As you’ve probably realised, various tenets of psychology are crucial to effective marketing. After all, psychology is about understanding human behaviour and marketing is about applying that knowledge. There are many factors that influence this behaviour, and while at least part of the human decision-making process is conscious, many of these factors influence behaviour at a non-conscious level.
So what is priming?
“Priming is an implicit memory effect in which exposure to a stimulus influences a response to a later stimulus.”
Essentially priming is what we call it when exposure to some thing influences the behaviour of an individual later on, without that individual being aware that the first thing is guiding their behaviour…to a certain extent.
The fundamentals of priming provide a simple view into one aspect of non-conscious behaviour. The clear implications of priming on our daily behaviour, poses some great questions for marketers: How can we best use priming in an ethical way to influence purchasing decisions? How significant is the distribution channel to the success of an emerging product or brand? How can marketers and consumer insight teams utilise psychology for a positive brand experience?
Advertising regularly primes the consumer and is more effective when used in a more subtle nature. Background activity or images may be as effective as what’s happening in the foreground or voiceover. Of course, savvy advertisers have always used subtle cues to enhance their overt message, and understanding priming helps them structure these cues.
Brand images have been found to influence behaviour in really interesting ways. Researchers found that while priming people with an Apple logo made them consequently think very creatively in a simple task on ‘unusual uses for a brick’, whereas priming with an IBM logo made them less creative and less likely to think laterally.
Top Tips for utilising priming in your social media
- Ultimately priming is a tactic you use to employ in your positioning.
- Think about how your updates and your content is perceived by your target market. Then look how these elements create an arc in your positioning effort.
- Overt messaging is not the most effective, think subtle reminders that will resonate with your target market.
- Also remember that very seldom is someone in your market waiting for your updates. So while you’re planning your arc of content think how you’re going to include a reoccurring theme.
- Another great thing to plan for is ways you can increase trust and likeness with your content and updates.
- Integrate your strategy across all your channels– think email marketing, mobile marketing, and social media marketing, print, and whatever else you do.