The Science Behind Successful Digital Marketing Campaigns (Part 1)

We explore the science behind increasing conversion in your marketing campaigns using principles from psychology and behavioural science.

What are the ingredients for a successful digital marketing campaign? 

You might think of the beautiful typography, gorgeous art, and great design in the ads that fill up your feed. While it is common to associate marketing as an art form, effective marketing is more science than art. Behavioral science now drives every successful marketing campaign. It is not a coincidence that there’s a growing interest in the field of behavioral science and the increased popularity of authors such as Dan Ariely, Daniel Kahneman, and Robert Cialdini, especially in recent years. 

Behavioral science now leads the way for effective marketing as it gives us insight into fundamental human behaviors such as decision making and buyer behavior. Successful marketing is about knowing the consumer. It means tapping into the consumers’ needs, desires, and motivations to act.


At BRICKS AND CLICKS, we’ve run hundreds of campaigns over the years for our clients. For each campaign, who we reach out to are significantly different and specific. Each campaign targets different groups that differ based on demographics, lifestyles, and preferences.

However, we observed that the consumers shared the same set of ‘drivers’ in their decision-making process. It turns out that people are very similar in how they are wired. 

In this blog series, we will show you how we have utilized these behavioral science principles in our digital marketing campaigns with proven results. 


The Paradox of Choice

Go to any supermarket today, you will likely find dozens of brands of toothpaste, more than a handful of brands for peanut butter, and likely hundreds of choices for cereals. This highlights that we live in an age where we have more choices than ever before.  Not only are consumers bombarded with information on the internet and in social media, but they are also overwhelmed with choices. 

The paradox of choice refers to how our brains work when encountered with choices. Having an abundance of choices or options will put our brains through a complex decision-making process and eventually lead to an increase in anxiety and indecision. Consumers end up with analysis paralysis, where overthinking leads to no decision at all. 

To encourage decision rather than indecision, we applied the ‘less is more’ approach when we embarked on a lead generation campaign for one of our clients. Rather than promoting all of the services our client offers, we narrowed it down to the 3 best-selling services and have them featured on our ads as well as on the landing page.

At the end of our campaign, we observed that this approach of reducing options for consumers has led to a double-digit conversion rate for the client. 

Point: When helping consumers make decisions, use the ‘less is more’ approach


Fear of Missing Out (FOMO)

Fear of missing out (FOMO) refers to anxiety or motivation consumers feel when they want to belong to some group, event, or even a moment that others are posting about. Fear of missing out is also defined as the fear of regret. 

For one of our clients, we needed to promote awareness and drive foot traffic to a handful of offline sales events. To maximise the turnout for these events, we applied the FOMO principle in our marketing campaigns, specifically to our ad copies as well as our visuals. 

In all these campaigns, we observed that highlighting the opportunity cost of forgoing the event and showcasing the number of people who were at the events was enough to generate a steady stream of customers throughout the event duration.


Point: Show what people are missing out on to generate interest.


Call To Action (CTA)

Call to Action, or CTA, are copy or design elements that are used to encourage action on the part of the consumer. 

What makes a CTA effective is helping people know what to do next. It is because our minds are wired in a way that we have expectations, anticipations, curiosity, and a sense of reward. 

We applied this science to a campaign we ran for one of our clients intending to build a customer database. 

In our creatives for the campaign, we made sure that we used: 

  • Bold colours and fonts 
  • Catchy copy that increases curiosity and the promise of reward
  • Eye-catching elements with the abundant use of fried chicken in the visual
  • Action-based verbs (ie. sign up now) in the CTA button
  • Movement, in this case a hover effect, to highlight the CTA button


As a result of applying these principles to the campaign, we successfully grew the customer database to thousands in just a matter of months with a low acquisition cost.

Point: Make the action you want consumers to take obvious.



Let’s recap the 3 main points and the relevant questions to ask: 

  1. The Paradox of Choice – Are the choice of offerings making it easier for consumers? 
  2. Fear of Missing Out – Do your ads trigger a fear of missing out?
  3. Call to action – Are your next actions obvious?

If this blog has been helpful, look out for part 2 in this series that will explore the science behind social proofing, framing effects & information gap. 

Do you need help to maximise the effectiveness of your paid advertising? BRICKS AND CLICKS help you deliver results on your marketing campaigns.

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