The Psychology of Marketing: Understanding Consumer Behaviour

consumer behaviour

What do we know about consumer behaviour? It’s an age-old question that marketers have been trying to answer for decades. Understanding the psychology of how consumers think, feel, and act is key to marketing success. But how do you go about understanding what motivates people to buy?

Whether you’re just starting in marketing or are a seasoned veteran, this blog post will explore the science behind consumer behaviour and provide practical tips on how to use it in your marketing efforts. From understanding motivation and emotion to utilizing psychological triggers, read on to learn more about the psychology of marketing.

What is the Psychology of Marketing?

The psychology of marketing is the study of how consumers think, feel, and behave when they are exposed to marketing messages. It is based on the belief that if we understand how consumers think, feel, and behave, we can create more effective marketing campaigns that will influence their behaviour.

Types of Psychology Theory in Marketing

Many different psychological theories can be used to explain consumer behaviour. Some of the most popular theories include Social Cognitive Theory, Psychoanalytic Theory, and Cognitive Dissonance Theory. Each of these theories offers a different perspective on how consumers process information and make decisions.

Social cognitive theory: This theory suggests that people learn by observing others around them. They then imitate the behaviour they see and this becomes their behaviour. 

Psychoanalytic theory: This theory looks at the unconscious mind to explain consumer behaviour. It believes that things are going on in our minds that we are not aware of that influence our decisions. 

Cognitive dissonance theory: This theory posits that people have an inner need for consistency. When they are faced with two conflicting ideas, they will try to find a way to reconcile those ideas so they can maintain their sense of self-consistency. 

Each of these theories provides helpful insights into how consumers think, feel, and behave when they are exposed to marketing messages. By understanding these theories, marketers can create more effective campaigns that will influence consumer behaviour.

The Different Types of Consumers

There are four different types of consumers: those who are impulsive, those who are compulsive, those who are rational, and those who are emotional. Each type of consumer has a unique way of making decisions about what to buy and when to buy it.

Impulse shoppers are the type of consumers that make spontaneous purchases based on their immediate desires. They tend to be very impulsive and act on their emotions rather than logic. Impulse shoppers usually don’t plan or compare prices before they make a purchase.

Compulsive shoppers are the type of consumers that feel the need to buy things even though they may not need them. They often have a hard time resisting temptation and may end up spending more money than they can afford. Compulsive shoppers may also be hoarders, collecting items that they never use.

Rational shoppers are the type of consumers that base their decisions on logic and reasoning. They carefully consider all their options before making a purchase and often look for the best deal possible. Rational shoppers take their time to make sure they are getting the most for their money.

Emotional shoppers are the type of consumers that base their decisions on how they feel about a product or service. They may be influenced by advertising or word-of-mouth recommendations from friends or family. Emotional shoppers sometimes make irrational decisions and may regret their purchases later.

Why Understanding Consumer Behaviour is Important

There are several reasons why understanding consumer behaviour is important for businesses. Perhaps the most obvious reason is that it can help businesses to better understand what their customers want and need, and how they make purchasing decisions. This knowledge can then be used to develop marketing strategies that are more likely to appeal to potential customers and result in increased sales.

In addition to increasing sales, understanding consumer behaviour can also help businesses to build better relationships with their customers. By understanding what motivates customers and what challenges they face, businesses can develop customer service strategies that are more responsive to customer needs and more likely to result in customer loyalty.

Finally, understanding consumer behaviour can also help businesses to identify opportunities for innovation. By understanding how consumers interact with products and services, businesses can develop new ways of meeting customer needs or delivering existing products and services in new and innovative ways.

How to Influence Consumer Behaviour

There are several ways that businesses can influence consumer behaviour. By understanding the psychology of marketing, businesses can create marketing campaigns and strategies that are more likely to result in the desired behaviour from consumers.

Some of the most effective methods for influencing consumer behaviour include:

1. Creating a sense of urgency – Consumers are more likely to take action if they feel like they need to act fast. This can be done by using language that suggests scarcity or limited time, such as “limited time offer” or “while supplies last.”

2. Offering incentives – Everyone loves a good deal, so offering discounts or coupons is often an effective way to get consumers to take action.

3. Using social proof – People tend to follow the lead of others, so if you can show that other people have already taken the desired action (such as through testimonials or customer reviews), it may help convince others to do the same.

4. Creating targeted messaging – Messages that are specifically tailored to the needs and interests of your target audience are more likely to resonate with them and encourage them to take action.

5. Simplifying the decision-making process – If you can make it easy for consumers to make the desired purchase or take the desired action, they are more likely to do so. This might involve streamlining your website design or offering free shipping on orders over a certain amount.

The Role of Emotions in Marketing

Emotions play a critical role in marketing. They influence how consumers perceive products and brands and can drive consumer behaviour.

Marketers need to understand the role that emotions play in consumer behaviour, and how to tap into emotions to create more effective marketing campaigns.

Some of the ways that emotions can influence marketing include:

1. Emotions can impact consumer perceptions of brands and products.

2. Emotions can drive consumer behaviour, both online and offline.

3. marketers can use emotional appeals in advertising to increase brand awareness or promote specific products.

4. Emotional reactions to marketing campaigns can be measured and used to improve future campaigns.


Understanding consumer behaviour is essential for anyone who wants to create an effective marketing strategy. By understanding why people make the choices they do, businesses can tailor their campaigns and messaging to better meet customer needs. With so much competition out there, it pays to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to understanding psychology in marketing. Investing the time and resources into researching consumer behaviour will benefit your business in the long run by ensuring you’re staying relevant and fresh with ever-evolving customer demands and trends.