This psychological trick earns Byron Shire Council thousands of dollars on the first Sunday of every month…
Without speaking, the drivers of the cars in this picture convinced each other to make the same mistake. How?
When we pulled up at Byron Markets, we couldn’t believe our luck: a rockstar parking space opposite the entrance to the market.
Aside from that recently-vacated spot, the verge was packed for 100 metres. There were no parking signs but we assumed the other drivers were locals who knew the rules didn’t apply on market day. Then we saw it.
The car behind had an orange envelope on the windscreen. But the no-parking area was bumper to bumper, so maybe the ticket wasn’t from today. So we opened the envelope and, sure enough, it had been written five minutes before. Then as we were reading the ticket, two rangers slid past us in a council car, job done. For now.
We piled back into our car and found another spot.
Walking back to the entrance of the market, we saw the white van in the picture pulling into the spot we’d just left. We crossed the road to warn the driver. She thanked us but parked anyway. Maybe she thought the rangers wouldn’t come back?
45 minutes later, every car in the row had its own orange envelope, including the white van.
Even a personal warning and the physical evidence of a ticket couldn’t compete with the weight of social proof from drivers who weren’t even there but whose parking suggested this was a good place to stop.
From what we could see, social proof earns the council in Byron Bay about $1,000 an hour on the first Sunday of the month.
So make sure you’re using social proof in your marketing!
Feel like using a bit of your own social proof?
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