Guess what? No one wants to buy your product or service. What they really want is an answer to one of their needs, wants, desires and fears.

Here’s how you can put this to work for you: You can strengthen your market position by learning how these psychological factors, along with the psychological impact of your graphics and marketing message, affect your target audience. Change your strategy from marketing features and benefits to the promise that you can satisfy at least one of these psychological motivations and you will create a winning marketing strategy.

Say you are a manufacturer of cologne, and 90% of customers say that they purchased your product because it smells good. So you pour marketing dollars into promoting the best-smelling scent on the planet, but pallets sit unsold in your warehouse. Why? Because we often make purchases for emotional reasons, such as acceptance and association, then justify them with a rational explanation. The challenge for marketers is unearthing those secret reasons for making a purchase.

In the example above, the hidden impetus is that cologne makes the wearer feel more attractive. Change your marketing pitch from how good your cologne smells to how it fulfills the purchaser’s desire to be alluring and — voila! — the product flies off the shelves.

The trick is to thread your marketing promise into every element, including product image, advertising and promotion strategy, product packaging and display, and even your pricing. Use the design and copy to quickly lead the reader to how the product can satisfy one of their needs, wants, desires, or fears. Graphics will have better recall than words, so choose images that are harmonious with your copy.

You can create print marketing that is well-designed and well-written, but that still fails miserably if it’s not credible. Pair a good product or service with a focused marketing strategy based on an understanding of what truly motivates your customers, and you will dominate your market.

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