In this interview, Daniel Codella reveals 7 of his top psychological triggers that impact B2B purchasing decisions and influence buyer behavior and how marketers can tap into these triggers to affect their bottom-line sales to increase revenues and most importantly, build long-term relationships with customers.
Bob : All right folks, this is Bob Tripathi of Digital Sparx Marketing and as you guys know I love to bring expert thought leaders in the digital marketing industry. And today I have a great guest and his name is Daniel. Daniel welcome.
Daniel : Thank you so much Bob. Thrilled to talk to you.
Bob : Yeah. Great. You know Dan what happened is I actually watched Daniel’s live presentation at one of the conferences and there are very few sessions in the conference. I actually sit and attend through the whole session probably ADD, entrepreneur or whatever you call it, right. But Daniel your presentation was one of them. So I thought I’ll just reach out and have you back and talk a little bit about it. So I know you are at Wrike and you are the senior content marketing manager there. But and you’re from the Bay Area. So can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.
Daniel : Sure. So my name is Daniel Codella. Everybody calls me Danny though and like you said I do content marketing for Wrike. In case you haven’t heard of Wrike, Wrike as a collaborative project management software. We help teams do more with less and collaborate better. Before Wrike actually led marketing for a design agency called ZURB.
And if you haven’t heard of ZURB you’ve definitely used products that they’ve designed their work probably touches a billion people every day. It’s incredible. And so that’s where I actually started to learn about these psychological triggers. You know, product designers are so in tune with the way we as humans take in information and ergonomics and all these other things and so that really kind of blew my mind during my time there. And so that’s kind of taking the best of those insights that I learned from ZURB and carrying over to what I’m doing at Wrike.
B2B Psychological Triggers
Bob : And with other clients. And as I said I’ve used Wrike and you know you will be for our teams great tools especially for marketing. But yeah I mean your presentation around the 7 psychological triggers, you know actually somebody was interviewing me at a conference a couple weeks back and they asked me this question. How does B2B different than B2C? which is a classic question. Right.
And I think one of the things that plays a lot especially in the B2B marketing is the psychological triggers because you are not able to close a deal so fast. You know there’s a longer sales cycle. So during this long game you have to put your best foot forward. So a lot of psychological triggers and things come into play. And I’ve seen that happen a lot more in B2B. So yeah, let’s start with your point number 1 in these psychological triggers. I think you have y points correct?
Danny : Yes exactly. You know before I go through them you brought up a really great point and so many marketers I’ve talked to they think that the B2B buyer is not emotionally invested. They think that that’s a very logical buying decision. And we have these buying committees and we have these long sales cycles, but there’s a really interesting study I encourage your viewers and your listeners to check it out it was done by Google and B2B Marketing and what they found was that the B2B buyer is actually more emotionally invested in their providers and vendors than B2C customer.
And the simple reason is there’s just there’s more on the line. I mean if I if I buy the wrong kind of shampoo you no big deal I wasted you know $8 or whatever but if I’m in charge of a four million dollar budget and I make the wrong decisions there’s there’s real consequences to that. So you B2B marketers you’ve got to pay attention to these triggers. So yeah let’s let’s go straight through them.
There’s 7 that I kind of picked out for today. The first one is faith in aesthetics. The way that things look really matter where we are visual creatures. And I don’t know if you ever read the book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell. He talks about the adaptive unconscious and how quickly our brains make decisions based on what we’re kind of seeing. And it’s a survival mechanism.
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You know, we’re always scanning our environments we’re looking at things and if anything seems kind of off it’s a dangerous signal, right. And so when it comes to our marketing the way that things look matter and any small visual inconsistencies can really kind of chip away at trust. And my favorite example of this is, I’m airing some dirty laundry here, but with Wrike we changed our logo around but I still to this day see some of our teammates using the old logo in the email signature and stuff and you think that’s not a big deal, it’s just a small thing, but you can imagine you know our customers getting one email with a new logo and email with the old one and not knowing who to trust and is one you know it’s a spoof email? It matters a lot.
And so as marketers we need to pay attention to every little detail. And people are actually getting more and more discerning just because there’s so many attempts to hack us and so many spoof emails going around. People are being much more vigilant about how things look and paying attention to every little detail because you have to these days. I mean I get probably five or six shady emails a day. I don’t know about you maybe even more.
