing strategy by using the principle of scarcity to motivate customers to take action. For example, offer a discount that is only available until the end of the quarter, or until a specific number of units are sold out. Remember to keep these tactics authentic and avoid using fake deadlines or scarcity. Today’s customers are savvy and will be able to see through inauthenticity!


These are just 10 of the many psychological triggers and cognitive biases out there that can help your marketing efforts. Let me know if you would like me to write a follow-up article in the comments or DM!

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