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Zombie Keywords 101

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Zombie keywords are enabled keywords that aren’t getting traffic. Isolating them and getting them more organized and paired with the right ads can bring them to life, which unlocks opportunities for growth and increased market share.

By bringing zombie keywords back to life, you can unearth value that has been lying dormant and is only waiting to be realized. How many of your zero impression keywords are zombies? Find out how you can reanimate zombie keywords to create new pathways that help you add revenue to your paid search account.

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New data challenges marketers’ assumptions about their followers' personality traits

MotiveMetrics

We recently conducted a survey of more than 125 marketers (31 percent CMOs), asking how they would characterize the personality of their company’s Twitter following. The findings demonstrate that most marketers are not able to accurately identify the key personality traits that trigger purchase decisions. While more than half (62 percent) of respondents indicated their following was susceptible to discount offers, MotiveMetrics data shows that only 12 percent respond to discount offers. In fact, 79 percent of the followers were coupon-averse meaning at best they aren’t swayed by a coupon and at worst are turned off by products that are marketed with a coupon.

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Motivation Analysis: The Key to Making Splash Pages that Convert

motivationanalysis-1The brain can process an image in 13 milliseconds—a rate of about 75 frames per second. This means from the moment the user hits your page they are forming impressions about your brand, products or service offerings. Today, most blog posts will offer a few universal strategies for creating splash pages that convert; feature real people, use benefit statements, write pithy headlines, keep important elements above the fold.

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Why Scarcity Marketing Doesn’t Work for Every Brand

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Psychology provides marketers with a tremendous amount of research and knowledge about effectively engaging customers. In fact, a lot of commonly used marketing techniques are deeply rooted in psychological functions (e.g. social proof, scarcity, anchor pricing etc.) In order to use these techniques most effectively, it’s critical to understand the psychological differences between target audiences. Psychological traits, enduring patterns of behavior, provide the context needed to understand how techniques like scarcity marketing would impact engagement for a particular audience.

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Why Personal Values are the Key to a Great Marketing Campaign

valuesIn 1997, Steve Jobs explained one of the most important principles of marketing in six words: “To me marketing is about Values.” He goes on to describe how some of the most iconic and successful brands resonate with customer’s personal values. This is a principle worth expanding upon.

We all live by a set of values that are important (or unimportant) to us. Some people value having fun and seeking adventure (Hedonism). Some value having influence and control over subordinates (Power). Still, others value helping people and making the world a better place (Benevolence). Values are beliefs and goals that transcend specific situations to motivate behavior. Understanding what consumers value is important because, much like personality traits and other individual differences, values have demonstrated powerful predictive ability in a number of customer experience and marketing operations. Values have also been shown to predict a variety of specific purchasing behaviors from choosing a new pair of sunglasses to purchasing environmentally friendly or organic products.

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Why marketers advertise to consumers who can’t afford their product

jaguarsuperbowl

Advertising dollars are spent to reach potential consumers and inform them about a product, and perhaps the single largest American venue to do this is the Super Bowl. Companies that buy ad time during the Super Bowl have the potential to extend the reach of their ad if it makes a splash and gets talked about in the follow-up news cycle, so it’s no wonder so many companies are willing to pay top dollar for Super Bowl ads. However, it would seem this money would only be well spent if the Super Bowl audience included a large proportion of potential consumers for a given product; otherwise, how would such a massive expense pay off?

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Constructing Scales that Collect Predictive Data

Not All Scales Are Created Equal:
Constructing Scales that Collect Predictive Data

When developing tools for online market research, there are three main objectives: create scales that are rigorous and robust, meet academic and research standards, and make these tools something that will be engaging and effective on the Internet. Here at TipTap Lab, we found this process to be easier said than done in many ways. We spent three years conducting exploratory research and testing and confirming validity in order to create a tool that provided a better understanding of people. 

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A History of Personality Psychology: Part 2

A History of Personality Psychology: Part 2

In Part 1 of A History of Personality Psychology, we chronicled the development of the biological and theoretical basis for the existence of human personality. From the musings of Hippocrates and Plato to the tragic yet enlightening tamping rod accident suffered by Phineas Gage, psychology has come a long way in establishing the validity of personality. Shifting away from establishing the existence of personality, Part 2 of the history of personality psychology will be focused on the structure of personality.

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How the Weather Impacts Your Work Habits and Buying Behavior


We all know the weather outside can tremendously impact our daily outlook on life, but what role does it play in our buying behavior and work habits? We associate sunshine with happiness and stormy weather with bad moods and misfortune. Indeed, there is no dearth of research supporting the fact that the forecast can significantly influence individuals’ mood and temperament. For example, increased sunshine is associated with better moods and an increased willingness to help others, and there is a mood disorder -- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) -- characterized by depressive symptoms brought on by the winter months. It’s pretty much common sense in today’s day and age that nice weather makes us happy, but can it actually affect our daily behavior? The answer, it turns out, is yes, and researchers are working to figure out exactly how and why.

