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This is Your Brain on Marketing

This is Your Brain on Marketing

It is easy to get caught up in all the nuts and bolts of marketing: voice, tone, demographics, and branding…to name a few.  All of these are worthy endeavors for a marketing plan and one could make a case that any plan would be incomplete without them. However, we are intrigued by a side of marketing that doesn’t get a lot of press: neuromarketing.  

Neuromarketing is the combination of neuropsychology and marketing research which studies a person’s response to marketing stimuli.  Neuromarketing is a unique field that is a deep dive into how the brain works and how as marketers, we can tap into this information in order to make a considerable impact.  

While we aren’t neuroscientists, we’ve done our fair share of research, and have come up with the top 10 things you can do to tap into your reader’s brain.  This is the brain on marketing:

Reward-motivated Behavior

People fall in love with brands everyday.  Customers become raving fans, brand advocates and even ride-or-dies in some cases.   But how does this happen? What about a brand causes a human to fall in love with a company?  On the most basic level, everyone has specific needs that lie deep within their subconcious. According to Tony Robbins, these needs are things like comfort, variety, love, growth, contribution, and significance.  

The best relationships understand these vital needs and work hard to meet them.  As needs are met, people begin to fall in love, and when this happens, one’s brain responds with a chemical reaction: dopamine, adrenaline and norepinephrine are released.  

Now, all of these chemicals are in charge of certain physical responses in one’s body, but what is most interesting to our study is that dopamine actually functions as a neurotransmitter,  that causes nerve cells to send signals to other nerve cells. One of the major pathways of the nerve to nerve signals, plays a major role in the motivational component of reward-motivated behavior. (Think product personalization, free gifts, or promotions. and how they make you feel.)

The Effects of Web Design on the Brain

When it comes to relationships, reward-incentivized behavior may or may not be the best route, but we aren’t here to give you relationship advice.  However, we do know a thing or two about websites. Websites are designed to sell a product and introduce a reward for buying the product, hiring the firm, or signing up for the cause.  Reward-motivated behavior is exactly what marketing and web design is aiming for. But, according to Marketing Scientist, Jade Bunke, the job of a marketer is to regulate reward.  

When a person visits your website, the light from the screen hits their retinas and the brain begins processing it.  If your website is overloaded with too much content, colors, fonts, and stimulus, the brain actually begins to play tricks on itself as an act of preservation. To avoid stimulus overload, the brain begins to take shortcuts with the information in front of it, and subsequently misses out on most of the information right there!  This a risk we aren’t willing to take. The information that the brain is glazing over is your carefully crafted messaging, your brand’s mission and purpose.   

The brain’s happy place is negative space.  Negative space allows the brain to process information that is in front of it, and to process all of it.  If our websites are designed with an overly heavy presentation, with too much content, colors or other marketing “nuts and bolts,” then the user’s brain will miss most of the pertinent information.  

Communicating Value

The average website visitor may not particularly care about good web design…but their brain does.  Instead of overloading the user with all the bells and whistles, websites should compellingly communicate value.  Value is another route to the release of dopamine in the brain, yet the motivation that comes from value is much different than reward-based motivation.  

Value, in this context, is the anticipation for the reward the user will gain when he or she participates in whatever is being offered.  And, as it turns out, anticipating a reward is just at motivating as experiencing the reward itself. As the user browses a website in which the design gives space for content that communicates value, they are able to process everything that is in front of them and ultimately be more receptive to your brand’s messaging.  

Your brand’s website design, the placement of your content and your messaging is crucial to how your clients will respond to your brand. It is our job as a digital agency to make sure that all the “nuts and bolts” of your website and marketing strategy do much more than check items off the list.  Rather, we are here to make sure that your digital presence appeals to the deepest part of the user’s brain.  This type of strategy is the recipe for creating lifelong brand advocates out of mere website visitors.  

Do you want to know what your website is communicating?  Contact us for a website assessment to make sure you are giving your customers enough space to process the exact message you are trying to send.   

Randy TaylorThis is Your Brain on Marketing