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How to Use Heuristics to Your Marketing Advantage

by Cam Secore  |  
November 12, 2015
  |  16,398 views

Marketers and advertisers who understand the importance of customer behavior and psychology consider heuristics (simple, efficient rules—mental shortcuts—that people use to form judgments and make decisions) to target their markets.

Consider the following heuristics and how you can implement associated notions into your marketing and advertising campaigns.

Affect Heuristic

If you're familiar with the pop novel The Secret, then you know that you can "shape" your reality. In short, you create your surroundings and summon your wants from the universe. Maybe you're not a believer in such things, but there is a bit of neuroscience involved in the claim.

The affect heuristic involves how we feel and subsequently think: If you're feeling positive, you will look upon a painting with a similar emotion and see a happy scene; conversely, if you're in a bad mood, you either point out the negatives of the painting or create your own interpretation of it to fit how you feel. The same scene can be seen quite differently by two people—depending on their moods.


So, if you want your target audience to think positively about your offer, summon a positive mood beforehand. You can do so by inserting a funny image, composing an uplifting brand story, or offering good news—before introducing your product or service.

Before asking for a donation, for example, you present a humorous picture, thus lightening up the mood and increasing the target audience's agreeability. If they're in a good mood, they will see the notion of donating as a positive action, along with their consideration of the mission of the associated charity.


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Cam Secore started his first affiliate site when he was in high school. Now he's running Allpowermoves.com, where he writes about his favorite tech products and entrepreneurial adventures.

Twitter: @CamSecore

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