Monthly Archives: September 2017

Availability Bias Definition

In this post you’ll learn the answer for the questions: what is the availability bias definition? and how is it used in marketing?

 

For the ones who have read the previous 3 posts, you have probably noticed that cognitive biases are a territory yet to be fully explored. Each bias alone if explored has the potential to influence the way entire groups look at or feel about a product. Techniques that explore groups of 2 or more cognitive biases simultaneously multiply the appeal of the product in terms of the number of people it becomes able to spark an interest. The availability bias is one more tool you can add to your persuasion tool belt.

 

 

Availability bias definition

The availability bias is the tendency to recall and/or give more weight to whatever is more easily available. A very common saying that comes along with the availability of mind is: “top of mind tip of tongue”. The more available a certain topic is to our minds, the more likely we are to mention it when we have to talk about something. The same happens to products. The more available a certain product is in our minds, the more likely we are to suggest it/use it when we have a problem that can be solved by that kind of product.

 

How is it used in marketing?

One way of making a bit of information more available to our minds is through repetition. whenever we desperately need to make sure we remember something later we repeated it a few times over. Repetition makes the information more available to our minds. So, in marketing, the availability bias is triggered by exposing the product in question in a frequent interval to the prospects. This is done by for example: showing the same ads over and over again on TV or YouTube for a period of months to years. The more people watch the ad, the more likely it is that the product will be at the top of the mind when the time comes to find a solution to their problems.

 

Other biases:

  1. Liking bias
  2. Social proof bias

 

It is all about knowledge and experience;)

Leave a comment below

What Is The Social Proof Principle?

In this post you’ll learn the answer for the questions: what is the social proof principle? and how is it applied in marketing?

Each person is a unique being on its own way. Some show it by the way they present themselves as outcasts in their own social circles, while others stand out by the perfect manner in which they blend in every environment they are a part of. They are just like a military vest. Twin siblings share 100% of their DNA, but even then, each has its own drop of uniqueness, that makes him not a clone of his sibling. Although we are all unique, we are also in a way all the same. There are parts of a person that everybody has. It’s as if whoever designed us did it so with a model version of a human and we are all just a copy of that model with just multiple forms of variations. So we share traits with everybody in the same way we have traits only unique to us personally. Enormous power is found when we find one of those common human traits. Finding one makes us able to influence the people around us a little more and in a more predictable manner. One of those traits is the base of the social proof principle.

What is the social proof principle?

The social proof principle is the principle that states that we tend to behave or like things because others do. If everybody in a restaurant washes their hands before the meal, we are more likely to wash our hands too, even if we don’t usually wash our hands before meals. For our brains, to go against what everybody likes or does can mean isolation and our brains see any form of isolation as a threat to our survival. Think of it this way: if you’re a loner, what are the chances that when you’re in danger that someone will come to your aid? Little to none right? So to prevent such a thing from ever happening, the brain makes us feel anxious whenever we are in eminence of social isolation.

Another reason why we like what others like, or tend to trust or believe in what others believe, is because of the assumption that if they like what they like, or believe in what they believe, they must do so for a reason. They must know something we don’t. So instead of questioning first whether that’s true or not, we are just compelled to like what others like and do what others do. It saves energy and time, and the brain is always looking for ways to save energy.

 

 

How is it applied in marketing?

The tendency to like or do what others like or do is a bias. Just like other biases like the liking bias, it has a hidden possibility that it can be exploited for marketing purposes. There are many ways the social proof bias can be exploited, but they all fall in one. The marketer somehow creates the impression that everybody you know either likes their product or uses it, and because of that a spark of curiosity towards the product is born in you. A very common example of this is a product whose Facebook page has 10 million likes or the Twitter account has 100 thousand followers. You look at the social media page and for a second assume that they are popular. If they are popular everybody must like them, and if everybody likes them then for a reason you might not be able to figure out you also should.
What you’re ignoring is the fact that likes just like followers can be bought.

 

 

It is all about knowledge and experience;)

Leave a comment below

What Is The Liking Bias?

In this post you’ll learn the answer for the questions: what is the liking bias? and how is it applied in marketing?

 

Cognitive biases offer an array of possibilities for marketers to attract and persuade new costumers. Unlike many other persuasion techniques, the use of cognitive bias takes advantage of inherent flaws on the way we as humans make judgments. Because they are a part of our nature, we need to make conscious effort to not use them. Since most of us don’t make an effort to fall for their biases, these biases have the potential for a long term strategy for the persuasion artists. One of the most popular biases is the liking bias.

