Would you like to significantly improve the effectiveness of your marketing communications? Of course, you would… We all would.
According to the Meaningful Brands survey recently released by the agency group Havas and reported by The Drum, 60% of the world’s brands create “content” that is absolutely useless… Let it sink for a while. 60% of content management budgets are spent to create something of no value. The figure is even more staggering for video content. Reuters have reported that on average only one in ten readers watch videos on major press and media websites. It’s little wonder, then, that the report also found that no one would care if 74% of brands disappeared.
The most common marketing strategy, ‘Spray And Pray,’ while might bring some results to the marketers, will not work unless carried out with the understanding of what content keeps customers hooked.
So what can keep readers hooked and at the same time make them click that ‘BUY NOW’ button?
In their book Neuromarketing, Patrick Renvoisé and Christophe Morin lay out in almost plain English how to get prospects to respond to your marketing efforts.
The gist is simple: Use simple language, make a unique claim that solves a real business problem, and repeat your position over and over to claim it.
The Three Parts of the Brain and Their Functions
The brain has three distinct parts, according to Renvoisé and Morin, and the best way to improve the effectiveness of your communication is to direct your communication to the part that makes decisions. Logical, right? So which part of our brain is in fact making the decisions for us?
- The new brain (Neocortex) thinks: It processes rational data.
- The middle brain (Limbic Brain) feels: It processes emotions and gut feelings.
- The old brain (Reptilian Brain) is much less developed than the other two parts of the brain, yet it makes the decisions: Though it takes into account input from the other two areas of the brain, the reptilian brain pulls the actual trigger for decision. The so-called old brain is constantly scanning your environment to watch for any signs of danger. It also keeps an eye out for potential sources of food and sex (or, if you prefer, mating) – both important to survival. The old brain processes all incoming sensory data, including everything you see, everything you hear, everything you smell, and everything you touch and makes decision guided by very ‘primitive’ goals – survival, safety, comfort.
Now that we know who ‘runs’ us and what are ‘they looking out for,’ it should be much easier to streamline your content, right?
Cracking the code of the Reptilian Brain
This most primitive section of our brain is not affected or controlled by written words and operates very much on emotional level. And because it’s needs are focused primarily on survival, safety and comfort, just six types of stimuli can effectively engage with it. In that light, let’s look at the reptilian brain (note that some of the following content was taken directly from Neuromarketing).
Having survival as its main goal, the reptilian brain has no patience or empathy for anything that does not immediately concern its own well-being and survival.
As Dale Carnegie stressed, your entire message should focus on your audience, not you. What problems you can solve for your customer? In small value deals especially, the prospect customers really don’t care whether you are No.1 champion in industry innovations. They will purchase because they have a problem that you can solve.
Remember these annoying TV Sales adds that spend a big deal of time portraying an ‘unhappy you’, trying to open the can of beans or vacuum the house? The reptilian brain is most sensitive to contrast, such as before/after, risky/safe, fast/slow. Without a clear-cut choice, the reptilian brain enters into a state of confusion, leading to delayed decision or no decision at all.
Needs concise input
Since the reptilian brain can’t process language, the use of complicated words slows down the decoding of your message and automatically places the burden of information processing onto the new brain; as a result, your audience will want to “think” about making the decision more than they will want to “act” and decide now.
The reptilian brain can’t process concepts like “a flexible solution,” or “an integrated approach,” without a great deal of effort and confusion. It appreciates simple, easy-to-grasp ideas like “more money,” “unbreakable,” and “24-hour turnaround time.”
Focuses on beginnings and endings
The reptilian brain grasps openings and finales of the message better that the middle part. In this light, you should really place the most appealing to the old brain information at the beginning of the message.
Your opening, when you’re presenting or writing, is crucial. If you do not grab your prospects’ attention in the beginning of and exchange, you may lose them forever. Think of attractive title or heading, an opening phrase or an elevator pitch.
Relies on visual stimuli
The reptilian brain is visual. The optic nerve delivers input to the brain 50 times faster than the auditory nerve does. The visual processing capability of our brain has evolved to this level as a matter of survival. You will jump back from a stick that appears to be a snake before you even think about it.
The brain is therefore both extraordinarily fast and dangerously hasty. It is hardwired to make decisions that are based mostly on visual input. By using visual stimuli in your marketing communications, you ensure that you tap into the processing bias that the brain has developed over thousands of years.
The reptilian brain is triggered by emotion. I am sure you noticed that we remember events better when we have experienced them with strong emotion. “We are not thinking machines that feel, we are feeling machines that think,” said Antonio Damasio, head of the neuroscience department at UC Irvine.
Understanding these basic principles of our old brain – the one that runs us – will allow you to create more appealing content, marketing campaigns, presentations.
Read also: www.marketingprofs.com/article/2017/0/158/improve-your-marketing-communications-with-insights-from-neuromarketing-part-1-of-2