Some of you who already know me, know that I’ve spent many years studying psychology in addition to my degree in design/art. I didn’t finish my masters in psychology, so I’m not technically a psychologist, but I do have advanced certification in hypnotherapy, shamanic journeying, and other therapeutic methodologies as well, and did some counseling work in the past.
Psychology is a passion of mine that I willingly admit. I find people fascinating, and especially find the study of evolutionary psychology interesting. As more research studies are done, we are discovering that many of the old assumptions we had about human motivation are not holding up to scientific scrutiny, and the implications are, at times, astonishing.
This week the news and social media worlds were filled with discussion about Rush Limbaugh’s attack of Sandra Fluke regarding birth control, a women’s issue. Besides Rush’s obvious misogyny, the issue has deeper implications for me as I watch advertisers pull their sponsorship from his show. I’d like to view this as a positive altruistic trend, but I am a bit jaded because I’ve worked in marketing long enough to know that it’s all about dollars.
The advertisers who have been sponsors of Rush’s show have gotten results because fear motivates, and anger motivates men especially well. Rush Limbaugh’s show supplied an ample stream of both. But once the backlash over Rush’s rant over Fluke and birth control hit a level that makes these advertisers assess that the negativity of the show may outweigh the show’s ability to supply the psychological fuel that motivates people to take action, they pulled their ads.
But back to psychology 101… I’d like to share this next link with you so that you can be part of a study on consumerism, money, and spending. This website is devoted to studying what makes people tick, and specifically, why they spend money when they do for advertised items and services. It has a blog, and a section where you can take surveys and be part of the study.
The blog this link takes you to, is called Of Sheep and Peacocks: How Marketers Get Into Your Wallet. In a nutshell, it turns out that people will be motivated by fear to spend (or vote?) when they are not trying to attract a mate and will respond to ads that offer a chance to fit in with others, to conform. Yes. Really. Conversely, when people are trying to attract a mate, then they are motivated by the chance to stand out from the crowd, a different psychological motivation entirely.
These findings point to why marketing to different demographics will lead to vastly different marketing strategy if one is to get good ROI (return on investment). This is the science behind effective marketing. And this is why I read psychology, study the findings, and consider the market demographic carefully for each client before I craft a marketing plan for their business.
If you haven’t read it yet, I also encourage to you to also read The Female Brain, which explains the science of human hormones as they act in the brain, and how they are a primary calalyst for behavioral differences between men and women. This book discusses motivation as well, and shows how different developmental stages of our lives have different physiological hormone patterns, and that these hormone patterns largely govern behavior, word view, and motivation. We are not, as it turns out, in control of what we think, what we want, and how we act, as much as we like to believe.
Marketers know this. The big marketing firms have been using marketing psychology for many years to help bring products to consumers, even products which are bad for them. We see the same marketing principles at work in politics, where fear based motivation seems to be rampant in our culture. Most marketing, if you break it down, tries to motivate through fear, or through building a sense of need, both calculated to motivate the viewer to act.
I hope you enjoy the links! I wanted to share these because it gives you some insight into what I mean when I say that Lotus Live Design does strategic marketing. After carefully researching their market sector (competitive research) I craft branding, website design style, Facebook business pages, social media campaigns, and promotions based upon scientific evidence of what will motivate my client’s specific market demographic to act by purchasing.
To this I add personal intuition, knowledge of local market trends, and coaching my clients on their demographic and how to reach their best potential customers through authentic engagement using social media. By staying current on the science of psychology, I can guide my clients to success.