Most marketers aren’t trained in human psychology, though many of the tenets of marketing tap directly into human psychology in order for it to ‘stick’ and work. Success cannot happen without this, and many marketers learn their trade without realizing that the foundation they’re trying to build upon was poured fully in the realm of human psychology, and reinforced by emotional attachment, fear of loss, desire, the filling of a need/gap, mutual liking and plenty more psychological elements. Without knowing these core principles means that no marketing agenda can ever perform as well as it could.
Strength Through Wisdom
The trouble with getting that solid foundation in psychology is the cost involved because a college education isn’t cheap and the sort of learning one can get online doesn’t offer accolades (usually) which is why many abandon the idea of free or reduced cost learning. There is a lot more to an education than a degree or certificate, however, because most places you work will ask you to prove what you’ve learned on a daily basis, which a piece of paper cannot quantify.
We strongly urge everyone to go get some free training and education, because while it may not give you the satisfaction of framing a degree on the wall to collect dust, it WILL help you become a better marketer by understanding humans on an instinctual level, using principles both ancient and modern. These are the things that make GOOD marketing so powerful and so effective.
This article deals with one single element in marketing but there are SO many more, and the more you understand about human psychology and how it works hand-in-hand with marketing, the more persuasive and attractive you become to buyers.
Moments Make ALL The Difference
It’s so easy to get caught up in a rat race, where you perform the same job every day; come home to do the same thing every day – only to wake up and do it all over again. The best variety most people can hope for in life are the days where a doctor’s appointment might break up the day or another equally mundane chore. Most of us never even give this entire process a second thought, operating mostly as automatons. It’s a habit we’ve built up as a mental defense against monotony and boredom because everyday life is a bit dull most days… but is it really?
Moments matter. They truly do, the trouble is – most people are totally blind to these moments when and where they occur. People get so caught up in their daily routines/habits, that the very things which could transform their entire day or someone else’s in a single nanosecond get overlooked and unnoticed. It’s often a very small thing too, and not at all hard to take advantage of in a good way. This one small moment and your action or inaction at that moment can be the catalyst for change.
Example Of A Marked Moment
Coffee shop mornings
One day there was a huge line at the coffee shop I frequented every day, and I wasn’t having a great morning to begin with. I was already going to be late for work, but if I ever needed coffee – it was then, it had been a spectacularly awful morning. I was even irritated that there were more people than I was used to seeing in line for their morning coffee which threw my routine off even more.
The baristas were stressed and busy as ants working as hard and fast as they could, and were even running outside to the cars behind me to find out what they wanted, to start their orders and collect payment so that by the time they got to the window it was as simple as handing out their order – completed. I could hear the driver of the car behind me complaining and clearly distressed that she couldn’t find the money she’d put in her purse that morning, and told them to cancel her order. She couldn’t get out of line, however, trapped as she was between me and the other vehicle. I asked the barista to charge my card for her coffee and for the car behind her using my ‘change’ from my own drink. Not only did this save me time, but it was a good deed. I asked her to let me know the next day how many cars it went to before it stopped, just for fun.
Not only did this change the barista’s day, who said she’d never had anyone do that before, but it also made the day of the driver behind me and the person behind them. Nobody expects a random stranger to buy their morning coffee, it just doesn’t happen. I wasn’t made of money back then, I worked a job that paid little but the act itself wasn’t expensive either and considering how much I was already ‘wasting’ of my own buying gourmet coffee every morning – it mattered not at all. This one small act of kindness was a much larger investment of my money. When I went there the next day, I was no longer a regular stranger who showed up for coffee – instead, I was greeted like a rainbow after the rain by smiles as bright as the sunshine. The baristas animatedly explained that it went back 9 cars before stopping and that they’d planned one day a week using their own tips for a “pay it forward” day where they’d write on a chalkboard hanging outside, visible to the drivers – how many times people paid it forward that day before it stopped.
