Psychology is an important, but often overlooked, part of any marketing strategy. To show why this article looks at three ways psychology can play into your company’s marketing efforts.

Reciprocity

One way psychology can play into your marketing strategy is reciprocity—that is, the idea that if a person receives something, they will be more likely to view the giver favorably. For an example of this in action, Forbes.com contributor Jeff Bradford tells a story of one of his clients being ignored by trial lawyers until Bradford’s team sent those lawyers a very nice gift. The return on investment was huge: The gifts cost $400 each, but “adding just one new law firm meant tens of thousands of dollars” for the client.

How can you use this in your marketing strategy? Consider giving customers you’d like to attract a small gift. Inexpensive examples include clothing and ebooks. Upon receiving such gifts, potential customers will likely feel more favorable toward your company—and more obliged to make a purchase.

Authority

Establishing your company’s authority is another way to boost your marketing strategy. For example, the reason fitness trainers often appear in ads wearing revealing workout gear is to boost their authority: A trainer showing off their six-pack looks like they know about working out and proper nutrition. A photo of a trainer wearing a baggy sweatshirt wouldn’t have the same effect.

No matter your business type, promoting a figure people will look toward as an authority can help your marketing efforts. One (sometimes expensive) method is to use a spokesperson. Cheaper methods include showing your staff in professional uniforms and mentioning your credentials (such as your education, work experience, and notable projects).

Being Human

A third method for boosting your marketing strategy is by humanizing your company. For example, an exercise-equipment company whose founder loves weight training would benefit from talking about the founder’s interest in it. This will boost both authority (the founder has a passion for and expertise in what the company sells) and likability (the founder has something in common with potential customers.)