Bob : Yeah no. I totally hear you. I mean you know like as marketers we are so detail oriented, right. Like you know that’s what happens like what you just said as a local example. Well in my business right now it would B2B digital marketing services company. So if we have two different logos and if we slip up the reaction from the client is if they’re not able to match their logo and styling and brand guide, what will they be able to do for us? Right. And it goes across many businesses. Yeah you’re right. Absolutely. Great point great point.
Danny : And I think as marketers, especially if we’re like the only marketer on the team or if we have a very small team there’s a lot of pressure to do things yourself and to maybe make your own images for your blog or your e-book and kind of not waste design’s time. But while that might kind of fill the short term need, if it’s not in line with our brand guidelines we’re really putting something out there that doesn’t look good and doesn’t match our brand we can really kind of do more harm than good.
Concentrate on Your Aesthetics – Minimalistic Design
Bob : Awesome. So I think the focus is put faith in aesthetics right?
Danny : Yes, I mean that prioritizes that use your design team, use your brand guidelines and you know every little bit matters. So sometimes we put more prioritization on the content itself but the way it looks matters. So that’s a big one.
Bob : I mean, especially with the whole Apple, John Yves, Steve Jobs industrial design changes and minimalist design change that we’re seeing in the world. The tough thing is less, right? Like nailing it down and then less is more. And I think you’re right marketers are still making that mistake so great. All right, what’s your point number 2?
Danny : Number 2 is request justification. This kind of may seem kind of obvious, but people are more likely to follow through on something if they know exactly why you want them to do it. And you know as marketers we make a lot of asks of people. We ask them for their contact information, their emails. We ask them to fill out contact forms, to turn in a coupon. We would be so much more successful if we told people exactly what’s going to happen, why we need it, when it’s going to happen what they’re going to get in return. And so you see a couple of brands that do this really well.
I recently encountered an ad from a pretzel company and they wanted you to download their app and to you know give your email address and write on the ad they say you know fill out your app you’ll get a free pretzel within 48 hours or something like that. So it’s it’s just a matter of being open and clear with people. I think that people are kind of getting sick of marketers just using their information without their consent or not being clear what’s happening with their data when they’re sending it. And so I think as marketers we can really win a lot of trust and participation if we can be very very clear about what we want people to do and why we want them to do it.
Bob : That’s great. That’s a greatpoint. We’ve seen this in B2B a lot. I think one is what they can expect. I think that’s sort of you’re trying to say that that’s what you’re saying. And the second is what do you want them to do. Right. We’ve seen the B2B sales cycle you have these leads that come in and then you have your SDR your AEs. They are calling this leads and one of the rules is tell them on the other side what you want them to do if you want to schedule a 30-minute demo of your platform or whatever it is. But have your ask because, you’re right. I mean there’s so much, tell me what to do. And I will do it on our wall and do it right. That’s one of the things and probably stems from you’ve got so much going on these days and is that why you think that is? Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.
Danny : Yeah, I think people these days appreciate clarity and honesty and they know it also too is doing what you say you’re gonna do and fulfilling that. I think one of the smoothest purchasing cycles I was a part of it was for some new software. They were very clear about when they were going to contact us, what they needed from us, what they were going to provide, who they believe would be speaking to, who they would need to speak to from us. I mean just very clearly laid out. And then they met those expectations. If they said that they were going to spend you know it would be a 10 minute call, It would be a 10 minute call. And throughout that whole journey they were building trust, building trust, building trust, and so eventually it was a no brainer to just move forward with them as a provider.
Social Proof and the Bandwagon Effect
Bob : Awesome awesome.This is a great spot and number 2 the guest you have find number three now?
Danny : Number 3 is actually combining two here and that’s social proof and the bandwagon effect. And so, as humans we look to other humans for validations for our actions, especially if it’s not something we’re very familiar with. Maybe you’ve been new on the job somewhere or even in a new school or new college, you kind of observe. First you see what everyone else is doing and then that kind of sets the tone for what you’re gonna do. And so it’s critically important to use that in our marketing.
Brands do this every day with their list of logos on their landing page with all the other companies that are using their product.
That’s social proof. And we see for examples with AT&T or GM that uses that company’s product well. Then I think, well if it’s good enough for GM it’s going to be good enough for my company. And then there’s also the bandwagon effect. We’re pack animals we want to be where everyone else is. We don’t want to be the odd man out.
