NeuroTactic Overview

Reciprocity

We feel an innate pressure to return a favor

SUMMARY:

In his marketing book Influence, Robert Cialdini recounted the story of the financial struggles of the Hare Krishna religion in the 1960s. The group was having money problems, so in an effort to raise donations, they began going to airports to ask for contributions from travelers. Cialdini says that he visited multiple airports to see this happen, and every time, the same thing happened.

Members of Hare Krishna would give small gifts to passersby, from flowers to books. These bystanders often didn’t know what Hare Krishna was, much less whether it was a cause they agreed with. Yet, when they received this gift, the “rule of reciprocation” (as Cialdini calls it) took over and they reached into their pocket to give the Hare Krishna member some money. 

One of the most deeply-rooted human behaviors is the return of kindness received. This is known as Reciprocity. When we receive kindness from others, we are wired to return it in some form in the future.

Your initial exchanges with prospects and customers will set the tone for their level of reciprocity. Something as simple as a free giveaway can trigger the desire to return a favor in the future. Try to think about creative ways you can give to your audience in a way that will cause them to return the favor in the form of more attention or even a purchase.

Coming Soon:

Case Studies & Strategy Briefings

To get notified when they’re added, sign up for updates using the dark grey signup box on this page.

Primary Source:

Jacob, C., Gueguen, N. & Boulbry, G. (2015). Effect of an unexpected small favor on compliance with a survey request. Journal of Business Research, 68-56-59.

Dream Category:

Desire

The DREAM framework, created by Vivid Labs, represents a research-backed framework for effective marketing messages. It stands for Desire, Routing, Emotion, Attention, and Memorability.

AIDA Category:   ⓘ

Desire, Action
AIDA is a well-known framework for assembling a marketing message. It stands for the four steps of human decision-making: Attention, Interest, Decision, and Action.

Get NeuroTactics sent to your inbox every week:

Explore The Library

There are two methods we use to organize the NeuroTactic Library: the DREAM method and the AIDA method. You can find information on each method below, as well as explore the NeuroTactics inside each method. You can find any NeuroTactic using either method.

D.R.E.A.M. FRAMEWORK

The ingredients of a purchase

These are categories designed by Vivid Labs around the latest research in neuromarketing techniques. Each step represents a unique "ingredient" to a customer's buying decision.

  • Attention
  • Desire
  • Routing
  • Emotion
  • Memorability

Zeigarnik Effect

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

We feel a psychological weight when tasks remain unfinished, and we will remember unfinished tasks longer than tasks which have been completed.

Weber-Fechner Law

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

We reject immediate increases in pain, but we accept small, incremental increases in pain, even when both final pain levels add up to the same amount

Semmelweis Reflex

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

We tend to reject facts, and even evidence, when it is in contradiction of our existing beliefs

Rewards

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

We will modify our behavior in ways that earn rewards

Past Commitment Rationality

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

We go out of our way to behave in line with commitments we've made in the past

Limited Access

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

We value things higher when there are barriers to accessing them

Feedback Loops

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

We alter our behavior when provided with real-time feedback on our performance

Context Effect

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

We anchor familiar places and experiences with the mood we were in during our last encounter with that place or experience

Confirmation Bias

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

We tend to seek out information that confirms our existing beliefs

Category Size Bias

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

We tend to believe that options inside large categories are superior to options in small categories

Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

We notice something more frequently after noticing it or learning about it for the first time

Authority Bias

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

We trust authoritative figures more than our peers

Attentional Bias

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

We more readily pay attention to things with which we're already familiar

A.I.D.A. FRAMEWORK

The steps of a buying decision

These four categories are the traditional drivers behind effective marketing. They represent the four stages of thinking or action a customer must move through in order to make a buying decision.

  • Desire
  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Action

Specificity

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

We place more trust in specific statements and offers than those which are vague

Social Proof

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

We place more trust in things and people that our peers already trust

Scarcity

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

When a resource is limited, its value increases

Reciprocity

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

We feel an innate pressure to return a favor

Prospect Theory

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

A painful experience is more powerful than a gain of equal measure

Motivating Uncertainty

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

Uncertain positive outcomes can increase the perceived value of an offer

Framing Effect

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

The way a fact or number is presented affects how we see its relative value

Endowment Effect

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

We value things that we own more than things we don't

Endowed Progress Effect

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

We are more likely to achieve a goal when we're given a head start

Commitment Expansion

Dan Russell Oct 06, 2021

A small step toward an outcome raises the chances of taking larger steps in the future

Certainty Effect

Dan Russell Oct 05, 2021

Adding clarity and specificity to your message increases trust

Anchoring

Dan Russell Sep 29, 2021

A well-researched marketing technique that puts your price into perspective