 

What is the liking bias?

The liking bias, is the tendency for us humans to ignore or embellish the actions of the ones we like/love. In essence if our loved ones do something wrong, we will most likely try to downplay whatever they did if they did otherwise we are more likely to do the opposite.

 

How is it applied in marketing?

One popular way the liking bias can be applied is through the development of a relationship with your costumers. Instead of being happy with just a sale, many businesses these days take a step further, by making sure they keep contact with the costumers. By trying to understand how the costumer feels about the product and asking for suggestions on improvements, the costumer gets the sense that he’s understood and you care about his pain. The longer the contact between the business and the costumer the more the costumer will feel close to the business/product and the more he will like it.

When a costumer likes/loves a brand/product, this costumer is no longer a costumer but a fan and fans are the ones who do the marketing of the product/brand to their peers by word of mouth. This is the essence of word of mouth advertising.
The greater the fan base of the brand/business, the least it will need to spend on advertising.

 

 

 

It is all about knowledge and experience;)

Leave a comment below

 

What Is A Cognitive Bias?

In this post you’ll learn the answers for the questions: what is a cognitive bias? and why they matter in marketing?

The world of marketing has a set of techniques to bring the attention of prospects to a product. That attention is then led to other set of techniques to embellish the idea of owning the product in the prospect’s mind. When applied correctly marketing has the power to turn millions of not yet convinced prospects into an almost religious fan base of costumers. It’s true that a big part of the conversion of a prospect to a costumer is due to the product itself, but as Jerry Weintraub teaches in When I stop talking you’ll know I’m dead : it is all about packaging.

He brings to mind the idea that it really doesn’t matter if you have the best product ever if you can’t present it to the world. This is where marketing gets in. To present the product in a better light, one of the often used techniques is the persuasion through the use of cognitive biases.

 

What is a cognitive bias?

A cognitive bias is an outcome of a form of thinking/reasoning, that can result in some form of bad judgment. Our brains are always trying to conserve energy, and whenever it finds a shortcut, it takes advantage of it. Shortcuts not only save the brain’s energy, but also increase its processing speed in the same way a shortcut home get us there earlier. Cognitive biases result from the shortcuts the brain uses to speed up the judgment process. Because those “shortcuts” reduce the need to look and evaluate all the information available, sometimes they cause us to make mistakes, since we only look at a portion of the available data. Those mistakes in judgement/thinking/reasoning are what we call cognitive biases.

We don’t always get the best answer for the problem at hand, what we get is the answer that happens to be the most likely to be the right one at the moment. If for example, we learn that all 35 year olds are psychopaths, whenever we meet a 35-year old, there will be no need for us to try to know what kind of person he/she is. We will just assume that this particular 35-year old is a psychopath. It could be true that this particular 35-year old is a psychopath, meaning that our shortcut to evaluating 35-year olds gave us the right answer/solution, or it could also be true that the opposite is the truth; which could be considered a mistake.

 

Why do they matter in marketing?

Sometimes, as mentioned above, cognitive biases can lead us to incorrectly misjudging things and this is the reason why. By understanding how people tend to think of things, one can embellish a product in a way that fits such expectations or modes of thinking. One example is the reciprocity bias, which is about the tendency of people to feel obligated to reciprocate any favor no matter how small. A very common application of the reciprocity bias in business is by offering gifts or free items to prospects as a way to increase the odds of a purchase.
The moment the prospect accepts the free offer, it becomes a little harder to completely reject the product without giving it a thought.

 

To get a list of the cognitive biases click the link below:

Learn more about cognitive biases here

 

 

It is all about knowledge and experience;)

Leave a comment below

What Is A Prospect?

In this post you’ll learn the answer for the questions: what is a prospect?, what is the difference between a prospect and a costumer? and why does it matter?

In marketing and business in general, there exists a set of terms frequently mentioned, and although they might seem to be intuitive to understand, in our heads, they exist in a Grey area. We kinda know what they mean or what they stand for, but we don’t truly understand them. This set of terms are like the fourth dimension: we know it exists but for some reason we can’t honestly say we know what it is(how it looks like). Luckily, unlike the fourth dimension, this mysterious set of business/marketing terms can be understood if properly explained. One of the most famous is the term “prospect”, which can very easily be confused with “costumer” since they are often used interchangeably.

 

What is a prospect?

A prospect is nothing more and nothing less than a potential costumer. In the world of dating, a prospect would be that person who is at the same time more than a stranger/friend, and less than a lover. The possibility is there but nothing is certain.