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Psych4Marketers: Emotions and Advertising

Psych4Marketers: Emotions and Advertising

In a previous blog post, I wrote about the impact of emotions on shopping behavior. More specifically, I discussed how an individual’s current emotional state can influence their perception of advertising and other marketing tools. However, emotions are not just something consumers bring to the table; advertisements themselves frequently elicit emotional responses, which the ad creators hope will increase the viewer’s desire to purchase whatever is being advertised. Indeed, there are several “go-to” methods -- appeals to certain emotions -- that are regularly employed. But as the field of consumer behavior advances, more is becoming revealed about the particular limits of these favorite methods. In this post I will unpack three of these methods, explain when and why they are potentially useful and discuss their ultimate limits.

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A History of Personality Psychology: Part 1

A History of Personality Psychology: Part 1

Section I: General Chronology and Driving Forces of Personality

The history of personality psychology dates as far back as Ancient Greece. Indeed, philosophers since the 4th Century BCE have been trying to define exactly what it is that makes us us. In 370 BCE, Hippocrates proposed two pillars of temperament: hot/cold and moist/dry, resulting in four humors or combinations of these qualities. The hot and dry combination was referred to as yellow bile, cold and dry as black bile, hot and wet was blood and cold and wet was phlegm. Though much of the work that arose from this theory of the Four Humors was medicinal in nature, it was also hypothesized a patient's personality could be influenced by humoral imbalances.

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3 Marketing Lessons from Evolutionary Psychology


3 Marketing Lessons from Evolutionary Psychology

Throughout high school we all paid our dues and learned the basics. These basic classes, (whether it be American History or Biology) provided a foundation for our future education that ultimately would help us chose a career path. During my time in high school, math and science came easy to me, and I spent my free time working in labs doing research to better understand how to apply what I was learning, and decided to major in Evolutionary Biology (with an emphasis on Psychology) in college. Though I am grateful for my education and various lab experiences, I eventually realized the world of academia and research is not necessarily for me. As I now transition from academia to the business world, I am realizing that much of what I’ve learned from biology and evolutionary psychology -- two fields that people might view as unrelated to business and marketing -- is anything but unrelated. Many of the topics in these academic fields can provide new perspectives in the workplace when trying to solve real world problems. Evolutionary psychologists may not be the first people you’d expect to provide insight into the world of marketing, but I’ve extrapolated three ideas from my coursework in this area that I’ve found extremely valuable in daily marketing routines.

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The Psychology of Music: Why Music Plays a Big Role in What You Buy

The Psychology of Music: Why Music Plays a Big Role in What You Buy

Research suggests there seems to be three qualities of music that can influence buying behavior in a retail environment: tempo, volume and genre. The individual effects we will see in each of these can be explained by Mehrabian and Russell’s model of pleasure-arousal-dominance (PAD). At its most basic level, this model posits that an environment can alter an individual’s mood and therefore behavior by altering levels of pleasure, arousal and/or dominance through different channels. We will use this framework to explain how music impacts buying behavior in a store environment.

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What is Priming? A Psychological Look at Priming & Consumer Behavior

What is Priming? A Psychological Look at Priming & Consumer Behavior

As you’ve probably realized, various tenets of psychology are crucial to effective marketing. After all, psychology is about understanding human behavior and marketing is about applying that knowledge. There are many factors that influence this behavior, and while at least part of the human decision-making process is conscious, many of these factors influence behavior at a nonconscious level. As we have discussed previously on this blog, personality traits can serve as nonconscious motivations of behavior. In this post, I will introduce the psychological concept of priming, which can also have not-so-subtle influences on human behavior.

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3 Ways to Optimize Product Pricing with Psychology


 

3 Ways to Optimize Product Pricing with Psychology

 

Have you ever wondered how companies and retailers set their prices? If you’ve ever taken an economics class, your go-to answer is probably something about supply-and-demand, right? While these laws certainly have a large influence over pricing, another realm of study does as well: psychology. In this blog post, I'll introduce how to optimize product pricing with Psychology with three case studies.   

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What is psychometrics?


What is psychometrics?

We’re all aware that individuals are unique and not everyone likes the same things. This uniqueness comes directly into play in the field of marketing. Since no two people are identical, marketing is about grouping and targeting. That is, higher levels of marketing success arise if you know who to target and how to target them instead of targeting everyone with a generic message. This necessity for specificity means targeting is essentially an empirical question that requires some form of measurement. Consumer behavior is ultimately a result of psychological processes and thus is an optimal target for measurement. Many people don’t think of individual or group characteristics as quantifiable entities, but they can be. Indeed, once you develop a method of quantification, objective grouping based on numbers becomes much easier and more reliable than subjective grouping based on descriptions of consumer traits. Clearly not all measurement is good measurement, so then the question becomes: “How should this measurement be done?” This is where psychometrics comes in.

