Confirmation bias at its best

Confirmation bias theory can be defined as the tendency to look for information that supports, rather than rejects, one’s preconceived notions. As humans, we tend to look for facts that prove our ideas right, we don’t seek to be proven wrong. So, how does this theory apply to how we approach marketing? Here are five simple tips for using confirmation bias to your benefit when marketing a product. 

Tip #1: Use cliches and stereotypes

When marketing for a brand, you have to make that brand seem reputable; so how do you do that? Take advantage of the stereotypes that we hold within society (so long as they’re not offensive or isolating towards a group of people). Take for example, some common stereotypes are that the French have the best wine and that Android phones post pixelated videos. How do you use those stereotypes to take your marketing strategy to the next level? Play into them. 

Say you’re marketing for a company that sells Parisian wine. You could convince an audience that your wine is superior by highlighting the cliche that “french wine is the best kind of wine”. Playing it to this cliche it further confirms their bias that French wine is the best. 

Tip #2: Hype up your product

By creating a hype around your specific product/brand, you are able to convince people that what they are hearing is the truth. It’s the same as when you convince a toddler that they’re “booboo” is all better when you kiss it. If you convince someone to believe something, they will believe that until they are proven wrong. 

Here’s the kicker, you have to live up to the hype that you create around your product. Creating hype around your product is crucial because it confirms to the customer that it is worth the hype and they will keep that energy up. If a consumer buys your product because of the hype you have created around it, and they in turn come to love the product, they will share the product with others! This creates a “cycle of hype” that will continue as long as you provide a quality product. 

Tip #3: Show consumers that you are legit

Piggybacking off of the last point, you have to show your consumers that you are the real deal. In order to market your product effectively, you must have customer support behind you, because in the end everything we do is for the customer. So how do you get customer support? Show them that you are the best product out there. Use testimonials, company reputation, and investors to show that your brand is legitimate and trustworthy. 

Tip #4: Take care of your [existing] customers!!!

One thing that AT&T has figured out is how to show their existing customers that they value them. So often, especially with services that we pay monthly, we tend to be overlooked as existing customers because they already have us. Instead most marketing is geared towards getting new customers. At AT&T they offer deals to everyone (new and existing customers). For example, right now they are offering a Samsung 22 or IPhone 13 at discounted rates. This is a great way to continue to grow your consumer base. By advocating for your current clients, potential clients will gravitate towards you because they recognize how you treat the customers you already have. 

Tip #5: Become your target audience

Last but certainly not least, you must become your target audience. Think like your consumer. For example, if you are selling outdoor hiking gear, you must market to hikers. How do you do this? By implementing natural colors in your theme and playing into the rugged, muddy hiker look. So if you were posting a picture of a guy wearing your hiking gear climbing up a mountain, the caption would be something like “Hiking is natural therapy, but don’t forget your [brand] gear for a little extra support on the way up.” You have to play into what the audience believes to be true. Most hikers would agree hiking is therapeutic for them, so by 1) showing a person hiking in your product and 2) reinforcing an idea that they already hold to be true, you are in turn confirming that your brand is best suited for them specifically. 

In the end, we all have things that we hold to be true. Think about an opinion you have that nobody could ever change. Mine for example is that Ketchup is disgusting. No marketing strategy is ever going to change my mind on that. But if Heinz Mustard were to make a commercial saying, “It’s time to ditch the slimy red ketchup,” I would find that to be compelling because it is playing into my confirmation bias. As marketers, it is WAY easier to further one’s preconceived notions than to change their mind. Use the tools you’ve already been given to your advantage!!


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