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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 16, 2020

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

12 Practical Interview Skills to Help You Land Your Dream Job

Today, with many companies going remote—at least until there’s a COVID-19 vaccine—technical proficiency is a vital skill for every interviewee to master. You may be asked to interview for a job on Zoom or Microsoft Teams. The way you handle yourself in the online interview (your interview skills) will say much about your ability to work from home efficiently.

Does your workspace look clean or cluttered? Is the area free from noise? Is your home office well lit?

Once hired, you may be asked to organize meetings on Zoom and other platforms. Along with mastering the technology, you will have to learn to follow certain protocols.

Now is the time to get up to speed on your technical skills. Learn which interview skills are needed for the particular job for which you are applying and practice them.

Online learning sites, such as LinkedIn Learning and Udemy, offer courses for free or a nominal membership fee. If you are a DIY type, make use of training videos offered through your particular digital tools.

Additionally, demonstrating that you have these 12 interview skills will help you land your dream job.

1. Organization

When you work in a brick-and-mortar office, some of the organizing is left to others. Your direct supervisor may host a Monday morning quarterback meeting where each worker reports on the progress on their tasks.

When you work from home, much of the organizing will be left up to you. To a much greater extent than before, you will need to develop a schedule and stick to it. Some tasks may be faster to complete from your home office where you don’t have other workers competing for your attention.

Conversely, you may find that some tasks that would have gone quickly in an office seem to take forever from your home computer. Your phone may ring a lot, which can distract you, or you may have kids and a spouse who inadvertently disrupt your schedule.

To do: Set a schedule and stick to it.

To discuss during your interview: Be specific. Point to the interview skill you utilized to create a schedule for a complex work project and followed it.

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2. Flexibility

You set a schedule for the completion of your tasks, but your prospective boss gets their work done between the hours of 2:00 and 8:00 a.m. Your West Coast partners are three hours behind your East Coast partners, and one of your partners lives in England while another lives in Australia.

Feedback and collaboration (see point 3) may need to happen asynchronously. Be the flexible candidate—the person who is willing to occasionally disrupt their schedule for the greater good of the team.

For extra credit: don’t just look up time zones, look up whether they observe Daylight Savings Time.

To do: Be flexible about meeting times.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a time when you worked on a team where members lived in different time zones. Discuss your processes.

3. Collaboration

As recently as six months ago, before the pandemic raged around the world, collaboration wasn’t quite as essential as it is today. In a remote office setting, collaboration doesn’t just mean working well with others—but actually sharing documents and editing them online on time.

Several cloud-based tools, such as Google Drive, Basecamp, and Trello, enable the type of collaborative teamwork that most companies want today.

To do: Download the correct software and practice using it.

To discuss during your interview: Discuss how you worked remotely with a group. Share how you overcame certain challenges.

4. Poise

Murphy’s Law states, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”

When things do go awry, keeping your wits about you will demonstrate your consummate professionalism under fire. This will show your future bosses that you will be able to work well under the pressures of remote work.

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What could go wrong, you ask? You might be muted without realizing it—your Internet connection may not be robust, your headphones may blip out, your cellphone may ring, Zoom could have an outage. The list goes on and on.

To do: Make sure you have the most up-to-date versions of Skype and Zoom uploaded.

To discuss during your interview: Consider highlighting a time when a project did not go as planned. Demonstrate the interview skills that allowed you to rise to the challenge.

5. Communication

Your ability to handle online communication is one of the top critical skills you will need to thrive in today’s remote workplace. Download Slack if you haven’t already. Get used to toggling to a different form of online communication if one of your tools fails.

When it comes to the preferred format for your online interview, demonstrate proficiency by offering several different options. Give your phone number, Google Chat Hangouts name, and Skype ID.

To do: Familiarize yourself with video conference and online chat tools, such as Slack, Fleep, or Workplace by Facebook.

To discuss during your interview: Be prepared to share the online communication tools you’re using and examples of how you use each one.

