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How does marketing work?

How does marketing work?

When we are talking about sales or attracting consumers, marketing becomes the most important element of these processes. By itself, marketing as old as civilization is. From ancient Greece to the present day, people were doing marketing, in any form of its manifestation.

The answer to the question of how marketing works lies in the very idea of marketing. At the fundamental of marketing is the idea of reflection, comparison of one idea from another idea. Marketing works because through the reflection in a person there is desire and energy, which leads to the motivation to buy goods or services. Marketing is all about the creation of the value based on intangible assets.

How does marketing work
How does marketing work

People paying more than your brand worth, because they value something in addition to the product itself. Does “value” sound too rational for you? It might be, but that’s the clever bit about marketing. Marketers creating value, and no one recognizes it. People find it inspiring, interesting, persuasive or sharing. Maybe a better word is rewarding. Marketers create a rewarding experience that encourages people to pay more for the product. 

The main principles of how actually marketing works and how you can use it 

Marketing and psychology have been and continue to go hand in hand. Not understanding the principles that a person follows in making their decisions, it is difficult to sell him anything. In the modern world, marketing with all its varieties is increasingly based on the achievements of psychologists, the results of their research and various calculations that illuminate the mechanics of human interaction with the surrounding reality. Below provided advanced solutions to how marketing works on human behavior, we have collected main principles that guide people in responding to external stimuli and making decisions. These principles lie in the field of psychology and work more likely at the unconscious level. A modern online store, developing its success just taking its first steps, cannot do without marketing. As noted above marketing work is closely related to psychology. The principles below are not universal; there are exceptions to each rule. However, for most people they are applicable.


Everything is simple here: when someone does something for you, you want to do something for that someone. Of course, the intentions of both parties must be sincere and selfless. In marketing, the principle of reciprocity is used in almost pure form. Gratuities and amenities that show your special attitude to the client, not necessarily something expensive or even measured in money, could be something that contributes to the development of word of mouth and increase loyalty. A reciprocal bonus can be expedited delivery, an additional trifle in the order, a greeting card, consultations on the site and so on. 


The obligations assumed entail owing. And when a person feels obliged, it is more difficult for him to refuse. The obligation is a good way to deal with falling customers. Of course, it is better to cultivate loyalty with the help of the already mentioned reciprocity, but the principle of obligations should not be discounted either. Think about how can you attract a client so that he feels obliged. A sudden gift? A subscription to receive new products? Transfer to an “elite” group?.


Authoritative personalities have always existed, and there is more trust in them than everyone else. The opinion of authoritative people is rarely questioned. Put an effort to become an authority, an expert in a topic close to your products or services, and people will start to reach you out by themselves, finding your reports, ratings, reviews, and answers to questions in search results. That’s one of the ways how exactly marketing works. Authority is converted into trust, and trust is converted into sales.

Herd feeling

It’s easier for a person to join an existing group than to do something alone. Therefore, the dance floor begins to be actively filled when several people are already dancing on it. Herd’s feeling is well expressed by the phrase “me too”. How marketing works here? Place buttons and counters of social networks, data of the number of product purchases, the number of reviews and page views. A lot of what can be counted can arouse the herd feeling.


Affection is another principle of how marketing works. When a person likes something, he feels affection, which leads to a higher probability to buy or sign up for a particular product or service. Everything is simple: focus on your target audience, create around them your marketing funnel. Do not try to please everyone, work only with those people who really can become your potential customers.


When supply is limited, demand increases (if the offered product is generally in any way in demand, of course). At the same time, to maximize the effect, the deficit should be positioned in a strictly defined way: there were a lot of goods, but now there is a little left, so hurry up and get it right now. If you initially declare that just a few instances were delivered to the warehouse, the effect will be worse. The deficit is a very powerful tool that allows you to get rid of leavings, and increase sales in general. Estimate what goods do not diverge and try to create an atmosphere of deficit around them. 


Our short-term memory is very limited, and most people can memorize no more than seven elements of information at a time. Based on this, people prefer to combine similar information into thematic groups. For example, before going to the store, it is better to create a list of thematic categories (cereals, meat, vegetables, sweets, etc.). It will be easier to navigate if you group blog entries by topics, and on a landing page by bulletins. Besides, in the text, it is very helpful to use various lists, tables, diagrams. This will not only increase the readability of the materials but also leave a kind of shape in the memory of visitors.

