Understanding These 3 Cognitive Biases Can Transform Your Marketing

One of the most powerful tools in marketing is not an app, it’s not a website and nor is it even a book. Instead, it’s simply understanding the basis of human psychology.

If you can understand the cognitive biases behind the ways people think and behave, then you can design ways to influence those behaviors.

So, what are some cognitive biases that can transform your marketing? 

1) Framing: How You Say Something Is More than What You Say 

There are two brands of yoghurt at the supermarket. One has a label that reads, “80 percent fat-free,” and the other says, “20 percent fat.” Which do you choose?

Let me guess: Eighty percent fat-free? So did everyone else.

The reason is framing. What framing means, is that as humans, our choices are influenced by the way things are framed through different wordings, settings, and situations.

In almost all cases, people will make decisions based upon avoiding loss or escaping risk, even though the same thing may be being said. 

Hence, how you say something is far more than what you say.

In marketing, if you simply play around with the numbers and words in a campaign, then you’ll be able to drastically improve conversions.

2) Anchoring: Start High and Bring Them down

In social psychology, Anchoring says that we tend to have a bias to depend too heavily upon an initial piece of information when making decisions. 

For example, a study done by the Journal of Marketing Research showed customers two different end-of-aisle supermarket displays:

One read, “Snickers Bars, Buy Them For Your Freezer,” and the other said, “Snickers Bars, Buy 18 For Your Freezer.”

Which do you think had more conversions?

Indeed, it was the ad that read, “Buy 18 For Your Freezer.” Specifically, it led to a 38% increase in sales.

Why? Because it gave customers a high number to come down from. After seeing the number 18, it made them think they were still getting a good price even if they only bought 5.

Hence, you may want to implement this by marking down prices or setting quantity limits.

3) Scarcity: Limited Quantity Increases Perceived Value

The scarcity bias says that we often place a higher value on resources that we believe to be in limited supply, in high demand, or existing only within a small period of time.

For example, if you’ve visited any sites like Amazon or Booking.com lately, you would’ve probably seen some words that read, “Only 1 left in stock — order soon.” Or, “Only 2 left on Booking.com!”

Of course, these figures are often a lie. However, they drive perceived value, urgency, and ultimately conversions through the roof.

So, how can you implement something like this in your business? 

An example might be by saying, “We only have room for two more clients.” Or, “Limited supply — order now.”