What is the difference between a prospect and a costumer?

The difference between a prospect and a costumer is that they represent two different phases of a sales funnel. In the beginning of the sales funnel, the costumer is not a costumer yet, but a potential costumer(a prospect). In the end on the other hand, depending on how the sales funnel is set up, the prospect is not just a prospect anymore, but a costumer. This is assuming that the goal of making a sale was achieved. Using the dating analogy, the moment the prospect becomes a costumer(the moment the sale is made) is the moment the potential partner becomes our partner.

 

Why does it matter to know the difference?

Its important to know the difference between a prospect and a costumer because in order to get the sale, different strategies are applied to each of them. According to the costumer purchase cycle, in the beginning of the cycle we have a prospect. Which is a person who doesn’t know what to buy to fix his/her problem or doesn’t know what to buy. Here, he/she needs to be lectured about the problem and informed about why the product is the ideal solution for his/her problem. In the end of the costumer purchase cycle however, he/she not only knows what product can solve his/her problem but also wants to buy it. Here he/she is only looking for the place to place the order.

 

This is the reason why its very important to know the difference between a prospect and a costumer. The better you understand it as well as the costumer purchase cycle, the better and more appropriate your marketing strategy will be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is all about knowledge and experience;)

Leave a comment below

Reciprocity In Advertising

In this post you’ll learn a few examples of reciprocity in advertising.

 

The field of advertising/marketing has a big array of techniques to persuade a prospect to make the sale. This is true even for the cases in which the sale is not the main goal but the something as simple as the prospect’s contact information. One technique that has been around for a while and that it certainly brings results is the use of the principle of reciprocity. As mentioned on the post about the principle of reciprocity, we tend to feel the need to pay back any favor a person does to us. We naturally feel the need to get even. So its natural that marketers would find in this pattern a new way of persuading prospects into doing things they would probably not do, or at the very least to make the persuasion process easier than it would be. The principle of reciprocity is used in many ways in advertising and any other form of marketing. Below are a few examples.

 

An email for a free e-book

This is probably one of the most popular applications of the principle of reciprocity on the internet. You land in a page, and they ask for your email address(or any other piece of contact information) in the exchange for a free e book on something you’re interested in. All things being equal, we find difficult to disclose our contact information(or any other personal information), specially if a stranger is asking for it. So, without the free offer, the chances that anyone would just give their contact information decreases. Notice that the offer doesn’t have to be an e-book. It could just as well be: a free webinar, a coupon, the access to a part on a paid course, and pretty much anything that would add value to the life of the prospect.

Variations of this technique can be seen all over the web but the root of it remains the same. A free offer in the exchange for something from the prospect. The “Something” could be a piece of contact as mentioned above, a purchase or a referral.

Summary

When we think about possible applications of the principle of reciprocity not only in marketing but anywhere else, its easy to think that the free offer must be something physical. The truth is that it doesn’t. One very common application of the principle of reciprocity in the after sale phase, is to over deliver in the promises. If you promised to give the prospect 5 tips on how to lose weight in you’re “How to lose weight course” then give 6 or 7. Here the value is not as physical as a book. The value is free knowledge. So, as long as the offer brings value to the life of the prospect and you don’t charge for it, the offer is enough to trigger the reciprocity bias in the prospect.
Other examples are:

  1. Give a small gift along with the product in the shipping time
  2. Improve the costumer service experience(many people still complain about this)
  3. Keep offering free value during your relationship with the clients

 

 

 

 

 

It is all about knowledge and experience;)

Leave a comment below

What Is The Google Penguin Update?

In this post you’ll learn the answer for the question: what is the google penguin update?

 

On the fight to make sure that the content in the search results remains relevant to the visitors, google has released a couple updates to its algorithms. The biggest reason for that is that from time to time, someone finds a loophole in the way google ranks pages or decides if a piece of content is good/relevant. That loophole becomes one more in a set of black hat/Grey hat SEO strategies widely used to trick Google into ranking low quality pages high in the search results . Two of the most famous google updates are: panda and penguin.

What is the google penguin update?

The google penguin update is one of many updates whose goal is to remove irrelevant content that ranked high in the search results through the use of black hat SEO strategies. One black hat SEO strategy the penguin update identifies is the famous link farming. This and other link schemes in general are targets of the penguin update.

