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9 Secrets About Human Brains That Will Help You To Achieve Marketing Success

9 Secrets About Human Brains That Will Help You To Achieve Marketing Success

Understanding psychology is the cornerstone of becoming a great marketer.

The reason is that psychology is the basis for all effective marketing decisions- from designing a website, to creating engaging videos.

Now, for anyone working in marketing, this might sound like common sense. However, neuromarketing has taken the mix of psychology and marketing to a new level.

Neuromarketing is “the systematic collection and interpretation of neurological and neurophysiological insights about individuals using different protocols, allowing researchers to explore nonverbal and unconscious physiological responses to various stimuli for the purposes of market research,” according to the Neuromarketing Science & Business Association.

In other words, it’s how our brain responds to marketing stimuli from both a conscious and unconscious standpoint. If you understand how people react to different information, then you can engage and produce sales more effectively.

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Neuromarketing relies on the cognitive biases that are built into all of us. Marketing either works with or against these cognitive biases. It’s that simple.

Let’s dive into these secrets of the human brain to help you unleash your inner marketing genius:

1. We Make Decisions with Our Reptilian Brain

We experience immediate reactions in three seconds or less from our reptilian brain. The reptilian brain includes the brainstem and the cerebellum. It’s where most cognitive biases take place; it’s commonly referred to as the attention gatekeeper or the decision maker.

If you can appeal to a consumer’s reptilian’s brain, then your marketing is more likely to convert. Characteristic preferences of the reptilian brain that are critical to consider when making any piece of marketing material are: pain points, selfishness, contrast, tangibility, visuals, and emotional connection.

Since these processes happen fast, it’s important to pay special attention to how your marketing materials look when browsed quickly. People are likely to see your subject line, headline, or featured image first. Mastering these three elements will give you a leg up in marketing.

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2. Dilated Pupils

It has been shown that people tend to be more trusting of people with dilated pupils, compared to people with constricted (small) pupils. This phenomenon was observed during a study where participants played a “trust game” with a virtual partner. The pupils of the faces on the screen were digitally changed to dilate (get bigger), remain the same, or constrict.

The scientists also observed how the subjects’ pupils responded to their partner by imitating the pupil condition they were seeing. This mimicry is associated with trust. Remember, people buy from those they know, like, and trust. If you can establish trust, then you’ve got one piece of the puzzle down.

3. Address Pain

Marketing campaigns that begin with addressing benefits are missing out on one of the most important attention-grabbers: pain. The reptilian brain concentrates more on avoiding pain as a means of survival, than on receiving benefits.

An excellent way to address this in advertising is by using a simple question like this: “Having trouble getting clients?”

4. Be Selfish

Consumers care about survival, and to survive you must be selfish. So, if you’re talking about the consumer then they’re more likely to listen. Within seconds, you need to address what you’ll do for them.

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If this is not obvious to the consumer, then they won’t care. To take advantage of consumers’ selfish attitudes, avoid using the words “I” and “We,” and instead, focus on using “You;” this strategy is extremely effective.

5. Contrast

Using contrast to deliver your message will help you keep viewers’ attention. The reason is that contrast helps articulate your message more than words do. For example, showing before and after pictures that distinctly display the benefits of your offer is an effective approach.

Also, keep in mind that contrasting the price of what you’re offering with something of a similar price that’s not a necessity can do wonders. For example, saying something like this for a fitness product: “This costs the same as just one week of going to Starbucks. Now would you rather have seven fattening lattes or an incredible body?”

6. Put Your Call-To-Actions in the Beginning and End

We don’t like unnecessary thinking because it takes energy to run the brain, especially when processing new stimuli. The brain is 2% of our body mass, but it burns 20% of our energy. Since our brain is optimized to conserve energy, it is not going to waste it by concentrating on things unnecessary for survival.

Consequently, the brain is alert when changes occur requiring us to evaluate danger. Changes mostly occur at the beginning and end of a commercial, video, and most other types of stimuli. Since the middle portion of your advertisement won’t receive as much attention, make sure to put your call-to-actions at the beginning and end.

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7. It’s All Visual

Visual input has a powerful effect. In fact, we recognize visuals before other areas of our brain can even process other elements, such as text. This allows for an almost instantaneous reaction when needed. As a result, visual representations help consumers understand your message much faster. For example, this is one reason you’ll notice that many marketers use pictures of books when offering a free eBook in exchange for an email address.

