Marketing Psychology

How does psychology apply to marketing?  Every year, companies spend thousands of dollars trying to understand what motivates the consumer to purchase their product!  Whether you are in business or not, this courses teaches the fundamentals of how psychology can be used to increase sales, what to watch out for when listening to a sales representative, how companies deter people from purchasing competitors products, how to provide an environment customers want to purchase in, and much more.


For more information on what's covered in lessons, please see the extracts below:

1.  Self Image and Marketing

2.  Encouraging clientele to Remember

Provided at the bottom of this page is the Distance Education Course Outline for Marketing Psychology.  The following two extracts are samples from part of the lessons in Marketing Psychology:


Self-Image and Marketing

A person's self-image is the dominant view they have of themselves: materially, emotionally, mentally, physically and socially.  How a person views themselves is often surpassed in advertising with appeals to a persons ideal self.  

Researchers have split the self-image into 4 components:

  • Actual -How people see themselves
  • Ideal -How people would like to see themselves
  • Social -How people think that others see them
  • Ideal Social  -How people would like others to see them

Thus the advertiser has worked on the assumption that people will be influenced by different self-images in different situations.

This strategy may be particularly important when someone is trying to change his or her actual physical self-image to an ideal one.


Memory and Marketing

There are a number of techniques that have relevance with regard to memory and product advertising.


TV commercials usually last 30 seconds or more and normally involve repetition of the brand name.  This is just enough time for the product to enter long-term memory.

This method is not foolproof.  Only those consumers who are already motivated will remember the product.  Also, information is lost with each repetition.  Finally, it may be a futile form of advertising when there is a lot of competition within the same field.


It would seem that brand names are more readily learned if they have a memorable image to accompany them.


It has been found that reference to the self and to people’s own lives also increases the likelihood of them remembering products


This refers to techniques used to remember information by forming associations, creating rhymes, and simplifying information.  We can make things easier to learn by dividing them into smaller groups or lists and so on.

All of these techniques provide us with ‘meaningfulness’.  That is, we can make information easier to learn by using patterns, keys, associations and so on.  We organise our memories into ‘schemas’.  It is these schemas that marketers wish to exploit.


A further extract from the Marketing Psychology course lesson notes:




Distance Education Course in Marketing Psychology

Learn to explain and apply psychological processes to marketing.

DURATION   100 hours (study at your own pace, on average taking 4-6 months part time)
There are eight lessons in this module as follows: 
  1. People as Consumers  Understanding the types of psychological “rewards” gained by a person through buying. Distinguishing between consumers, customers and buyers
  2. Market Segmentation   Understanding market segments and applying the concept of target marketing.
  3. Internal Influences – Perception & Personality.   Consumer self image, difference threshold, trait theory of personality, etc.
  4. Internal Influences – Motivation and Awareness   Customer satisfaction, the way complaints are dealt with, stimulus generalisation and stimulus discrimination, etc
  5. Social Influences   Family Influences, Social groups, Developmental Influences, Peer Group Influences, (Work and Leisure), 
  6. Social Class and Culture
  7. Consumerism   Deceptive advertising, sensitivity to consumer needs,variation between perception
  8. and reality.
  9. Communication and Persuasion   Message Evaluation, Selection & Execution
  10. Deciding to Buy   Why people shop, or do not shop; surveying the market place. 

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