The old advertising days are over. Move over Mad Men, the new wave of marketers is using less money to achieve bigger results. With new techniques and platforms, your brand can have an incredible impact on marketing to potential customers online.
Advertising is no longer just about who can afford the largest sign in New York’s Times Square or who can sponsor an expensive event. Traditional marketing efforts focused on print advertising, outdoor signage, and events. 🗽🍎🚕
Digital marketing allows you to market to people where they spend hours each day: online. Tactics like social media marketing and paid search advertising have completely changed the game for businesses. Not only is this type of marketing generally less expensive than traditional ads, but it can also extend your reach. While billboards only reach people driving on that particular road, a well-placed Facebook campaign can reach thousands of people across different geographic locations.
I suggest taking digital marketing one step further to make it even more effective. When neuromarketing is added to your digital toolbox, your biz can see amazing results!
What is Neuromarketing?
Neuromarketing attempts to understand how the customer’s brain really works and how marketing affects the customer. By putting yourself in your customer’s head, you may rethink your efforts based not on what you think is right, but what will actually resonate with the customer. 🧠
Roger Dooley can be described as the father of neuromarketing. He’s been writing about the strategy since 2005 (which is 100 years in internet time) and he literally wrote the book on it, Brainfluence. In the book, he describes how consumers already subconsciously define what they want, how much they will pay for it, and possibly even what promotional activities appeal to them daily. Once you understand what the consumer is asking for, your business can have a greater impact marketing to your audience.
How Does it Work?
There are two basic methods of tracking brain activity, each with their own merits and disadvantages: electroencephalography (EEG) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).
Researchers focusing on fMRI use a powerful magnet to track the brain’s blood flow as test subjects respond to visual and audio cues. This test lets researchers access a part of the brain known as the “pleasure center” and allows marketers to learn how subjects are actually responding to their ads.
This sounds great! The more data, the better, right? However, fMRI is expensive and inconvenient for test subjects. The equipment used in fMRI is expensive to operate and subjects must lie totally still in a large machine while the experiment is happening.
EEG allows researchers to follow instinctual emotions like lust, sadness, excitement, and anger through fluctuations of brain activity measured by a cap of electrodes. The participant wears this cap on their head, which is less restrictive than sitting in the large fMRI machine. It is also a lot cheaper to run this type of experiment.
The downside of EEG is that it does not gain access to the “pleasure center”, which is deep inside the brain. That means the information you receive from the fMRI might be better, but the EEG is cheaper and easier to operate.
How Brands Have Used Neuromarketing
That’s what neuromarketing is. But how have brands used it to further their campaigns? Multinational corporations like Frito-Lay, Gerber, and Campbell’s have all used neuromarketing to restyle their product and packaging design.
In the case of restyling, consumers were shown a product’s packaging piece by piece, and their reaction to the material was recorded as positive, negative, or neutral. The brands then used this information, along with in-depth interviews with participants, to analyze specific points. The final result? Changes to the packaging such as imagery, text size, and colour that better resonated with consumers.
For example, Frito-Lay’s research found that shiny bags with pictures of chips triggered a negative response in some participants, while matte bags with pictures of potatoes did not. The packaging was changed to better appeal to customers, based on the information gleaned from neuromarketing.
Hyundai utilized EEG when asking participants to review a car prototype. Thirty participants wore EEG caps for an hour while examining the prototype, which gave Hyundai helpful information regarding design.
PayPal also used neuromarketing to discover that commercials highlighting the convenience and speed of PayPal services initiated a much more positive response than commercialised focused on security and safety. This information led to a whole new ad campaign based on speed and convenience.
Some of the biggest brands use this neuroscience research to impact marketing campaigns that are broadcast worldwide! How can your business utilize neuromarketing?
Ways to Use Neuromarketing
Use Simple Fonts to Encourage Action
I’m going to share some key takeaways from Brainfluence, which will allow your biz to use the power of neuromarketing without paying for a research study!
One simple piece of advice from the book: keep it simple. If the font on your website, email marketing, or lead pages is too busy, people may shy away. When trying to convince a user to take an action, simple and easy to read fonts are key.
If your copy is hard to read or too long, consumers are more likely to skip out. That’s why forms on your lead pages should be easy to read, simple to fill out, and straightforward for the consumer. The more difficult an action is to complete, the more friction it creates with the consumer, and the less likely you are to capture that lead. 🤯
Make Consumers Remember With Complex Fonts
Does this mean you can never use complex fonts? Of course not! It just means instructions and lead forms should always be in simple, easy to read text.
But complex fonts can help boost memory recall and grab visual attention. Think about websites you like — are creative fonts used in the homepage copy to invite you in and capture your attention? Probably! Complex fonts make websites more interesting and appealing. Utilizing them for emphasis in your copy can be a great way to draw consumers in.
While complex fonts are fun for headers and emphasis, remember the importance of simple text for instructions. Key information like your email address and phone number should be in simple text. You don’t want anyone struggling to read how to contact you!
Use Gaze to Direct Attention
Brainfluence also discusses the work of James Breeze, an Australian usability specialist who has researched how people react to ads featuring babies. In his experiments, he found that people will look towards whatever the person (or even animal) in the ad is looking at. 👀
So if you’re going to use imagery with people, be sure to have them looking at what you want the consumer to focus on. This is one way that using neuroscience will have a subconscious impact marketing to your target audience.
Gain Trust With Customers by Showing Trust
Impact marketing is all about building a relationship between you and the consumer. They need to trust you in order to refer your business and buy from you again. Part of gaining customer trust is making them feel trusted in return.
Brainfluence suggests some different ways that brands can show they trust customers:
- Offer a trial with few restrictions (such as a free trial or an informational freebie)
- Establish a frictionless point of entry (don’t have long forms or a lengthy screening process)
- Provide confidential info without making customers sign NDA (this depends on the business, but do you have something valuable you can offer customers?)
Don’t forget to smile!
This sounds obvious, but I am just going to say it: people like smiling people. Some folks may want to choose a serious businessman on their website to show that their brand is serious and professional, but neuromarketing shows us that this isn’t the best option.
Personalizing your website with pictures of people is a great idea because it engages consumers and humanizes your company. So pick a photo with a smiling person! Neuromarketing research shows us that a “mind-boosting” image (such as a smiling person or another happy photo) can positively affect a consumer’s willingness to spend. 😄
Consumers are bombarded with ads. How can you make your advertising stick out among thousands of competing campaigns?
When you use neuroscience to look deeply at human emotion and how it affects purchasing behaviour, you can cut through the clutter to give people what they want to see. This is incredibly powerful in digital marketing as it can inform design and content to subconsciously affect consumers’ decisions.
Having awareness of how this strategy can impact marketing campaigns can mean success for your biz. Get better results with less money by using neuroscience data!