As far as I’m concerned the key to developing an edge in marketing lies in our understanding of the subtle differences between System 1 and System 2.
These are states of mind.
System 1 is the default state. It’s what activates when you encounter anything. It’s emotional and irrational.
System 2 is the analytical state. You want to believe you bought your home using System 2 (even though you likely did it with System 1). System 2 is lazy as hell, which is partly why we use it so little even though we have every intention to do so.
And System 1 and 2 can fool even the most well-prepared individual.
Here is my story from this morning.
I used to use my wife’s Starbucks app for points. Last week I created my own account.
Starbucks app uses the heck out of gamification. The message states I’m x points to Gold status:
I don’t really know what all that means but one benefit of gold status is that Starbucks waives the $0.52 fee when you get a refill on standard coffee. System 2 would scoff at this deal because I get a refill once every 60 days (2 months). At that rate I’ll be saving $3.12 a year.
But let’s look at my actual behavior: this morning I was planning to make a run and asked my wife what she wanted. She wasn’t sure so I nudged her to get a fancy drink. Why? Because my subconscious is dying to get to the magical 300. I’m wiling to waste money over coffee I would not normally get so I can get 20 points closer to a made up number. And I’ve been behaving this way ever since I downloaded the app.
What is going on? System 1 has taken over the asylum.
Don’t laugh. It’s taken over your head too.
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This is just one of many examples (some obvious, and some not-so-obvious) of how we use buyer psychology to take visitors to your site from “I’m interested” to “That’s it, I’m pulling the trigger”. We use established principles of behavioral economics to influence. Marketers try and get results by dialing up the marketing volume. We show you how to zig when everyone is zagging.