6. Good Computer Hygiene

Setting up a backup system for your computer files is one of today’s crucial requirements for working in the digital age. Storing documents that can be shared by team members is also an efficient way to work together on presentations, articles, and reports—although studies show nearly one-third of employees avoid them because of the time it takes to find documents.

Be prepared in your interview to indicate your experience utilizing this technology, describing how you organize and store files using cloud-based collaboration tools. How do you keep track of links and tabs? Do you use Dropbox? Google Docs? Confluence? Others?

To do: Take inventory of the cloud-based document sharing and storage systems you know and use.

To discuss during your interview: Describe the document sharing tools and backup systems you utilize—both for personal protection and professional file sharing.

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7. Proper Meeting Etiquette

Today, presenting yourself virtually has its pros and cons. While you only have to show a professional persona from the waist up (make sure to straighten up your office space behind you), you must boost your energy to show that you’re engaged in the discussion.

Make your voice as upbeat as possible. Have your talking points at the ready and be careful not to ramble on, as long virtual meetings easily become tiresome. Use the mute and chat features to avoid interruptions.

To do: Once you know the meeting platform, make sure you have it mastered before your interview.

To discuss during your interview: Offer to share your screen to show an example of a work project— while at the same time demonstrating your prowess with video conferencing tools.

8. Respecting Feedback

In the age of working remotely, there may not be as many systems in place to obtain feedback (such as yearly performance reviews). Workers may need to ask for feedback, while managers may need to give more feedback than usual as the team adjusts to working off-site. Respecting feedback is on top of the interview skills list that you should learn.

Taking a proactive approach with giving and receiving feedback and incorporating it into your work style is a desirable quality that your employers will note.

To do: Reflect on the positive feedback you’ve received from past employers to bolster your confidence.

To discuss during your interview: Share a time when you received feedback that made you grow in the job. If you’re a manager, share a time when you gave feedback to an employee who needed to better their job performance.

9. Project Management

Staying on task with projects has evolved far past a to-do list, with electronic tools that can track time, manage team workloads, and even do the client billing. While your prospective employer may have its preferred project management program, your experience with any of the various options—whether it’s Basecamp, Teamwork, Smartsheet, or another—will be applicable.

To do: Know which project management software is likely to be used by the industry in which you’re interviewing, and familiarize yourself with its features.

To discuss during your interview: Highlight a project management feature that is particularly useful in helping you excel in your work, and explain how you utilize it.

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10. Staying up to Speed

Employers expect their remote workers to be technically proficient so that technology runs smoothly and doesn’t create work disruptions. Bosses count on remote workers to know enough about their systems to manage them without relying on the help of overworked IT staff.

To do: Make sure you have a fast internet connection and have a back-up plan, such as a second computer or other tethered devices.

To discuss during your interview: Note that you are diligent about keeping your computer and software up to date.

11. Attention to Cybersecurity Issues

“Virus” is a loaded term these days. Spreading a computer virus in your company, however, will not only bring productivity to a halt, but it will also make you a pariah. While working from public places using free Wi-Fi (with uneven security provisions) has waned, in pre-pandemic times, coffee shops accounted for 62 percent of Wi-Fi security breaches.

To do: Keep antivirus software updated and don’t download software without verifying its authenticity.

To discuss during your interview: Emphasize your awareness of cybersecurity risks and your care in taking necessary safety measures.

12. Teamwork

Work relationships now mostly happen in virtual settings, yet employers value team-oriented workers.

Being a part of a team gives you a sense of connection and shared purpose. A well-honed team understands how mutual reliance makes the sum of its parts greater than when individuals act on their own, improving the end product.

To do: Take stock of your attributes as a team player and where you can cultivate skills that will enable you to work more collaboratively.

To discuss during your interview: Inquire about the company’s culture and how it encourages a sense of community despite working remotely.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for remote positions available in today’s job market will mean honing your interview skills to highlight your technical abilities as well as your adaptability. By adhering to these To-Do’s and perfecting your online interview skills and charisma, you will rise above the competition and win over any prospective employer.

More Tips to Improve Your Interview Skills

Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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