So if you can demonstrate that you have a very popular product and you can do it in even in subtle ways. I mean even just on your landing page having pictures of lots of people using your product or your service or if you can kind of demonstrate the sheer volume of clients or customers you have, that’s bandwagon effect We want to be part of where the momentum is happening.
Bob : Right. And then I think these days everyone has a lot going on too.But you know I think probably I saw on your slide, it’s classic marketing that’s been going on from hundreds and thousands of years where you are at a retail location and you see a hundred people in that store and you want to go in the store and there is a store right next door to it and there’s no one there and even though that’s a better store, you’re not going to go in and it’s the whole crowd effect right. I mean that’s what you’re referring to.
Danny : There’s a hotel downtown in San Jose here that they hire people to park their Ferraris and Lamborghinis out front because they know it’s going to attract attention. People want to be where the action is happening and so they actually hire people to hang out front. You know well-dressed people in their fancy cars. And it draws a crowd. You know it’s like you said, it’s everywhere. It’s the same reason why the barista at my corner coffee shop fills the tip jar with coins first because that makes me think, wow people are contributing; this is what I should be doing. So those two triggers kind of work in tandem. You know, social proof and the bandwagon effect. The only time when it’s not what you would think, when you want to be a part of the smaller group, is if the small group has more authority or influence and that’s more exclusive and we want to be a part of the small group.
Bob : Nice. So the niche part of it like the whole old Windows versus Apple kind of thing. All right great. Great. So social proof and I would just call it formal so yeah right next one.
Danny : Cool the next one. Number 4 is serial positioning. And this one’s really interesting and basically is when we hear information in a sequence, it’s easier for us to remember what we hear first and last. And what we hear first that usually gets committed to our long term memory. That’s called the primacy effect and that’s because if it’s a sequence of information, the first thing said usually has some sort of influence or impact over the rest. So we commit that information to our long-term memory and then things that are said last that’s from what’s called the recency effect.
And that is stored in our short-term memory. And so you might have heard we can store about 7 things in our short term memory. So in the middle there that’s really hard for humans to remember. And so the way a B2B marketers could use this is in whatever you’re creating, if it’s a press release, an article, think about that. Things that are first and last are going to be easier for people to remember. So you to put the most important details first and last.
And it applies to other things too like maybe you’re buying advertising slots like a podcast or a television show. You want your ads to be first or last. You can apply it that way or even at a speaking gig at a conference or something, if you can get first or last spot. In the middle, it’s harder.
Bob : Right. Right.. Yeah, that’s a great point and I love it how you put it on the content side of it and probably a great application that you see right off the bat as a blogger writing. I mean put I’m guessing what this is what you do is put the best in the summary at the end. Right.
Danny : Yeah. It’s not natural because we want to be storytellers as marketers and sometimes we want to carry people through this journey and then have the big reveal at the end. But you know now people have very little time. And so want the conclusion first. What do you want them to know first and then you can go back and weave your storytelling. And that doesn’t feel natural at first. We want to kind of save the big announcement or whatever it is. But trust me, if you can open with what’s the point and then get into the details people actually appreciate that much more.
Bob : Yeah that’s great. I totally hear you. I think people scan and read less right now.
Bob : I want to go to number 5.
Danny : I believe so. All right. Number 5 is the availability cascade. Basically the more we hear something the more we’re inclined to believe it. And you know the brands that do this really really well are able to take the essence of their messaging. And they get very very particular about the wording and then they use those exact phrases all over the place and they don’t ever deviate and they drill these messages into our minds just because they’re everywhere.
Bob : So say it 6 times and it becomes a truth.
Danny : Oh absolutely. And you know you look at a brand like Apple and they’re so clear. You know it’s the best screen on a mobile phone and it’s the fastest chip and whatever and they use these so often and they use it in their TV spots and their print ads and they’re they’re web ads. So now anytime a new phone comes out it’s you know it’s the Samsung Galaxy versus the iPhone or it’s the you know the windows phone versus iPhone. They’ve become the de facto leader. Right. They love that. Right. I mean they want to be what everyone else has to measure up to.
Bob : So how would you put it and just drilling down it’s a great find. So how would you do it? Let’s let’s say you’re creating an app or your sales team’s data sheet, for example a product sheet. How would you see that or would like to repeat the words?
