When it comes to marketing your business, understanding psychology – and how it influences customer purchasing habits, can be incredibly beneficial to your success.

As a follow up to last week’s article, which you can read here, we’ll be covering another three key psychological principles from Dr. Robert Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. Make sure to check out Part 1 where we covered Reciprocity, Commitment and Consistency, and Social Proof.

Today, we’ll be taking a look at the principles of Authority, Liking, and Scarcity. Let’s dive in!


People have a natural tendency to listen to those in positions of authority. It’s just human nature. From a young age, people are taught to respect authority figures – starting with our parents, to our teachers, our bosses, and everything in between.

It’s easy to see where the principle of authority and marketing can potentially collide. One of the most important things to consider about authority is that people have a tendency to believe or listen to those who simply appear to come from a position of authority, regardless of how authoritative they might actually be on a subject.

In his book, Dr. Cialdini lists three factors that we use to judge authority (which you can read more about over at ReferralCandy).

  • Titles (such as Dr., CEO, etc.)
  • Clothes (police uniform, lab coats, etc.)
  • Trappings (expensive positions, accessories, anything that indicates a position or role of power)


The concept of liking deposits that we’re more likely to make purchasing decisions if it’s from a person or brand that we like.

Applying this principle in your marketing goes further than just having likable employees. It involves making your brand relatable. Customers want to make purchases from brands that they share common values with. It’s why “going green” is such a popular trend these days. When a customer believes that a company is supporting similar values to their own, it makes them feel good about shopping with them.

The liking principle also ties into social connections, influencers, and endorsements.


“Limited stock available!”

“First come, first serve!”

“Only 2 left!”

These are the types of phrases that marketers use to motivate customers to act now. Nobody wants to miss out on a potential sale, deal, experience, or product. This is the principle of scarcity at work. Scarcity creates a sense of urgency that motivates people to buy, regardless of whether they really want or need the product in the first place.

There are all kinds of examples of how marketers employ the scarcity principle. Businesses capitalize off of customers with “collector” mentality by creating limited-edition items. Restaurants do something similar with seasonal entrees. Retailers do it every week with rotating sales.

Market With CoGoBuzz

With CoGoBuzz, our state-of-the-art marketing service, we’ll leverage advanced WiFi, SMS, and Email solutions to promote your business both in-store and out.

With in-store WiFi, we display an interactive landing page on your customers’ mobile devices, letting you show off your sales, limited-time deals, and even your brand values! With our SMS solution, you can enroll customers in digital loyalty programs, and start sending them notifications for when you’re holding a flash sale. On top of that, we produce fully realized customer profiles for every customer that login in to your HotSpot, and automatically integrate them with your Marketing List of choice, such as HubSpot, MailChimp, or Constant Contact.

Check out the rest of our website to learn more about CoGoBuzz!

How has psychology helped in your marketing? Sound off in the comments!