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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.