Applying the psychology of Instant Gratification in your Marketing

Humans, by nature, are not patient creatures. We have to be taught, for years, to wait for things. By nature, we want them now. You hear children screaming in stores not because they want to wait three weeks to get that toy, they want it now! Telling them to wait for a few weeks doesn’t stop the screaming. As adults, we learn to to wait, to be patient, to stop crying in public. However, whenever we do immediately get something for nothing, it is very gratifying. That feeling of instant gratification is a powerful thing and should be a strategy implemented in your marketing efforts.

What is instant gratification?

Instant gratification means that you get what you want without any delay. Say a person is craving chocolate and they have to drive to the store to fill that craving. However, before doing so, they remember they have one chocolate bar left in the cupboard. That feeling of joy without effort is instant gratification. Waiting is difficult. It is what we have been taught to do, but it feels really good when a person does not have to wait at all. Humans are built on this principle. We act upon the “pleasure principle”. In Freudian psychology, the pleasure principle is the instinctual seeking of pleasure and avoiding of pain in order to satisfy biological and psychological needs. It is the driving force compelling us to gratify our wants and needs. When we don’t get that gratification, we are filled with angst and tension. Without it, well, let’s just say we wouldn’t get much accomplished.

Instant gratification in modern society

In today’s world, instant gratification can be achieved in many circumstances. With all our electronic devices, social media’s instant updates to videos, photos and blog comments we receive instant feedback on almost everything we do. This is a good thing, however it has led to us losing our patience once again. When we post a video on Facebook, we look instantly to see who likes it. We are gratified when it gets a good response and filled with tension when it is not. There is very little patience required anymore. Everyone today has the ability to communicate directly with a fairly large audience without having to wait at all. Even with business, we expect overnight sensations to fuel and grow companies. We expect a video or blogpost to go viral overnight and launch a brand name in a short period of time with little work. Customers expect the same quick response with their favorite businesses.

How instant gratification can be applied to your marketing efforts

Knowing the psychology of humans and their desire for instant gratification, you can now apply this to your marketing plan. Don’t make your customers wait. Give them something now. They love to see an easy way to get something immediately. For example, “Sign-up to our loyalty program today – get a FREE sandwich”. That statement is easy to understand. They have an action to take and a reward to receive, immediately. The immediate action is what is important. If you offer a customer something of worth to them, they remember that feeling for a long time. Loyalty programs are a great way to give your customers the feeling of instant gratification now and in the future.  You gain the ability to communicate and engage directly with your customers once they sign-up to your digital loyalty program. Loyalty punch cards are a thing of the past. They don’t allow you to communicate, engage or provide any sort of instant gratification as a digital loyalty program will.

Text messaging is one of the easiest ways to provide instant gratification to your customers. Almost everyone has a text-capable phone these days and the younger generation texts almost constantly. So use this platform. It isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.  With TL Connects’ loyalty program, you can send text messages to all your customers at once to offer them a great deal, new product or menu item or some other great incentive to come back to your shop.  This not only gives your customers that wonderful feeling of gratification, it also brings customers back to you.

Chat and phone support is also important for businesses to implement. Don’t make your customers wait for you call them back. Reply swiftly to any comment or suggestion, whether it be negative or positive. An instant rebuttal to a negative Facebook comment is crucial to maintaining a good brand image and even the negative poster will appreciate a quick response. The same applies to emails, tweets and any other method your customers use.

Be quick. Be instant. Your customers expect it and long for it.

If you are interested in setting up a customer engagement platform, including a digital punch card program, schedule a demo today!

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