How Can I Use Psychology to Improve My Marketing?

May 20, 2020

The power of psychology in marketing is extraordinary. Vivid Labs’ DREAM model is one of the best modern examples of the impressive impact neuromarketing can have on purchasing behavior. Developed according to the Neuromarketing Code of Ethics established by the NMSBA, the DREAM model consists of five categories:

DESIRE, ROUTING, EMOTION, ATTENTION, and MEMORABILITY.

By applying simple behavioral principles to traditional marketing techniques, the DREAM model motivates consumers to notice, desire, and connect with your brand and products. Most importantly, the model can dramatically increase the likelihood that a prospect will invest in your products and remember your brand in the future. Below is a look at the model’s five elements and how you can use them to ethically improve your marketing strategy using psychology.

the DREAM model motivates consumers to notice, desire, and connect with your brand

D=DESIRE

“Brand desire explains how companies can engage customers emotionally and create value for them. Brand desire is a powerful motivating force that outstrips needs and wants and sometimes encourages people to go to surprising lengths to buy an object or experience.” – Dr. Oriol Iglesias, Associate Professor, Department of Marketing at Ramon Llull University

The “D” in the DREAM framework stands for DESIRE. It is an extremely powerful force that moves a person to take action, hence its number positioning at the forefront of the DREAM model. Rooted in the prefrontal cortex, desire is the number one factor in a prospect’s buying decision. It features three key elements that cause people to experience a “need” for your product:

  • Prospect Theory: This theory suggests that we feel greater emotional propensity from a loss than we do the initial gain psychologically.
  • Reciprocity: This element boosts desire by making consumers feel obligated to buy. For instance, receiving free samples encourages us to buy.
  • Zero Price Bias: This theory suggests that we tend to value a product more when we receive it free of charge than if we pay a low price for it.

R=ROUTING

ROUTING is the process of steering a prospect in a direction that reflects their gender, age, size, or other personal quality. Routing usually occurs at the beginning of the buying process through the appearance of a popup that asks the consumer an initial question about who they are and what they might need. It involves three components:

  • Status: We long for others to like us and see us as intelligent. So messaging that elevates perceived status can boost connection to your brand.
  • Default Effect: Psychologically, people often rely on default choices. So asking prospects to “Opt OUT” instead of “Opt In” often have greater success.
  • Status Quo Bias: Consumers are often resistant to change and tend to stick with the status quo, or their previous choices when buying.

E=EMOTION

“Advertising research reveals that the consumer’s emotional response to an ad has a far greater influence on their reported intent to buy a product than does the ad’s content—by a factor of 3-to-1 for television commercials and 2-to-1 for print ads.” – Peter Noel Murray, Ph.D.

Like desire, emotion is an extremely powerful part of the buying process. It refers to a buyer’s emotional connection to your brand or products. Establishing an emotional connection is vital to moving a customer to buy. Marketers attempt to stir buyer emotions with these three effects:

  • IKEA Effect: This effect holds that buyers are more apt to connect with products they customize or help to assemble.
  • Humor Effect: When something causes us to laugh, our defenses lower. We become happier, which erases objections and boosts purchases.
  • Mere Exposure Effect: The premise here is that repeated exposure to a product or brand breeds trust, which ultimately increases buying.

the model can dramatically increase the likelihood that a prospect will invest in your products and remember your brand

A=ATTENTION

When applied to marketing initiatives, attention refers to the process of captivating an audience. It involves gaining our focus by stimulating our five senses. For instance, if we smell our favorite pizza as we walk by the food court in a mall, we are likely to stop and buy a slice. And when we see a decorative red box amid a sea of green packages during the holidays, our curiosity peaks. Here are some psychological principles that pertain to attention:

  • Feedback Loops: In the marketing world, feedback loops often appear as messages telling customers that they still have items in their carts.
  • Ziegarnik Effect: This effect holds that we have a 90% higher retention rate for incomplete tasks. Apps that use checkmarks reflect this effect.
  • Authority Bias: Social proof, celebrity power, an authoritative role, or evidence of industry expertise can help persuade people to buy.

M=MEMORABILITY

This element of the DREAM model is not just about the process of becoming memorable. It refers to the need for your brand to become the MOST memorable in order to distinguish your brand from the competition. Memorability is linked to psychological emotional intensity and is linked to future buying. Here are three psychological ways to boost memorability:

  • Fluency Shortcut: Catchy brand taglines illustrate this concept, which suggests that people are more apt to remember you with a fluid tagline.
  • Nostalgia Effect: Due to our connection to our past, brands that incorporate nostalgia into their ads are often more memorable.
  • Spacing Effect: This effect involves using multiple channels to promote your brand to help boost memory.

The end result is a larger base of customers who desire your products and feel emotionally connected to your brand

The Key to Applying Psychology to Your Marketing Strategy

As outlined above, the DREAM model applies behavioral principles to marketing initiatives in an ethical, scientific fashion. The end result is a larger base of customers who desire your products and feel emotionally connected to your brand. Most importantly, customers are more likely to remember your brand, increasing the likelihood that they will become repeat buyers and loyal customers in the future.

The single best way to successfully apply psychology to your marketing strategy is to seek the expertise of an expert in neuromarketing. Vivid Labs has a proven track record of success combining traditional marketing principles with behavioral science to increase sales.

We invite you to contact us to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our team members.

We look forward to helping you discover the power of psychology in marketing!

About Vivid Labs

Vivid Labs is a science-based marketing agency. We focus on conversion optimization, which is the science of improving the performance of a sales or marketing system. We publish our findings and strategies for you to explore and try in your own organization.

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How Can I Use Psychology to Improve My Marketing?

The power of psychology in marketing is extraordinary. Vivid Labs' DREAM model is one of the best modern examples of...
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