Marketing & Psychology

Psychology is the foundation for marketing. It impacts memory, attraction, and choice. While the origins of psychology date back to the time of Aristotle – its focused study is relatively recent – 1879, beginning with structuralism. In structuralism we saw an effort to objectively measure experiences and control responses in the mind through introspection. It wasn’t until 1910 that structuralism proposed that we should examine why a person or animal does something – emphasizing focus on causes and consequences of behavior. From 1856 through the 1970s, we learned from FreudJungAdler and Erikson – the “behaviorists”.  And since then, we’ve continued to learn from BaddeleyWilsonSavilleDemasioTverskySeligman, and Nosek… to name a few.

Virginia Case

The goals of psychology are the same as marketing – to describe, to explain, to predict, and to change behavior. 

Description: a classification and identification of a thing or action.

Explanation: how and why something occurs

Prediction: forecast of a response to stimuli

Change: using the description, explanation, and prediction to control or influence a behavior

So, why isn’t every agency doing it? 

  1. It’s hard and takes a unique personality type to pursue the study
  2. Psychologists disagree about what to study and how to study it, which makes it more “squishy” as a science versus something concrete, like chemistry.
  3. It’s often “intangible” and most agencies are restricted to products and deliverables 
  4. The value of psychology isn’t universally held – which is why things as basic as health insurance don’t provide coverage as they do for medicine.

The types of psychology we apply:

Consumer Psychology:

We study and research consumer behavior, which allows us to develop strategies to promote businesses. Through our research, we learn how people respond to different stimuli and messaging. We analyze decision-making strategies and investigate the emotions behind their decisions. Through this, we identify target markets and help businesses to develop products that appeal to their specific audiences. We also use market research, naturalistic observations and consumer focus groups to study attitude and motivation.

Cognitive Psychology:

We dive deep into how people think within organizations – from leadership to employees – we evaluate the decision-making processes and abilities to problem solve. In developing strategies for consumers, we engage tactical plans that leverage what we know about how the brain works to process, learn, store, recognize and utilize information. This work helps us develop campaigns for businesses that will help spark attention and trigger memory.

Comparative Psychology:

There is much to be learned from our furry and feathered friends. Through comparative psychology, we take the lessons of B.F. Skinner and other leading psychologists to take what has been observed in animal behavior to determine likely behavior in humans. By the research and study of animal behavior, we seek out reasoning and understanding for human motivation and behavior.

Clinical Psychology:

On staff, we have a 35 year veteran licensed psychologist who provides assessments, diagnostics and guidance for leadership. While our work does often touch on the personal lives of our clients, the work we offer is not “business therapy” in a traditional sense. But you can rest assured that you’re working with a team that is empathetic, educated, and can help provide guidance and support.