Do you think you are immune to marketing strategies because you work in this sector? Do you think you know everything about the methods used by advertisers, content marketers and social media managers, which makes you more difficult to convince?
Impossible ! Cognitive biases are so entrenched in the world of marketing that you are surely receptive to one of them.
Cognitive bias characterizes how the context and framing of information influence consumer judgment and decision-making. It leads to a decision that deviates from rational objectivity.
Knowing this psychological process is essential for marketers who want to optimize their content, campaigns and sales funnels .
We reveal the top 20 effective cognitive biases to boost your conversion rate!

1. The fad

If there is one technique that works with consumers, it is the fashion effect. When everyone adopts a product, your prospects are also more likely to buy it. It is, in part, on this bias that influence marketing is based .

2. Groupthink

As a human, the need to belong is very strong. By nature, the fad can be made even more famous with the groupthink: “  if all my friends are using it, I have to buy it too!”  “.
In marketing, this bias is exploited with customer testimonials or the use of influencers.

3. Empathy

Prince of Lu

Emotions play an important role in consumer decision making. For advertisements, marketers put into action heroes who manage to overcome difficulties thanks to a product/service.
Through empathy, the consumer identifies with the hero and decides that this product is what he needs.

4. The Barnum Effect

Barnum effect and horoscope

The Barnum effect occurs when a consumer believes that a broad description applies specifically to them. The example of horoscopes remains the best illustration of this cognitive bias.
In marketing , it’s about finding a value proposition that will resonate with your audience, at large.

5. Free spirit

Even if fad and groupthink remain a reality, some consumers like to go against the current.
If the profile of your audience has a rebellious character, distinguishing oneself from the effects of fashion is a particularly formidable cognitive bias!

6. The framing effect


The framing effect refers to the art of presenting your product or service. For example, you can transform certain criticisms, made against your brand, into strength. It’s best to use humor or a play on words to turn a flaw into a positive.
In marketing, framing is often used in a statistical version to influence consumer perception. When you say: “85% of users would recommend our product to their relatives”, prospects forget that 15% of users would not recommend your brand!

7. The principle of authority

toothpaste advertising

This cognitive bias describes the tendency of consumers to consider the opinion of an authority figure. As soon as a product is supported by a doctor, a star or a recognized expert, it immediately seems more qualitative.

Have you noticed that toothpaste tubes are often recommended by dentists in advertisements?

8. Abundance of choice

Abundance of choice is all about presenting the consumer with a lot of information. In the end, the latter finds himself choosing the simplest and sometimes the least effective option.
Understanding this cognitive bias helps to optimize your marketing campaigns: for them to be effective, avoid overwhelming your prospects with too much data and too much choice.
Make it easier for them to think by offering limited options, according to their needs.

9. Fear of losing or missing out

exceptional promotion

The fear of losing or missing out is based on strong emotional reactions. Customers don’t want to miss an opportunity to buy a limited edition product or take advantage of a great deal.
To use this cognitive bias, brands often play on urgency and exceptional promotions .

10. Scarcity Effect

limited edition

Here, the consumer attaches more importance to a rare product than to another, available in abundance. A “limited edition” product will sell more easily and quickly.

11. The sense of urgency

flash sales

The feeling of urgency implies that the consumer must quickly choose an exceptional offer.
The objective is to prevent the potential customer from thinking too much and to favor the “coup de coeur” to the detriment of a rational reflection.

12. Hobson’s Choice Effect +1

Consumers are more likely to make up their minds when given a choice between two options.
That’s what the effect of Hobson’s +1 choice is all about.

13. Social influence

From a marketing perspective, social influence is a way to show customers that people who look like them are using and liking a product or service.
Influencer marketing relies on this cognitive bias, especially when choosing ambassador profiles .

14. Multipurpose Needs

Consumers tend to pay more for products/services with multiple features. This, regardless of their usefulness or compatibility with their needs.

15. The visual cue principle


This cognitive bias is often used in web design. In order to focus the attention of a prospect, we use an image or an icon.

A % to announce a promotion, an arrow to draw attention to a specific product, or a star to show best sellers.

The goal is to direct the visitor’s attention.

16. Middle Preference

Faced with several products lined up, consumers often prefer the one in the middle. There’s no straining to look at it, unlike those above, below, or next to it.
If you want to promote a specific product, consider placing it in the middle of your page.

17. The Restraint of the New

Consumers place more importance on new information.

The last opinion posted on a product will have more impact than the old ones.

18. Need for additional information

product description

This cognitive bias characterizes our tendency to seek information, even if it does not affect the decision to purchase.
Marketers use it to flood consumers with information about a product or need.

19. Familiarity bias

Content marketing and social networks rely heavily on this cognitive bias! The latter explains that consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that they often hear about. The more familiar a company or product is, the more weight it will have when making a purchase decision.

20. Humor

Monoprix marketing

If you can make a consumer laugh, they will remember you. Humor creates an element of surprise in marketing and distracts the brain from the importance of a buying decision.
Knowing the cognitive biases that work on your audience makes it possible to adapt your marketing campaigns, content and even the design of your website. What are you waiting for to test these different biases on your prospects?

5/5 - (3 votes)

About the Author

SAKHRI Mohamed

Founder & Editor

Passionate about the web, new technologies and IT, I share on tutorials, tips, advice, online tools and software for Windows, Mac and Linux.

View All Articles