I stated in another post that marketing is part art and part science. What has gained interest in recent years is the objective view of buying decisions as a possible measurement tool. Christophe Morin, co-author of the book Neuromarketing: Is There a Buy Button Inside the Brain? has a theory that marketing, to be successful, needs to target the most primitive part of our brain.
New research in neuroscience reveals that the human brain is categorized into three separate parts that act as separate organs with different cellular structures and different functions:
- The "New Brain" thinks; it processes rational data.
- The "Middle Brain" feels; it processes emotions and feelings.
- The "Old Brain" decides; it reviews input from the other two brains and controls the decision making process.
Morin points to six main stimuli that can give the old brain input to respond to. When you're crafting direct messaging:
- Focus on the reader. The primitive brain is self-centered. It's about the customer, not you, not the company, nor its services. Before you can come up with a solution, you need to understand what the problem is.
- Emphasize the before and after. The primitive brain responds to contrast. Have you ever seen those weight-loss advertisements and fliers? Sure, we've learned to gloss over them and sometimes judge them tacky. They are extremely effective in recall. Think of Nutrasystems and their photographs of before and after the program. Aren't you fascinated to discover the difference in the models?
- Keep messages clear and concise. Repetition and simplicity, coupled with illustration and images work better in the old brain.
- Make it visual. Humans are visual decision makers, that's why design and aesthetics have become such a prominent part of our buying decisions.
- Focus on the intro and the conclusion. You have heard it before. We pay attention especially at the beginning and at the end of an interaction and presentation. You begin strong and capture the attention, then you wrap up with a call to action that tells your readers why they are taking the time to read.
- Emphasize emotions. Message retention takes place once we make a connective association with it via emotion.
In short, neuromarketing may be helping to turn the art of marketing more into a science and explain how your messages are pushing the customers' buy button.