Marketing Psychology

Course CodeBPS107
Fee CodeS2
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

Marketing Psychology is a useful course for anyone involved in marketing or wanting to improve their own marketing.

In this course, you will learn -
  • Why do people choose to buy something?
  • What influences their thinking to decide one way rather than another?
  • To develop your ability to understand how an understanding of Psychology can be applied to marketing. 
  • Consumers, customers and buyers
  • Social influences on purchasing behaviour and marketing
  • Consumerism
  • Marketing and Persuasion
  • How people decide what to buy and much more on psychological marketing theories.

Lesson Structure

There are 8 lessons in this course:

  1. People as Consumers
    • Understanding the types of psychological rewards gained by a person through buying. Distinguishing between consumers, customers and buyers?
  2. Market Segmentation
    • Understanding market segments and applying the concept of target marketing.
  3. Internal Influences
    • Perception & Personality Consumer self image, difference threshold, trait theory of personality, etc.
  4. Internal Influences
    • Motivation and Awareness Customer satisfaction, the way complaints are dealt with, stimulus generalisation and stimulus discrimination, etc
  5. Social Influences
    • Family Influences, Social groups, Developmental Influences, Peer Group Influences (Work and Leisure), Social Class and Culture
  6. Consumerism
    • Deceptive advertising, sensitivity to consumer needs, variation between perception and reality.
  7. Communication and Persuasion
    • Message Evaluation, Selection & Execution
  8. Deciding to Buy
    • Why people shop, or do not shop; surveying the market place.


Marketing psychology is concerned with understanding people's purchasing behaviour and applying that understanding to the advertising, marketing and ultimately the selling of products or services.
There are many ways that an understanding of marketing psychology can be applied to entice people into buying products. Often, consumers are unaware of subtle forms of persuasion. One of the basic ways that marketing psychology has been used includes the positioning of goods in stores. For example:
  • Floor designers in department stores place goods in vibrant displays so that customers have to walk past them when passing between departments.  
  • Food smells such as fresh bread or roast chicken in supermarkets and shopping malls immediately makes consumers feel hungry.
  • Sweets and magazines are often placed near the checkout where children may pester their parents for them whilst waiting in a queue.
  • Special offers are often stacked high at the end of aisles in full view.
Product placements on television are an example of how advertising can be used to alter people's perceptions about products and how they feel about them. If you see a product you are more likely to 'normalise' that product and accept it as part of everyday life. Brands can become part of social discussions and deeply entrenched within a culture.
One of the most influential was JB Watson who is widely known for his experimental work in behavioural psychology but who also made a significant contribution to advertising and marketing. He left academia to work in advertising where he applied his theories in the 1920s and 30s. He believed that marketing goods depended more on appealing to the consumer's desires and stimulating their emotional responses than it relied on their ability to reason. 
Watson also undertook rigorous market research and stressed the importance of doing so in order to understand the consumer, their needs and wants. He was also one of the first to explore brand loyalty through experiments in which participants were asked to test products blind - without knowing which brand they were. His other contributions to marketing psychology included the use of testimonials. At the time they were rarely used when advertising products other than pharmaceuticals but he was able to use them to stimulate emotional responses and develop brand appeal. 
The modern usage of celebrities to endorse products is an example of how emotional response and testimonials have evolved. It is not just the product which is being promoted but also the feelings of success, status, beauty and attractiveness which go with purchasing the product. 
These days marketing strategies also have to use social media to take advantage of their potential and existing market. Such strategies may be considered “trendy” for a while and can be used excessively - or at least until people become immune to them. Marketing cannot remain static. Changes happen much more quickly through the internet and trends come and go. It is therefore necessary for those in the industry to keep coming up with fresh ideas. 

Marketing Psychology in the Workplace

Anyone in sales, marketing or communications will be able to perform their job better, if they understand the psychology of marketing. Some people actually work as marketing psychologists, in academia or research organisations; such as the following: 
  • Determining the demographics of the target market - age, gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, location, and so forth.
  • Researching the types of products and services which might appeal to the target market.
  • Applying principles of social psychology to get information to the target market.
  • Researching consumer behaviour. 
  • Collecting data about consumer behaviour from questionnaires, surveys, observations, group studies and experiments.
The scope of, and applications for marketing psychology in the world of commerce are far more extensive than just these examples; and applications for this knowledge are expanding all the time.
People who use marketing psychology may be involved in helping businesses and services to look at the best ways to market their products, and how to apply psychological principles to the marketing of their products. Individuals, small business owners, and others wishing to sell a product or service can also use the principles of marketing psychology to improve how they reach their intended market and make sales. 


Who Is This Course Suitable For?

  • You already work in marketing and want to improve your knowledge of marketing psychology
  • You want to improve your job and careers prospects in the marketing industry by increasing your knowledge of marketing psychology
  • You run your own business or want to run your own business and need new ways to market your products


Why Study This Course?

If you work in marketing, or run your own business, or would like to, this course will provide you with a detailed insight into better promotion of your products using marketing psychology.


Any Questions?

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