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28 October 2015

The 5 Most Important Marketing Theories

Enormous amounts of time and energy go into understanding how markets work and how behaviour can be manipulated. The theories that have come out of market research can be very useful in finding a way to ensure that people behave in a way that is helpful to you and your business.

Influencer Theory – 
In any market segment, some people have much more authority over others in the segment. These people are known as influencers, because they have the ability to influence the behaviour of others. Influencing behaviour is, of course, what marketing is all about. Consumers learn to distrust advertisers, but influencers are assumed to be genuine, and therefore more trustworthy.

How Can You Apply This Knowledge?

Know your customer-base. There will be certain customers that are more likely to bring new clients through word of mouth. These are the people you need to be aware of and make sure they have a particularly positive experience.


Priming Theory –
Every time you encounter or think about something, you’ve activated it in your mind. This changes the way you think and behave towards that thing in the future. The Mere Exposure effect, for example, makes people feel more positively about things they have encountered before. Getting your brand and your business into the mind of other people makes a difference on how they think about you.

How Can You Apply This Knowledge?
Get your customers to think about you. Make sure they know your company name, make sure they read it, see it and speak it as often as possible. This will make them more likely to return, and will make them happier about your company.


The Sleeper Effect –
Persuasive information becomes less persuasive as time passes. Even if you manage to convince someone of the benefits of your product of service, that will effect will eventually fade away. However, misinformation from disreputable sources will become more credible in peoples minds over time, as they eventually dissociate the information from the bad source.

How Can You Apply This Knowledge?

If you are trying to sell people on your product or business, you persuasiveness get worse with time. You need to follow up quickly between talking to prospective clients to keep them fresh. The more time a customer had, the less likely they will be to make the purchase.


Reciprocity Norm –
People feel indebted to those who give them something and naturally want to return the favour. This isn’t exactly the same as somebody feeling good after you give them something, but it does open them up to giving you something in return. This can be abstract, such as wanting to give you their time.
How Can You Apply This Knowledge?
If you can find some way to give customers a small gift in your marketing, you can encourage them to return the favour by giving you some of their time and potentially some of their business.   


Amplification Hypothesis –
Whenever you express a certain emotion, that emotion solidifies and becomes stronger. This is one of the reasons that people in an argument almost always fail to convince each other to change their opinions. It’s also one of the reasons political volunteers call you to ask who you’ll be voting for. If you actually verbalise an idea, you hold onto it more solidly.

How Can You Apply This Knowledge?

Reviews are good for a number of reasons. One reason is that they make people think about their experience with you and are more likely to recall it in the future. As long as it isn’t too evasive or annoying, asking your customers to review their experience with you is a great idea.