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My year in B2C marketing: A collection of my favorite blogs

My year in B2C marketing: A collection of my favorite blogs

I’ve officially been in marketing for one year. That’s 365 days of learning about retail and quick-service restaurants, traditional marketing channels, and my personal favorite: consumer psychology principles.

To celebrate this milestone, I’ve compiled a list (in no particular order) of 5 of my most cherished blog posts. Consider this an inside look at the conversations and topics that have greatly impacted my journey in inbound marketing.

1. The science behind shopping behaviors

Consumers don’t haphazardly make purchases. They rely on facts, but even more so, they rely on the past.

Consumer usage habits are the behavior patterns consumers exhibit while interacting with a product. Peter Judodihardjo, Behavioral Science Practitioner at Ogilvy, told me that consumer usage habits can be broken down into two categories: mindful behavior and automatic behavior. Mindful usage habits occur when consumers are visiting new stores or looking at product descriptions. Automatic usage habits happen more frequently; products that fall under this category are familiar items that are used often like soap or toilet paper. 

When marketing a new product to consumers or looking to sell a high-priced item, it’s important to know how what elements of familiarity will be most attractive to consumers. Shifting consumer usage habits isn’t easy, but if you’re able to do so, you help consumers align their behavior with what’s actually enjoyable for them versus what’s familiar. 

(Read more about the science behind shopping behaviors.)

2. What makes a good CTA?

As a first-time marketer, I often find myself asking questions to better understand how marketing practices compound off one another. When it comes to CTAs, or calls-to-action, I figured there must be a formula to consumer motivation.

In this blog on what makes a good CTA, I spoke with Sean Haren, an Internet Marketing specialist, and Matias Rodsevich, founder and CEO of PRLab, who told me there are four main points marketers need to consider when developing a CTA:

  1. Relevance is key. The CTA should be relevant to the target audience and the product or service being promoted. 
  2. Placement is important. The CTA should be placed in a prominent location on the page, such as above the fold or alongside other key pieces of content. 
  3. Language matters. The CTA should use persuasive language to encourage the audience to take action. 
  4. Testing is essential. Always test different versions of the CTA to see what works best for your target audience.

(Read more on what makes a good CTA.)

3. The science of simplicity 

Over the last year, there were a few conversations that not only taught me about consumer behavior, but showed me more about myself, as well. I first learned about the science of simplicity in April when I spoke with consumer behavior expert Colleen Kirk, D.P.S., Associate Professor of Management and Marketing Studies at New York Institute of Technology. She explained that consumers like simplicity because it makes them feel accomplished and creates an easier shopping experience. 

To give consumers more control of their journey and to create a simpler experience, give consumers a limited amount of products to choose from and allow them to try the products out. The easier it is for consumers to experience products, the easier it will be for them to decide a brand is the right one for them.

(Read more about the science of simplicity.)

4. Three marketing psychology principles you might not know about 

In learning about marketing psychology, I noticed that there are some concepts that are heavily advertised and others that are not as well known. I talked to Evie Harris-Jenkins, Research Executive; Will Morgan, Associate Director; and Jack Hillaby, Head of Brand and Marketing — all key team members at Spark Emotions

During our conversation, the three introduced me to a few unique psychological strategies:

1. Pain in buying

Losing money can be compared to heartbreak. It causes negative emotions, such as pain and discomfort, that can even motivate a consumer to change their mind about going forward with a purchase. Leveraging cashless payments, removing currency signs and bundling can help.

2. Subliminal messaging

Subliminal messaging is when consumers are being marketed to, but can’t actually process it, and as a result, the messaging goes into their subconscious mind.

One example is Amazon’s logo. When looking at the logo, one can see Amazon written in bold lettering, and below is a curved arrow pointing from the A to Z. This careful placing is designed to symbolize the online retailer as having everything a customer could want, or in other words, everything from “A to Z.” The arrow is also in the shape of a smile to show satisfaction.

3. The framing effect

Consumers make decisions based on how information is given to them. This means that despite being given the exact same information, a consumer’s response can be different depending on how it’s delivered.

For instance, if you take two yogurt products, and one says, "only 30% fat" and the other says "70% fat-free," the "30% fat" [is] framed quite negatively. Harris-Jenkins says "only" is a negative word, 30 is less than 70, and people perceive higher numbers to be more positive than lower numbers. 

(Read more about three marketing psychology principles you might not know about.)

5. The story of anticipation, as told by a consumer neuroscientist

Anticipation is one psychological principle that has remained a consistent theme throughout my time in B2C marketing. In order to get the full gist of what anticipation is, I invited Dr. Michael Smith, cognitive neuroscientist and author of "Inspiring Green Consumer Choices" to tell us how it begins.

Consumers can have positive and negative anticipation. Both feelings are meant to help them prepare for the future and decide how they want to proceed. Positive anticipation occurs when consumers are excited about things like a new product, an upcoming sale or a brand’s grand opening — and it starts with trust. Trust is formed when brands repeatedly prove their credibility and fulfill their promises to consumers.

(Read more about the story of anticipation, as told by a consumer neuroscientist.)

Being in marketing for a year has taught me a lot, and I’ve created a lot of fun resources in the process. These five posts are just a peek into all that I've learned — be sure to check out the other blogs for more information.


Picture of Lindsay Keener

Lindsay Keener

Lindsay Keener is a brand journalist for Quikly. She covers stories that help to inform and educate consumer-facing marketers.

Picture of Lindsay Keener

Lindsay Keener

Lindsay Keener is a brand journalist for Quikly. She covers stories that help to inform and educate consumer-facing marketers.