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Digital Marketing Psychology

Updated: Dec 12, 2022


I’ve been listening to a variety of marketing psychology podcasts recently and found these interesting from a marketing perspective but could also feel myself relating to them as a customer.

Digital marketing psychology helps us to understand our customers better by looking at their behaviour, emotions, trends and actions. Understanding more about our customers enables us to target them better, tailor our message and ultimate increase conversions.

Peer Pressure

The podcasts discussed how customers see themselves and how as a customer we like to put ourselves into groups. This is an impact of pier pressure and often cultures. If our friends have bought a product and it’s right for them we think ‘surely it must be right for me as well?’ and we make that purchase. This group decision makes us feel reassured and at ease of the purchase.

Marketers also use peer pressure as a way to convince people to buy their service or product. This is done by making the customer feel like they are missing out. This is done through creating urgency or showing others who have brought the product.

Consumer Groups

Marketers will utilise this concept and find groups to target their service or product to. People can be grouped in many different ways and marketers will look to build a profile to understand the right group, looking at who these people are, demographics, interests, likes / dislikes, feelings and opinions. Creating these customer groups and assigning products to them helps to target the right audience and equally increase conversions.

These groups need careful consideration when launching a new product but also need to be monitored over time. Groups can adapt and the culture built within the group can change. You may also find that as your business changes and expands over time you have to assess if that group is still correct or if you need to identify other groups as well.

Examples of Digital Marketing Psychology

A good example of this is the company Nike, when back in 1987 the company was known as a shoe brand for athletes. As attitudes within sport changed so did the customer groups and the company began to struggle. This was a very niche market they had found themselves in and to be able to continue they had to adapt the groups they targeted.

The company’s marketing focus changed from aspiring people to be like athletes and a strong athletic focus - to inspiring people who just needed a little bit of encouragement to do what they could do and saying just go and do what you can ‘Just do it’. This then created additional customer groups for Nike to focus on.

The words ‘Just do it’ were never spoken but the vague message was written and repeated to keep in people’s mind. This then went from a niche product to a lifestyle choice and fashion brand. Nike changed from an American shoe company to becoming a sports and fitness company and global fitness brand.

Another way to use customer groups is not to look at who is currently grouped together but to put customers into groups. Customers feel comfortable in groups, if they see others doing something that is socially accepted within a group then they feel they must also follow that path.

If we take the Bodyshop as an example of this customer group creation. The idea is for people to sign up and hold their own parties selling Bodyshop products. They become their own boss with flexible working hours, providing them additional income and who doesn’t love a party with friends and family! You attend this party maybe at a friend’s house as a social event but then you feel the pressure to buy the products as others are also buying.

The group then starts talking about the products after the party and sharing their thoughts and recommendations which encourages additional sales. You begin to remember that brand with the time you came together with friends and family and enjoyed that experience.


The study of these groups, cultures and getting an inside perspective of you customers can be the true success of a company’s marketing strategy. The use of anthropology, as it is called, has grown extremely important to companies marketing strategy and is not something that should be overlooked.

This task enables you to gain key insight into your customer base, who they are, what they like / don’t like, personalities and so on. The information will help to ensure you are marketing to the right people with the right message, in turn increasing sales and maintain a relationship and connection with your brand.


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