Marketing psychology is all about understanding the thoughts and resulting behaviour; of people who buy things.
The decision to buy goods or services, may be understood as a combination of an individual's personality interacting with characteristics of a product; in a particular situation.
To understand marketing psychology; you need to study the characteristics of potential buyers, the characteristics of alternative products or services; and the different situations where the potential buyers may come together with the possible products.
Knowing the customer is the starting point for success in sales.
Making a successful sale is usually a matter of understanding and satisfying either the customers needs; and/or their wants.
Customer needs are not as complicated as their wants.
In order to satisfy a customer's needs it may only require communicating information about a product (or service), that demonstrates the value to them. If people are aware of a need they will be receptive to buy. If they are unaware of a need; it can be easier to raise awareness of a need, than develop a want where no real need exists.
Whereas a need may be considered to be a consumer's desire for the benefit of a particular product or service, a want is the desire for a particular product or service which they don't really need but they would like. If someone is in the city and they are hungry then they need to purchase something to eat. If they choose a lobster dish and purchase a dessert then these purchases are wants because they could easily survive by eating something else.
In order to satisfy what a customer wants it is necessary to understand their attitudes, preferences, and desires - as well as their financial variables. Understanding why a customer purchases a product is usually related to their wants rather than their needs. It is an altogether much trickier proposition. Wants are those things a customer wishes they could have. They may be broken down into public and private wants.
The Buying Process
Consumers are often considered to go through five stages when purchasing a product:
Those working in marketing are interested in all aspects of this process because understanding what a consumer is thinking at each stage represents an opportunity to sway the consumer's purchasing behaviour. At the post-purchase stage marketers may seek to reduce any dissonance the purchaser has about the product by reinforcing the positive characteristics of the product or service.