Danny : I think you know a lot of marketers they may understand what their key differentiators are their hot features, but they may actually use different language every time, a different word choice. Thinking about that doesn’t matter but it matters a lot. And so if you can get your team in alignment around this is how we describe this feature. This is the is the exact wording you are to use and then don’t be embarrassed or shy about consistently using it. You will see more impact because people they pay a lot less attention to our marketing than we think they do. We think I can’t use that same phrase over and over again. And the truth is people scan. They’re busy they’re distracted and so spend time to hammer that message home and it will start to resonate with people.
Bob : Nice. So say a few times it becomes the truth. And I think that is like things that people will retain and they would know Oh yeah this company is this, right.
Danny : Yeah. And then if they’re ever asked about you know what’s the fastest phone again. What have I heard. Oh yeah. Apple fastest. Oh yeah, Apple is the fastest phone. You know it’s kind of getting in their minds and if you’re very concise with your wording it’s gonna be much easier for them to remember when the time comes.
Bob : So is any words you guys say at Wrike?
Danny : You know I think that we were getting much better at being very consistent about even what we call ourselves. You know what we do we is make a collaborative work management platform. We used to say project management a whole lot or you know we’re good productivity software. Now we’re collaborative work management. That’s what we do.
Bob : And then you see it a few times and then that’s how people will end up describing you as well. Great point. Love it. Love it. Love it. What’s the next one.
Danny : We’re burning through this list. I love it. Number6. It’s actually one of the most powerful of all human emotions and that is curiosity. You know I think curiosity is kind of underestimated by marketers but it’s extremely powerful and even B2B brands can use curiosity really effectively. But it’s all about balance. So I’ve talked to a lot of marketers and some marketers think that to use curiosity in their ad campaigns they just have to say something unexpected. Or strange. That’s not curiosity. Curiosity is really giving people just enough information that they want to learn more but not too much that they feel that they have they have a good understanding already. So it’s about balance. And so there’s a slide that I use in the presentation.
I saw a blog once that said that the headline was how your blog is like a 400 pound cupcake. I guess that’s mildly curiosity arousing, but it’s not telling me anything. So what they’re not doing is they’re not achieving that balance. They have to give you something that I know that there’s going to be some context and relevance for me. Otherwise I’ll never read that article.
Bob : Yeah. Then you’re also segmenting it out ,right. It’s a statement like that because maybe you are a cupcake aficionado but maybe I’m not. Know you know what I mean. So yeah totally.
Danny : So you know that’s all with our subject lines with our headers with our talk titles, whatever it is you know are slogans or taglines. You have to give people just enough information to where they realize that it’s relevant to them and that it’s gonna be worth their time to go investigate. But you don’t want to go overboard and give away everything because then people are busy they’re going to say, Oh I already know what that’s about. I don’t need to investigate further.
Bob : No, that’s awesome. I mean I love the whole space of movie marketing. If you see movies when they’re coming out with the teasers are so critical. You see some studios and I don’t know how deep you looked into it, but if you see some studios they come out with a teaser and what they do is they show you the whole movie, little clippings, but you saw that whole trailer. So you know I don’t want to go and watch it.
But on the other hand, you just put the best of your teaser in and pulls you in. I think movies do a great job the more you market marketers and yeah you’re right. Don’t tell the whole story. I also find a lot of our clients people I’ve worked with in the past, too. You have this thing rightly especially the SaaS world every feature is your baby and you work so hard to get that feature out. So you want to list out every feature of yours on a sales sheet or whatever that marketing or sales collateral is. And that’s not the best way to go about it. Right. Would you agree?
Danny : Absolutely. You know I’ve actually seen a rising trend of not even putting screenshots. I mean that that might sound kind of counterintuitive but I’ve seen it done successfully or maybe even like stylized graphics of your interface versus the interface itself. You know there’s gonna be some people that say you know that’s not going to work. And I think it is all about experimentation. But I do agree with you that you have to leave a little mystery and you have to leave something to where people are going to be curious to start a trial to contact your team. You can’t just give it all away…
Bob : Right. Awesome. Great point. Something that I wholeheartedly agree and I fight, rather argue with my clients a lot on this you know. Don’t throw the whole thing away. All right what’s next?
Label your customers
Danny : All right. We are at the last one and this one is labeling. Iin my research this was actually the most surprising to me because we want to be unique as humans, we want to be different. We want to think that we’re unlike anyone else, but people actually enjoy being labeled as long as the label is positive and they will actually change their behavior to better live up to or exemplify the label. And so they did this really interesting study. They took just a sampling of the public and they had one group that they labeled politically active. And they found that those people, I mean this is all just people off the street. Those people were 15% more likely to vote. And so as marketers you can label your customers or by the qualities that you want them to have and they will actually live up to your expectations.