Approximately 90 percent of the information that the brain processes is visual. So if you want to be memorable, make sure to include top-notch images in your advertising. I suggest steering away from stock photos because people enjoy more personalized images.

8. Use Faces

Research suggests that from an evolutionary point of view, humans who could quickly identify threats and build quality relationships significantly improved their chance of survival. Since our brain is highly attracted to nice-looking faces, we unconsciously prefer attractive human faces when building relationships.

This is a big reason long-form sales pages tend to under-perform in comparison to sales videos where a person is communicating to viewers. The big takeaway is that using people in your marketing materials and emphasizing their faces can help increase your conversions.

9. Keep it Short and Sweet

You don’t want your audience to overthink their decisions, and displaying too much information will do just that. An analysis of eCommerce websites revealed surprising behavior: visitors who were exposed to additional details and information about a product were actually less likely to purchase it compared to visitors who were exposed only to the product image and a few general details.

The research showed that visitors who purchased the product, whether on their first time on the page or their fifth visit, spent significantly less time on the sales page than visitors who did not purchase. The takeaway: keep your sales page short and sweet and you’ll attract more customers.

Now that you’ve dived into some of the secrets of the brain, it’s time for you to begin using them to inform your implementation of marketing strategies.

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Published on September 18, 2018

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

Have there been instances when you noted a drop in your team’s productivity or observed a behavioral change in someone who used to be an excellent performer?

Before you blame the team for not being motivated enough or worse still, choose to ignore these warning signs, look inwards and ask yourself if YOU are doing enough to keep your team motivated in the first place.

Motivating employees is extremely crucial. As the leader of the pack, it is your responsibility to ensure each and every member of your team feels valued, driven and motivated.

After all, you cannot expect a bunch of disengaged and demotivated people to deliver results and grow your business, can you?

Here are 17 surefire tactics for motivating your employees and building a productive team:

1. Show your appreciation

In the whole race to achieve external business goals, leaders often forget to value their most important assets — their employees.

The least you can do to boost performance and morale is to appreciate your employees, recognize their efforts and give them credit when it is due.

Whether it’s sending a personalized note, recognizing achievements publicly during team huddles or even rewarding top performers at the end of every month, you will be surprised to see how these small acts of appreciation can go a long way.

2. Communicate effectively

Effective communication can do wonders in motivating employees. Who is a strong communicator? Someone who knows what they are talking about and are able to convey their message accurately.

Communication is a lot more than just language and talking. Factors such as eye contact, active listening, hand gestures and postures also say a lot about a person’s communication skills.

3. Be open to dialogue

Gone are the days when leading through fear and putting on the tough, distant leader act would work.

New age leadership is all about instilling trust by being accessible and encouraging discussions. Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking to you and you need to set the tone for such a camaraderie.

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In spite of having a busy schedule, you can still show you care through simple, effective acts.

For instance, having an open door policy, showing genuine interest while interacting with your employees or even greeting your team members helps breaking barriers and projects you as an accessible leader.

4. Provide constructive criticism

Giving negative feedback is always tricky — you don’t want to hurt feelings nor do you want the feedback to be taken lightly.

So, what do you do? The idea is to offer criticism such that it inspires change and delivers results.

Firstly, take criticism behind closed doors because nothing breaks self esteem the way calling out employees in public does.

Have a one-on-one discussion with the concerned person and make your feedback very specific. Be clear about your expectations and offer guidance on how they can improve.

Most importantly, give them the chance to explain their side of the story too instead of jumping to conclusions.

5. Conduct one-on-ones

Yes, you conduct weekly meetings with the team but how well do you know them on a personal level?

While you may think this isn’t an important practice to follow, it is one of the best ways to engage with your employees and identify what drives them.

Conduct a one-one-one session every month and use it to understand how your employees are doing and if they are facing any roadblocks.

More than reviewing performances, consider this as a relationship building tool to ensure you are aligned with your team and are working towards a shared, common goal.

6. Build training programs

In this ever-changing business landscape, it is important to ensure your employees are updated with the latest, relevant skills that can help boost productivity and performance.