The illusion of novelty

The illusion of novelty has an interesting effect. This principle operates as follows: you notice some object/phenomenon, consciously register this fact, and then you begin to notice this object/phenomenon everywhere. At the same time, the item/phenomenon itself may be a novelty only for you. Many of the young parents will surely recall an interesting fact: as soon as the family prepares to have a child, the world around it is filled with pregnant women. Naturally, this does not mean that there are more of them, just future parents begin to notice the ladies in position. This is the effect of the illusion of novelty. To use the illusion of novelty, you should practice multi-channel marketing. So you will reach a wider audience, and those for whom your message will be something new will begin to notice it in other of your channels. And the more often you catch the eye of potential customers, the better result you will get.

Evolution of marketing and concepts of its work

To understand how does marketing works need to understand the causes and prerequisites for the emergence of marketing helps to form the right attitude to this process. Marketing arose with the birth of the market. The formation of crafts, the emergence of demand for goods, the development of trade relations led to the need for methods that stimulate trade, help to talk about a product and sell a product. Marketing has always been a science that has helped to match market needs with production capabilities. There are many theories about where marketing first appeared. It doesn’t matter whether he appeared for the first time in ancient Greece or Japan, more important the fact that marketing helped sellers understand the market and sell goods with the maximum benefit for the business.

Concept of production improving 

The evolution of marketing and understanding of how it works begins with the concept of improving production. It is the oldest marketing concept, but it remains effective for markets with low levels of competition. The production concept of marketing management believes that consumers will choose the product that meets two criteria: widespread in the market and attractive retail prices. Accordingly, the market leader will be the manufacturer who succeeds in building a mass distribution of its goods, setting the most attractive price for the product and at the same time remaining in the black. Therefore, for this marketing concept, the emphasis is on high productivity, product uniformity and low cost. Accordingly, the main functions of the marketing department at this stage of the evolution of the marketing concept are:

  • Productivity increases;
  • Costs reduction of production and distribution goods (which is partly possible with maximum product uniformity);
  • Setting a favorable price for the product;
  • Ensuring maximum product distribution.
Build a great marketing strategy
Build a great marketing strategy

Concept of product improving

The second step in the development of marketing is the concept of product improvement or product marketing concept. This concept of marketing works only with large-scale distribution and promotion of goods. However, it often leads to excessive product improvement, an excessive increase in the cost of goods for the client, and a decrease in demand for goods. The product marketing management concept believes that consumers choose the highest quality product on the market, offering the best performance and efficiency. The concept is based on a complete understanding of the consumer and absolute innovation, which requires high investment in research and development. The functions of how marketing works at this stage of evolution are:

  • A detailed study of the needs of the audience
  • Creating the perfect product
  • Constant study of new technologies and product improvement

Focus on product marketing 

The next stage of the evolution of marketing is the transition to sales goods. In the mid 19th century, marketing was based on “hard sales” technologies. Such a marketing technique does not take into account the long-term aspect of the company’s development, therefore the goal of “sell at any price” leads to deliberate fraud of the client and refusal from repeat purchases. The essence of the marketing theory is the following statement: the consumer will choose the product that will be sold to him in the best way. So the main functions of the marketing department at this stage of development are:

  • Focus on sales support
  • The maximum incentive for product trial purchase
  • Stock reduction programs

Consumer concept

A most important stage in the development of marketing theory is the birth of a traditional marketing concept, often also called the marketing management concept. The concept of traditional marketing arose in the 1950s and became the first customer-centric approach. This marketing model is still used by many modern companies and works like that: the consumer will choose the product that best solves his needs for the product. The above statement means that any company can ensure long-term success in the market if it can understand the key needs of customers and satisfy these needs at all. The functions of the marketing department at the stage of the client-oriented approach are:

  • The concentration of efforts on study consumer behavior, on understanding the real needs of the audience;
  • Creating higher product value compared to competitors;
  • Creating a long-term competitive advantage.

The concept of social-ethical marketing

The most modern concept of marketing activity is the theory of social and ethical marketing or holistic marketing. The concept arose at the beginning of the 21st century with the increasing popularization of the need to care for the environment, limited natural resources and the development of new standards of ethics and interaction in society. The main essence of how this concept of marketing works:

  • The consumer will choose the product that best suits his needs and at the same time improves the well-being of the whole society;
  • The company becomes successful in the market that recognizes the importance of close cooperation with all intermediaries involved in the development and sale of its goods.

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