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Psychological Traits vs. Personality Type Theory


Psychological Traits vs. Personality Type Theory

In order to successfully sell a product you have to know who to sell it to. Therefore, being able to accurately characterize consumers is a crucial goal of marketing and consumer behavior research. But interest in creating these characterizations exists outside just the marketing world: developing systematic ways of describing people and their personalities has been a goal of psychology from its early days. From the begining,  personality traits and personality types have been understood to serve different purposes in research. Over the years there have been many different theories regarding what personality is, how it arises and how we can categorize it. For example, Sigmund Freud was a proponent of psychodynamic theories, suggesting that personality is influenced by the unconscious and the progression through psychosexual stages, and B.F. Skinner advocated for behavioral theories that view personality as a result of individual interactions with the environment. One important (and ongoing) dichotomy in beliefs in this field is between type theory and trait theory. Like other theories in personality psychology, these two approaches attempt to systematically categorize people, but go about this goal in different ways.

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Psych4Marketers: 3 Techniques to Better Understand Consumer Behavior


Psych4Marketers: 3 Techniques to Better Understand Consumer Behavior

The realm of marketing is, at the most basic level, about figuring people out. Doing so certainly involves understanding and analyzing individual differences between consumers (a topic we have focused on before), but marketing and advertising has deep roots in capitalizing on some predictable facets of consumer behavior. Here, we will look at three of these “tried and true” techniques from the perspective of psychology to better understand the rationale behind them.

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Evolution of Personality: Environmental Variation


Evolution of Personality: Environmental Variation

In last week’s blog post, I addressed the evolutionary genetics of personality and the genetic contributions to variation in personality traits. In this post, I would like to examine a different phenomenon, namely how the same genes can lead to different non-random variation in personality. If we want to understand how traits work as motivations, we need to understand how they evolved. Let’s briefly review some very simple models of how variation can link to genetics. In one model, variation in personality is due simply to people having different combinations of genes: People with gene A tend to be extroverts, while people with gene B tend to be introverts. This kind of model could represent what biologists call an obligate adaptation (a gene causes a trait in a fixed manner). However, people with the same genes may develop very different personalities if they are put in the same environment, through what is referred to as facultative adaptations (genes create mechanisms which develop in different ways in different environments, or different genes are turned on in different environments). Facultative adaptations are like “if-then” rules, as everyone tends to have the same genes; but if they develop in one environment, they create one characteristic (say, extraversion), and if they develop in another environment, they lead to another characteristic (say, introversion).

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Evolution of Personality: Genetic Variation


Evolution of Personality: Genetic Variation

Human personality differences may seem natural and obvious, but the individual differences that underlie personality pose an unobvious and deep mystery. Human psychology is a product of natural selection, a process which typically makes traits universal, and eliminates major genetic variation (e.g., human anatomy is so universal and consistent across people that one book, Gray’s Anatomy, describes us all). The variation inherent in the individual differences of personality, thus presents a paradox: How can a process which eliminates variation, lead to universal dimensions of variation across people?

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How Psychological Traits Drive Buying Decisions

How Psychological Traits Drive Buying Decisions

In last week’s blog post, I argued that personality traits can be conceived of as “chronic motivations”, and that such a conceptualization shows how they can be used to uncover the true motivations behind consumer behavior. This week I’m going to expand upon this theme by arguing that there are, at least, two general pathways for such motivations to be realized, and make some suggestions on how to tell the two apart.

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Personality Traits as Chronic Motivations Get Around the Confabulator

Personality Traits as Chronic Motivations Get Around the Confabulator

The object of study of personality psychology is primarily traits--patterns of emotional, attitudinal, and behavioral differences that tend to be stable over the lifespan and across situations, and that differ between individuals. One can conceptualize personality traits as chronic motivations, motivations that a person tends to have across their lifespan and across different situations. Conceptualizing personality traits as chronic motivations offers a novel way to study consumer decision-making and behavior.

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The Subjectivity of Focus Groups and Ink Blot Tests


The Subjectivity of Focus Groups and Ink Blot Tests

Companies need to understand how people see their products and what they want, so asking customers about this in a focus group seems like a great idea. Focus groups can provide a valuable form of qualitative research, giving companies insight into consumers’ beliefs, desires, and attitudes surrounding a product. However, while focus groups can provide some insight, the history of projective tests (aka ink blot tests) in psychology offer a cautionary tale on solely relying on this kind of self-reported qualitative data.