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From imparting technical and soft skills to offering mentoring programs – investing in training and development significantly helps in motivating employees and keeps the learning going.

While conducting training programs, remember to keep them engaging and interactive. They need to ultimately drive value and reinforce learnings.

7. Offer growth opportunities

Every employee envisions a different career path for themselves and demotivation strikes the day they feel they have reached stagnation. As a leader, you need to first be aligned with their goals and offer ample growth opportunities that constantly keeps them engaged and motivated.

Growth opportunities go beyond just financial growth. While money is a huge driving factor, what makes most people tick is making progress in the company and going up the career ladder.

Being faced with new challenges and responsibilities lets them push the envelope and broaden their knowledge and skills.

8. Reward them

Go beyond verbal recognition and reward employees for their notable work. You can start an incentive program and reward top performers. This ensures increased productivity and brings out the best in them.

If you don’t have enough budgets for that, you can also reward top performers with movie tickets, a paid vacation or something as simple as giving them the option to work from home.

Rewarding employees promotes healthy competition and motivates them while meeting business goals.

9. Encourage team outings

Employee motivation also stems from how connected the team is. Invest time in team building because a team that works collaboratively is likely to deliver better results.

From bowling nights to hosting team dinners – team outings are a great way to get to know each other and bond. Assign someone from your team to be in charge of organizing these monthly outings and make sure you join them too!

10. Involve them

Involve your employees in decision making because when they are involved, they feel more valued and part of a larger cause.

Seek your team’s opinion and encourage healthy debates within the team. This boosts employee morale and challenges them to work harder as they know they are in a position to make an impact and will be taken seriously.

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11. Set meaningful goals

In the beginning of the financial year, make sure you sit down with each employee to set meaningful and realistic goals. The goal-setting conversation is an extremely crucial one and needs to be a two-way street.

Whether your employee feels burdened or doesn’t feel inspired enough by the assigned goals – this is the time to come to a consensus and assign goals derived from business objectives that foster individual development while keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.

12. Empower them

You cannot expect employees to be motivated for long if you micro manage the team and do all the talking.

Trust your employees and empower them to take decisions. Mistakes will happen but that is the only way they will learn.

Be open to discussions, delegate effectively, set your expectations and give your team the freedom to do it their way.

13. Deal with conflict

A conducive work environment is one wherein there is open communication and trust, but every once in a while, you do encounter people in the team who indulge in office politics and spread negativity.

How much ever fulfilled an employee feels with their work, gossiping co-workers are bound to ruin it for them. Workplace gossip if not tackled hampers productivity and soils working relations.

As a responsible leader, you need to maintain a conducive work environment and act as a mediator in such cases. Don’t be the leader who is locked up in his/her cabin and is unaware of what is brewing within the team.

14. Implement a flexible work culture

Flexible work cultures are a growing trend and are here to stay.

Whether it is offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home once in a month – a flexible work culture promotes work-life balance and aids in employee satisfaction.

It shows that the management is sensitive to employees’ schedules and is thereby highly appreciated.

15. Host engaging activities

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and we cannot agree more! So, why not devote one day of the week to employee engagement activities?

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From hosting baking competitions to introducing wellness programs in the office – let your team have some fun beyond work. This keeps the environment engaging, light-hearted and interesting, giving them all the more reason to look forward to coming to work.

16. Maintain a positive work space

Your employees spend more than half their day at work and in order to keep them energized and motivated, it is important to maintain a positive and inspiring work space.

Have a recreation center where employees can unwind after a hard day’s work, offer free snacks and beverages and invest in an open office design that promotes socializing and conversations.

These are simple yet effective ways to create a space your employees will love coming to.

17. Avoid discrimination

Any kind of discrimination, be it due to age, gender, religion or race hugely impacts employee motivation and performance.

In order to avoid such cases, you must lay down rules against discrimination and take strict action against accused employees. Lead by example and make sure no one in the team is a victim of bias and discrimination.

The bottom line

Don’t underestimate the power of motivating employees. Understand that the more engaged and motivated they are, the better their performance will be.

It is also a good idea to send out a survey and get feedback from your employees on the company culture, work environment and their motivation levels.

This will help you be more aligned with their expectations and further improve your efforts in building a stronger, engaged team.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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