 

As mentioned over and over in other posts, black hat and Grey hat SEO have the power to bring rankings up in the short term. In the long term however, the only valid set of strategies is what is known as white hat SEO. The reason for this is that in the same way that people come up with new strategies to trick google into ranking them high without having to write quality content, google also comes up with new ways to find the ones using any of the known black hat strategies as well as to rank websites. One other form of link scheme that you should definitely stay away from is link buying.

 

It is all about knowledge and experience;)

Leave a comment below

What Is The Panda Update?

In this post you’ll get the answer for the question: what is the panda update?

Google has been around as one of the most used search engines for a while now. A good example of its influence over the masses is just the fact that its name is now often used as a replacement for the words “search” and “research” in casual conversations (ex:”Don’t know how to do something? Just Google it! “). For that reason the potential for traffic is also one of the greatest. Getting a website to rank high in the search results means not only popularity, but also the chance to achieve or multiply success. So, its not surprising that there exist people who try to trick google’s algorithms as a way of ranking high in the search results quicker and without having to write any good content(Black hat SEO or Gray hat SEO). As a result of this, Google being aware of the fact that its algorithms might contain flaws and that some of those flaws were being exploited, it came up with updates to its algorithms. One of those update is the panda update.

 

What is the panda update?

The panda update is one of Google’s updates whose purpose is to take irrelevant/poor quality websites/content from the highest positions of the search result. As mentioned above, many people found loopholes/weaknesses in google’s way to rank pages in the search results and as a result Google ended up recommending to their visitors content with not as good of quality.
Irrelevant search results are like the kryptonite of the search engines. The longer they prevail, the more the popularity of the search engine decreases.

 

With time, panda and other parts of the search experience are updated, and google becomes better at distinguishing good content from the bad one. So, if you have a website, the best long term strategy is and will always be to focus on writing amazing content.:)

 

 

 

 

 

It is all about knowledge and experience;)

Leave a comment below

What Are The Google Algorithms?

In this post you’ll learn the answers for the questions: what are the google algorithms? and why do they matter?

Google is probably one of the biggest search engines ever. As a result, it earned the right to be seen as one of the best sources of traffic to the present day. This is true not only for organic traffic but also for PPC. So, its pretty intuitive to think that anyone who plans to build a solid online business should become familiar to what Google considers valid or not. This is the base of what is called white hat SEO. On the opposite side of the coin lies black hat SEO, which instead of following Google’s rules, it tries to find and explore loopholes on its search algorithms.

 

What are the google algorithms?

Without being too technical, google algorithms are nothing but the set of “recipes” google uses to solve problems such as: ranking the websites in the search results from the most to the least relevant, to figure out what are the most relevant websites and to punish and de-index the ones who are caught using black hat SEO techniques to rank high.

 

Why do they matter?

The biggest reason to try to understand how google algorithms value a page is that by doing it, a website increases the odds that it will get its content to rank high in the search results. Apart from the recipe comparison, google’s algorithms can also be seen as the law behind google’s search results. You get ahead by following it, and although you might be able do so by trying to trick the system, it is not a long term strategy. Sooner or later google becomes aware of the flaws in the algorithms and comes up with new updates. Two examples are the famous: Panda and Penguin updates, which got thousands and thousands of websites possibly using black hat or Grey hat strategies to lose their positions overnight.

 

 

 

 

It is all about knowledge and experience;)

Leave a comment below

What Is Indexing A Website?

In this post you’ll learn the answers for the questions: what is indexing a website? and how to check it?

In the search engine optimization world, there are a few concepts that are very important to both professionals and newbies. A good grip on those concepts/ideas can take you a long way, and for that reason they shouldn’t be ignored. One of those concepts is indexing.

 

 

What is indexing a website?

In simple words, website indexing is what search engines do to new websites. They are always looking for new sources of content, and whenever one is found, they add it to their index. The index is pretty much a list of websites. So, the search engines add the website to their list of websites from which they can get content from. Google is known to place new websites on the sand box as a mechanism to make sure that they are actually a trusted source of content, before it starts to send traffic . The time it takes for them to take you out of the sand box is not specific, but it could take from a few weeks to months. The goal is to keep publishing new content frequently so that Google can give it some credit. Another form of indexing is the indexing of content in a website, and as you probably guessed by now, it is all about adding the content to the search results.

 

 

How to check it?

The way to check a website was indexed by the search engines is by typing the domain name of the website in the search box. If it appears then the website was indexed. The same goes to check if a post was added to the search results. If it doesn’t appear, another test is to copy an entire paragraph and paste it in the search box. If the post still doesn’t show up then, it probably wasn’t indexed yet.

 

 

It is all about knowledge and experience;)

Leave a comment below