This one act changed so many things and brought about change to the coffee shop which increased business for them – and also encouraged people to give altruistically when they wouldn’t have thought to do so before. It helped begin people’s days in a much warmer tone than before and it interrupted their drudgery of a routine in a way that would change how their entire day panned out. They had a new story to share with co-workers about this random act of kindness performed by a stranger. It is this sort of small, life-changing moment (even if just for a day) that makes others want to be part of it to do the same thing.
Companies who understand this precept are heads and tails above the rest and have little real competition. What many don’t understand is that the entire customer experience does not have to be earth-shattering. It just needs to contain a few real human moments within that make someone stop in their tracks and realize their day was interrupted for all the right reasons, and that they’re struck speechless by the kindness for kindness sake. Granted, marketers aren’t exactly known for doing something out of the kindness of their hearts, but even if you have an angle that angle can and should benefit the client.
There is a hotel in Los Angeles named The Magic Castle Hotel, which is one of the top-rated hotels in LA beating out the Ritz and the Four Seasons in terms of service quality. They’ve figured out that higher thread counts or more plush furnishings aren’t what will make a moment count. Instead, they installed a red “Batphone” on a wall near the pool, where guests can pick up the phone and order a popsicle completely free and within minutes, whatever flavor takes their fancy is served poolside by a white-gloved server offering a silver platter. The cost of a popsicle is insignificant, but the instant joy they’re ACTUALLY serving is far more valuable. It continues to give them the edge that the Ritz is missing by banking solely on its name and how soft the pillows are.
Places like Disney World or Six Flags have figured out that star attractions bring people back time and again because those are the memories which last forever and are reiterated through many tellings of the story when they went to ______ with ____. The joy and excitement on the face of the storyteller compels people to believe that it has to be a pretty big deal and convinces them that they should go do it too. The parks capitalize on this with photos as people thunder down a mountainside in a cart, piercing the water and spraying it over themselves and the cart as they pass through. The employees at the park, especially managers are able to give out free tickets to rides when they notice someone wants to stay but have hit their budget. They single out children for moments with mascots, and plenty of other incentives to make their visit extraordinary – through moments.
How To Find Moments
It’s easier to explain instances where moments made such a difference than to discover how to do it yourself, but if you’re looking for how to identify them, think about the thing that someone would sit and talk to you about for ages, the thing they continue to bring up repeatedly. How about the time someone truly surprised you by going over and above what is expected and even surpassing what is hoped for? Airlines would do so much better for themselves if they would upgrade a few people’s seats totally free into first class or business, just to fill the seats and make those moments that people never forget – which brings repeat business.
Doing the unexpected isn’t hard, it’s a matter of remembering that ultimately, people aren’t just data; they’re not just a number to be tracked in analytics, and that there is no way that AI can ever replace the human element we all crave. A robot cannot surprise you or delight you in the same way. We have complex needs, emotions, and needs that require filling that many of us just don’t even deal with because we don’t have the time so we ignore them. If you’re able to help a client fill one of those needs, and if you can become the best part of someone’s day, you’ll earn a loyal customer for life.
If you see a need, fill it.
If you hear a want, try to find out how to cater to it or provide a way for that to happen.
When you see an opportunity with someone to prove your own humanity to them, and the simple power of doing something for nothing – take that opportunity.
You need to discover those moments so you can find out how to make the most of them in marketing. Once you begin to notice the opportunities, it will drastically change how you view your potential clients, your business, and your future.
Everyone has their struggles, but when you’re part of the solution; a bright spot in an otherwise dreary routine – you’ll get so much more than a client because they’ll begin to think of you as a friend. Nothing breeds loyalty like doing something for nothing.
There is a book you should read that talks all about how to make the most of the moments, and why they matter so much. (The Power of Moments) It’s written by the brothers Heath, who have plenty of accolades to support them as authorities on the subject. This is one of those opportunities we just spoke about where you can learn so much for so little – so you can offer it in turn to others.