CategorySmart Psych

Titles, Taglines and Captions – When Questions Sell [Study]


‘Apple Watch – the watch for you?’ vs. ‘Apple Watch – the watch for you’. Which makes for more persuasive marketing copy – whether as a title selling an article, or a tagline selling a product? It all depends on your mood. If you’re feeling calm, and see a title, tagline or marketing copy and in question format, then you are more likely to find it...

How to use #thedress to increase marketing effectiveness [Study]


Whether you are white and gold or blue and black, a new psychological study in Cognition, the International Journal of Cognitive Science,  shows that showing you perceptual illusions similar to #thedress increases your openness to attitude-change. In the experiment people who were shown visual tricks – not dissimilar to #thedress – showed reduced confidence in their own opinions and...

The Magical Psychology of the ‘Uber for X’ Economy


Mashable calls ‘Magic‘ the logical extreme of the ‘Uber for X’ economy.  Magic is an on-demand mobile service where you simply text whatever you want – yes whatever you want – to Magic’s number, and they’ll get you it for a pre-agreed fee, paid on mobile via Stripe.  Started last week, Magic has received 18,000 requests in the first 72 hours. Has...

More Convenience Tech – $1.7m Funding for Uber-for-massage Soothe


Another $1.7m funding for ‘convenience tech‘ as the digital industry rolls with the realisation that we only live for a few hundred months, so saving you time is saving you the most precious commodity that exists. Part of the Uber-for-everything trend, Uber-for-massage Soothe has just scored $1.7m funding to grow its US on-demand at-home massage services from a team of investors...

Pricing Psychology – Your Emotions Like Rounded Numbers [Study]


Life’s little luxuries may sell better if they’re priced with a rounded number – e.g. $20.00, rather than $19.99.  That’s the finding of a new set of five studies in the Journal of Consumer Research that looked at the impact of rounded and non-rounded pricing on product appeal. So whilst the ‘left-hand digit’ effect (we’re too lazy to read the whole...

Kingsman: The Secret Service & Subliminal Advertising – Could it Really Happen? [Study]


Hitting the screens this month is a new Hollywood movie about the power and influence of the smartphone today. A must-see for digital marketers. Starring Samuel L. Jackson (and Colin Firth, Michael Kane and Taron Egerton), Kingsman: The Secret Service is a cautionary tale about how the mobile screen is becoming our window to the world.  If you control the screen you control the world – and...

Artful Insight – #20Things Digital Art Reveals 20 Digital Insights for 2015


Can you spot 20 hashtags of recent Internet happenings in this artful piece of content marketing commissioned by digital innovation group Syzygy? Each hashtag corresponds to a digital insight that could usefully inform your digital strategy. Check out the hashtags with insights below. And beyond the insights themselves, note the medium chosen for this content marketing.  Art. Psychologically...

The Jam Study Strikes Back: When Less Choice Does Mean More Sales


The Jam Study is one of the most famous experiments in consumer psychology, and new research to be published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology supports the Jam Study’s controversial conclusion; offering consumers less choice can be good for sales. Critically, the study reveals when precisely offering less choice may enhance your sales. If you’re not familiar with the original Jam...

How to Market to the #Selfie Generation [Research Summary]


The same personality traits that predict men’s preference and openness to one-night stands also predict their selfie behaviour, with interesting implications for marketing. A new study in the psychology journal ‘Personality and Individual Differences’ links ‘dark’ personality traits in adult males (the so-called  ‘Dark Triad’ of narcissism, psychopathy...

The Hawthorne Effect: The Key to B2B Content Marketing Success


The Hawthorne Effect* is a psychological phenomenon that produces changes to behaviour and belief as a result of increased attention from superiors, experts or researchers. And as 3M has demonstrated, the Hawthorne Effect can unlock B2B content marketing success.  Here’s how… To cut right to the chase, what 3M found is that the secret to B2B content marketing is to involve your top...

The Psychology of Content Marketing: The Dunning–Kruger effect


The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in psychology that explains the success of content marketing. But with a twist. The Dunning–Kruger effect is the illusion of competence that comes from ignorance.  We see something and we say to ourselves – ‘I could do that – how hard can it be?’ – without fully understanding the skill and experience required for mastery...

The Psychology of Black Friday – Selling us a ‘Cheat Day’


Why do normally prudent (or cash-strapped) shoppers go spend-crazy on Black Friday – the post-Thanksgiving annual shopping frenzy? The superficial answer of course is that we shop on Black Friday to get the one-day only deals, allowing us to buy stuff we would have bought anyway for less, or buy stuff we otherwise couldn’t afford. So far, so obvious… But here’s an...

Digital Intelligence Today

Consumer psychology insights and news for digital professionals brought to you by WPP agency SYZYGY and Dr Paul Marsden (@marsattacks)



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