I’ve been interested neuromarketing for quite a number of years, hence starting a Mini Degree in Psychology & Persuasion. I wanted to formalise my knowledge picked up from bit and pieces around the web and in certain books e.g. Robert Dooley’s’ acclaimed book on the topic “Brainfluence: 100 ways to convince and convert consumers using neuromarketing”.
Intro to neuromarketing
Neuromarketing is on the verge of tremendous growth and we as digital marketers need to take notice now or risk being left behind.
We can use the tools of neuromarketing to peer inside the brain to understand why consumers buy what they buy in this modern landscape of online shopping. With these neuromarketing tools digital marketers can become more effective.
A marketing revolution
Why do we need a marketing revolution? We need one because many marketers focus their efforts on appealing to the conscious brain. But the section of the brain responsible for decision making is the same part of the brain where emotions are. That means to you need to target emotions to trigger a decision. We don’t realise but we actually make decisions and then rationalise them afterwards citing the list of features for the reason.
A survey done by Gallup on trust in the various professions shows trust in marketing was low at 11% and whereas Nurses were at a massive 85%. The trust in marketing could be so low because most of marketing and sales money is wasted Wanamaker famously said half of his marketing money is wasted but he didn’t know which half. Even within larges companies’ other departments can be suspicious of the marketing department. With public opinion of marketing “convincing us to buy stuff we don’t need”.
If marketers took the approach of appealing to the unconscious brain, then marketing efforts would be a lot more effective. So, less “wasted money on spray and pray” marketing activities. And this course aims to guide us with frameworks and methodologies that appeal to the user’s entire brain.
Schools of thought
Roger Dooley talks about digital marketers and neuromarketers having a lot in common. digital marketers have the benefit of scale they can scale up very and get results quickly and reliably and often the metric they are measuring is the desired behaviour neuromarketers are seeking. e.g. a neuromarketer measuring brain activity to see if a consumer bought something later that week instead measure if purchase was made or not.
There are two aspects “hard neuroscience” and “behaviour end”. The hard science side is EEG and fMRI studies seeking to predict what areas of the brain are responsible for certain behaviour. Behaviour science is about measuring behaviour in the real world not what’s happening in the brain.
So what we’re doing is applying knowledge gain from behaviour and neuro science to do a better job marketing,
Is neuromarketing bogus?
The science of neuromarketing is still emerging and academic acceptance of neuromarketing is flip flops between deriding the topic or fully endorsing them. Fairly recently, Temple University, a major research university, conducted a fairly exhaustive study of neuromarketing.
Bigger conversion rate increases come from changing people’s motivation not just the structure of your website. So you need to tap into some neuromarketing hacks to change, here are 3 popular ones below to start you off.
1. Mere exposure effect
This is simply by repeated exposure something e.g. a brand they brand is considered more trustworthy alone. The mere exporsure effect is defined as
“The tendency to express undue liking for things merely because of familiarity with them”
2. Loss Aversion
This taps into our natural response, the prospect of losing something outweighs the prospect of gaining something. Defined as
“The perceived disutility of giving up an object is greater than the utility associated with acquiring it”.
3. Bandwagon effect
This is when you see a lot of other people purchasing something then you think “it must be good if all of these people are buying it too”. In our eyes, it seems “less risky” because many people are doing it and they all can’t be wrong. It’s also related to groupthink and herd behaviour. This is defined as “
The tendency to do (or believe) things because many other people do (or believe) the same”.
And you can see the full list of decision-making and behavioural biases on Wikipedia. And there are a lot of them but there’s no single theory that can explain behaviour. You need to look at your particular problem figure out if any of the principles, schools of thought or techniques to stimulate the desired behaviour in your prospective customer.
You can just look at Booking.com and neuromarketing to stimulate the desired behaviour in users visiting their site e.g. to book a room. They have a whole team of optimisers on staff. You need to have dedicated people working on growth or conversion rate optimisation(CRO).
And when you have success with optimisation to keep growing to make sure you reinvest the money you are earning back in optimisation. Do optimisation continuously, for years. Optimization is all about growth.
So remember bigger conversion rate increases come from changing peoples motivation. So before changing the colour or location of a button, ask yourself: will this fundamentally change the behaviour of users?
Andre Morys says you need to ask yourself these questions before setting your test live:
- Is the variation bold enough that people will notice it?
- Will the test affect the behaviour of users?
- Is the page part of the sales funnel?
- Am I using motivational triggers?
This week with CXL’s Mini Degree introduced neuromarketing and helped contextualise its use in modern-day digital marketing. As mentioned above there is two aspects “hard neuroscience” and “behaviour” side to neuromarketing.
Extra reading: I also highly recommend reading the book Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman (a Nobel Prize winner) to get a better grasp of how our brains respond to stimulus in our environment. And the fascinating book Spent: Sex, Evolution, and Consumer Behaviour by Geoffrey Miller.