Beginning in the early 20th century psychologists and psychiatrists developed projective tests to diagnose mental disorders and gain access to patients’ unconscious beliefs and desires. These tests, based on Freud’s theory of projection, were thought to allow unconscious beliefs and desires to surface through their open-ended structure, which was believed to be less threatening to people. In a projective test, someone is shown a set of ambiguous or abstract images that can be interpreted in many ways (the most famous example is the Rorschach ink blots, commonly portrayed in psychological examinations in movies), and they are asked to talk about what they see and what the images make them think of. It was believed that people will project their subconscious thoughts (desires, beliefs, etc.) onto the image, thereby revealing hidden parts of their personality that could then be analyzed and interpreted by the psychiatrist administering the test.

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Focus Groups: Why People Behave Differently When They Are Being Watched

Imagine you have been tasked with increasing revenue for an “honor system” coffee donation in your office. A collection box has been placed next to the shiny new caffeine machine and everyone is told to donate at least 50 cents whenever they help themselves, and more if they feel inclined. While this may seem impossible (who’s going to pay more if they don’t have to?!) there’s a tried and true way of ensuring consistent payment without hiring a barista: stick subtle eyespots (images of eyes, or eye shaped designs) on the machine. In an elegant study by Bateson et. al. 2006, this potentially silly-sounding method led people to donate three times more to the pot than their coworkers who were exposed to a coffee machine without the eyespots. This study fits into a growing body of research trying to unravel exactly what effects implicit cues have on behavior. An implicit cue is simply something we are not aware of which can then have an effect on behavior (the output). For instance, the eyespots in the above example were an implicit cue which made the subjects feel as though they were being watched, thereby altering their behavior, leading them to act in a more altruistic manner. When marketing research firms conduct focus groups, dozens of implicit cues (for example. the neighborhood the site is in, the furniture in the room, how the other participants are dressed, etc.) may affect people’s behavior and responses. While many of these can be controlled, research suggests that the “feeling of being watched” can have far-reaching effects that bias the results of the focus group.

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Psychologists Agree: Life is ACTUALLY Like Riding a Bicycle

Psychologists Agree: Life is ACTUALLY Like Riding a Bicycle

When you first learn to ride a bike or drive a car, you must expend an absorbent amount of conscious effort to stay in control. You feel uneasy about your new behavior, you are vigilant and conscious of everything going on. It’s a very foreign behavior and because of this the brain is experiencing each and every bump and readjustment as a new experience. But then after a bit of riding, as if the brain has suddenly found the right program to run, you are off riding around with relative ease. The conscious effort to balance, grip the handlebar, remember where the brakes are, exert the right amount of pressure with each foot on the pedal, and even keep your eyes on the front tire and road all seem to fade away out of awareness. You just experienced the transformation of a conscious process into an automatic nonconscious process.

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How to Make Blog Posts More Sharable with Personality Traits

How to Make Blog Posts More Sharable with Personality Traits

In 2012, 68% of CMOs increased their budget for content marketing, a strategy that continues to grow in small and large businesses alike. Sharable, quality content is beneficial for both you, as a brand, and your readers - it’s informative to users, increases session lengths and generates traffic from shares. Blogs are like brands in the sense people are more likely to connect with content they can relate to. Often, as marketers, we’re only focusing on half of the equation (writing good content), when we should focus on the big picture: the readers. Personality traits are a measurable approach to gauge the likelihood of a specific audience to share content and can help drive more social engagement.

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Brand Affinity and Beer: Identifying with your Customers


Brand Affinity and Beer: Identifying with your Customers

Marketers are tasked with capturing the hearts of consumers in order to create loyal customers. One effective way to do this is leveraging brand affinity through self-identification, in other words, identifying your brand with qualities your current and potential customers strongly relate to. This method can be extremely powerful as long as brands are able to accurately idenfity with their customers. 

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Why Personality Matters for Marketers

Why Personality Matters for Marketers 

“The key traits that we strive to display [through consumerism] are the stable traits that differ most between individuals and that most strongly predict our social abilities and preferences...displaying such traits is the key ‘latent motive’ that marketers strive to comprehend,” TipTap advisor Geoffrey Miller, Spent, p.15.

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The Confabulator: What it is and Why CMOs Should Care

The Confabulator: What it is and Why CMOs Should Care

According to CASRO, $8.6 billion are spent each year in the United States on consumer marketing research using online or phone-based surveys that rely on explicit reports (what people say they want). One of many challenges marketers face in this area is understanding what people are truly interested in, parsing through the noise of what people say they want and getting at the signal of what people actually want. Years of psychological research provide insight into why these explicit reports tap into only a small percentage of what goes into a consumer's decision-making process.

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