Posted by: alisonheffernan | March 30, 2010

Marketing Psychology

I was originally thinking about doing something with sports since that is my true passion.  But because they have been such a huge part of my life, I decided to focus on something new that will perhaps is a new developing passion that I will continue to pursue for my life after college. This new developing passion focuses around psychology and its effects on marketing.  Through my marketing class this semester with Professor Traflet, I have started to recognize the great understanding and passion that I have for the material we discuss in class.  I have been particularly interested in psychological marketing and how marketers use different psychological methods to sway consumers. I want to research psychological marketing more in depth which will include interviewing and meeting with my marketing professor (Professor Traflet). I will find at least one or two bucknell alumni through bucknell’s helpful alumni base “B-link” who are in the field of marketing. I believe these people will be great resources not only because we will be able to relate with our college experiences, but also because they can guide me to what I will ideally want to do a few years down the road. I have already found a few interesting studies by professors at the University of Chicago, Stanford and Columbia that show the effects of certain psychological aspects on consumers product choice. For example one study found the theory of “left digit bias” in the reasoning of why prices are $2.99 instead of $3 (people pay most attention to the left most digit). I want to maybe try to develop new marketing strategies. I think that my Professor and a few people in the marketing field will be very helpful resources.

I believe it may be difficult finding Bucknell Alumni who will be in the ideal field of marketing (a higher position with more experience) who will be willing to share their experience etc. However I have had success in the past with Bucknell Alumni so hopefully this will not be as big an issue as I think.

I’m choosing marketing psychology over sports because I have dwelled too long on sports and I know they are my passion.  Since I believe marketing psychology is a new developing passion, I believe this will be most interesting and beneficial to do a project on.

I plan to contact the people I will be interviewing by April 5th. This way they will have time to respond and we can set up phone conservations to have within the week or so afterward. I plan to meet with my marketing professor by April 9th so she can offer some advice on her experiences and direct me in the right path. This is a fairly vague starts, but let me know if you guys have any pointers or tips!



  1. Mike Marquis (’96, I do believe) and Bob Gamgort (’84, maybe?) are professional marketers with impressive resumes. Both are really active alum, and I know they’re typically really willing to help fellow Bucknellians. Both have come back to campus semester after semester to speak to Prof. Sweeney’s marketing classes. If you’d like more info, or a contact to be in touch with them, just let me know 🙂

  2. This is an interesting topic. I do think that if you really wanted to you could kind of bring sports into it and discuss the marketing. Companies such as Gillette, Subway, Nike, and many others have used athletes to sell products. Furthermore, you could also go into the psyche of people buying tickets for sports games. You can look at different kind of pricing packages or quality of teams that determine how many people attend a game on average. If you are really looking to stay away from sports I would look into products that you have bought and think about their marketing strategy and how they have attracted you to their product.

  3. Sounds like a great way to pursue an emerging passion. I am wondering how you would plan on presenting your final project. I think you could really get creative with this presentation as it is focused on marketing which can be fun. You might want dive deeper into why this has become a passion of yours. It sounds like your paper could potentially end up become a research paper. I’d be interested to hear more about where you think this interest and passion might have come from (i.e. past experiences, certain skills, other passions etc.)

  4. Two issues come to my mind.

    One, how will marketing psychology change as other features of the network society are realized. Will communication technologies change the psychology of marketing? How might the relationships between consumer and producer change? What about a culture of mixing? The rise of new social movements and their attendant identities? What happens if you look over the Castells’ blue print essay and/or Duncan Watts’ book looking for how those could affect marketing psychology.

    Two, why are you passionate about marketing psychology? What is the creative activity at the core from which you can imagine a set of projects and activities that embody the HWE versus the PWE? Is it about being successful? What is success?

    I wonder if you would like to look at the Cluetrain Manifesto?

  5. The cluetrain manifesto is extremely interesting and I plan to use this in my final project as it predicts how businesses will be run on the internet in the future and how the internet will change. Linda thank you for those contacts I will definitely try to get a hold of them (I may ask you for some assistance). Chris that’s a really good idea tying in marketing and sports by examining companies like Nike, Adidas, etc and seeing how I could pursue a marketing job that incorporates sports as well.

  6. I finally decided that I want my final project to be finding my ideal type of job while incorporating my personality, different qualities, different interests, and different experiences. This will include interviewing Bucknell Alum and marketing professors in the management department. I believe it will end up incorporating business sports and marketing. It will also focus on why I arrive at the final job that I do–in terms of my personality and type of work ethic, priorities etc.

  7. This may be out in left field but could you present this to the class as a commercial or advertisement marketing you in your ideal job and creatively showing why you would make a good fit?

  8. yea thats a cool idea thanks!

  9. Alison, does that mean you are going to use the commercial as the final form?

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