Why do humans make purchasing decisions? What motivates or persuades them to purchase? These are questions that every marketing person should ask and understand why people think and act the way they do. Before one jumps to the nitty- gritty of marketing tactics, it is important to understand the psychology of selling a product.

It’s as simple as it sounds. All humans have possible points that drive certain actions and are called triggers.  Eight out of ten buying decisions people make are based on emotions. So with just 20 per cent of these decisions devoted to pure logic, it only makes sense for marketers to know the psychological factors that sway people toward a specific brand or product.

Read on for takeaways based on psychology and triggers that can help you shape your marketing strategy:

1. Reciprocity:

The principle of reciprocity implies that when somebody gives us something we feel obligated to return the favour. In marketing and sales this means that you give prospects something that is valuable, and they’ll naturally feel like doing something in return. This ‘something’ that you offer can be alongside the purchase a prospect has made.

To effectively use reciprocity, you must be the first one to give the valuable to enhance the experience, the gift should be personalized and unexpected. Can be anything from free merchandise to professional content in terms of advices. Providing excellent customer service, great advice, and an exceptional product will make a customer more than willing to provide a testimonial in the form of positive reviews or referrals.

2. Commitment and Consistency:

Every phase of the decision-making process is a chance to deliver a valuable message that will acknowledge what’s important to the company’s values and that of the individuals purchasing the product. This can be achieved by incorporating value selling principles into targeted marketing campaigns that are supported by well designed, researched and meaningful data. Another key component is to solidify your brand image by being consistent in your messaging and provide great content which helps prospects achieve their goals.

3. Liking:

The principle of liking implies that people are more likely to be influenced by businesses and individuals they like and feel a connection with. The primary factors that play a role in influencing prospects are by establishing a common ground with them and being cooperative.

Different brands have seen to achieve liking by using celebrities to endorse brands, as people will transfer their fondness for the celebrity to the product the celebrity is endorsing. By sharing with prospects the brand story in the ‘About Us’ page and humanizing the entire brand which appeals to the emotions of individuals will help trigger liking.

4. Scarcity:

The principle of scarcity states that the fear of missing something can be a very imperative motivator. Whether the scarcity is real or just a perception, products seem to be more enticing when the availability is shown rather limited. Human behavior is such that, consumers are likely to purchase something if they informed that it’s their last opportunity to buy it. The fear of missing out an opportunity, offer, and product before it’s gone increases the chance that’ll purchase it in order to avoid losing out something.

5. Authority:

Individuals are more likely to listen and trust in individuals who are experts in their fields and are in a superior position, according to the theory of authority. People in a powerful position and who are industry experts in subject matter are often considered as industry experts. People are hard-wired to look up to authoritative figures to help them in their decision making process without question because it is assumed that they know the best.

Part of principle authority also involves developing credibility and admitting to the fact that you don’t know something. This not only makes the prospect believe that you are telling the truth but gives you time to research and give a knowledgeable reply.

6. Social Proof:

The social proof theory states that humans are social beings and when individuals are uncertain if they are supposed to behave or act, they will look to other individuals to imitate what they are doing and determine what they should do. By demonstrating that your product and company is trusted and popular with other people, Social proof can be applied to sales and marketing. They are more likely to follow suit if they catch sight of what is right through reference to what other people think is correct.

Psychology is not a magic trick that can force people to act the way you expect and want them to. By understanding these principles correctly and applying them in your strategies and marketing plan can persuade and influence potential and present customers to trust your product/brand and boost your sales.

Abbott India Ltd

Challenge: Managing end-to-end incentive program for distributors efficiently.


  1. RewardPort registered addresses and email ids of all distributors by getting a form filled with their company seal & signature and digitizing it
  2. Created reward catalogue for 5 slabs with 4 gift options in each slab category
  3. Deployed an account manager and operations resource for timely MIS & escalation management
  4. Created a full-proof reward delivery system eliminating pilferage of gifts and theft/misuse by parties
  5. Created periodic schemes for retailers- free recharge on billing of Digene products

Program mechanics: We receive a data file from Abbott team with address and gift option details of the qualified distributors every month. Tangible gifts are dispatched directly on the addresses and e-vouchers are emailed on their registered email id.