There’s some really interesting research done with customers who were labeled gold or preferred and spend more money just because they’re labeled that. That’s not even because they spend money they were labeled gold and preferred. Now just take a random sampling of your customers and give them those labels and they actually change their behavior. And so you know at Wrike, we use labels for our clients. Our customers are high-performing, industry leading, cutting edge. And we actually find that they are more likely to participate in co-marketing activities with us they’re more likely to try new features and they’re more likely to take advantage of our webinars and so they want to live up to that expectation that we have of them. And so actually it’s great for those that aren’t our customers because they see our customers doing these amazing things they want to live up to that.
Bob : But using that label actually helps our existing customers and clients really be the best that they can be and be these industry-leading, cutting-edge companies to actually use the marketing, especially with the psychological trigger that you just mentioned, you could actually train your prospects your current customers too, to behave the way you want them to behave is done smartly.
Danny : Yeah. You know that we see for example, say you’re trying to attack young hip, clients or maybe you’re trying to attract family people to families and people that travel a lot. You use that type of language when describing your customers or your users and you’ll start attracting that and it’s amazing the lengths that brands will go to.
I just read this example I thought it was so hilarious. These top quality top-tier fashion houses were sending a bunch of free purses and clothing to some of these stars of The Jersey Shore television show, but not their own clothes. They were sending their competitor’s clothes, literally thousands of dollars of free clothes. You know why they are doing it? Because they didn’t want the Jersey Shore cast to wear their garments because they felt that it would be a bad fit. They didn’t want to attract a certain type of clientele.
They were mailing these people you know thousands of dollars of purses by all of the other brands. So they realize how important it is to be protective over who your customer is. And they also understand how quickly that can go a direction that you may not want.
Bob : All right. That was beautiful. Yeah. That was amazing. I think identification in some shape or form that you mentioned and the trainability of your customers like in the to B2B customer. So it’s so popular right. Well you bring them in and then I think people chip in and are the most vocal. I think we have found and everyone has found that when you put your top customers in a counsel you retain them for a longer period of time as well. I think that’s where you are getting at, too. Absolutely. This is great. So let’s run down the seven points on psychological triggers. What is the first one.
Summing up the 7 Psychological Triggers
1.Faith in aesthetics, the way that things look matter to request justification.
2. Tell people what you want them to do why you want them to do it and they’re more likely to do it.
3. Social proof and the bandwagon effect. Do whatever you can to make your product or service seem popular. And also try to get people with influence using your product because that will encourage more people to try
4. Serial positioning. The order in which people get information really matters. So put the most important details at the beginning and the end.
5. The availability cascade. The more we hear something the more likely we are to believe it. So be very particular about those key messages and phrases and ideas.
6 Curiosity give people just enough information that they want to go find out more. But not too much to where they already feel kind of satiated with what they know.
7 Labeling. Label your customers with the traits you want them to have and they will live up to your expectations.
Speaker : This is great. Daniel. Thank you for doing this quick thing. But yeah, I love it. Is there anything that you want to speak on and I didn’t ask you about or any thoughts or rants? Go for it.
Danny : Yeah, you know. The biggest thing to me is I have a very simple marketing philosophy and that’s just experiment til you find what works and then keep doing more of that. And so I encourage all marketers to just consistently experiment and keep pushing yourself to try new things because tactics have a half life and so we need to constantly be pushing to find those new tactics and strategies that we can use to connect with people. So have a growth mindset and keep experimenting.
Bob : And be curious, right?
Danny : Absolutely that’s most important. You’re right.
Bob : Awesome. This is great. Guys if you want to reach out to Daniel I know linked in and is that the best way to reach out to you?
Danny : Yeah LinkedIn is great. I also use Twitter a whole lot. My hit Twitter handle is at MrCodella.
Danny : At Mystic Light which is spelled c o d e l l a look this is great.
Bob : Thank you Daniel again you know for spending this time and delighting us and sharing your insights about psychological triggers. Thank you for doing good work and great to have you. Talk soon.
Thank you so much Bob.
Bob : All right. Thank you folks. This was great. And I will come back and talk to you more in future episodes. This is Bob at DigitalSparxMarketing.com. Thank you.