Neuromarketing *rolls eyes*… the new snake oil?
At the customer-end of all this incredible technology at the fingertips of today’s marketers, is the most complex of systems – the human nervous system. Even compared to AI and Robotics, we are incredible machines. We’ve mastered the art of automation and optimisation over millions of years. We don’t need to think about breathing or how complex the tendon and muscle sequence is to walk forward… we can just do it.
Neuromarketing may seem like a relatively new flavour of Kool Aid
Yet, how humans make decisions hasn’t changed for eons. What drives us, our motives, how we can’t make a decision without emotion, how we build a logical narrative after a decision and how our decisions and actions can be manipulated (for good and for bad) is nothing new to neuroscientists, psychologists and NLP practitioners.
Neuromarketing, at least how we see it at Algorhythm (part of the Understood Collective), is leveraging neuro principles, psychology and behavioural economics in marketing strategy (principally around persona motivation, fears and triggers) and in campaign creative and copywriting. At its most simple, neuromarketing simply provides the lenses for multivariate testing:
rather than simply writing an ad three different ways with no real methodology, neuro gives us a codex of nudges and techniques to drive actions.
For us, the magic happens out in the channels and over the last four years we have seen paid search and social campaigns dramatically outperform historical campaigns by really understanding the target audience in terms of motives, by using neuro principles in the treatment of visuals, photography and illustrations and by testing behavioural economics and nudge theory in the copy. We’ll share specific examples and case studies in time and point you in the direction of great examples we are seeing out there in channels, as and when we find them.
It does sound like secret sauce, but like all science, it’s actually methodical, has a process and really ignites when baked into the creative process. When I say creative process, I mean the research, ideation, creative and copywriting elements in campaigns. Neuromarketing should be in the DNA of the strategy, tactical and creative layers.
Clients buying neuromarketing are buying a process that is crowned with high performing campaigns and campaign assets.
When an agency top-down and bottom-up, is thinking, ideating, creating and deploying neuro principles in everything they do, it really is magical. It just makes sense and it’s because human understanding and our predictable unpredictability are at the heart of every touchpoint.
In the context of our consultancy, when we talk about neuromarketing, we are essentially interested in three areas.
1. Neuro principles on design, video, photography and illustration
Look at how Apple present their products, yes it’s art, but there’s science in the angles, proximity, how they show human and human emotion (usually on faces).
2. Persona Motives – this is an alternative to traditional segmentation
We still need to start with geo-demographics, as we need it for targeting but imagine if you could define your customer’s intrinsic motives and by proxy, their greatest fears and you then crafted campaigns to use that to generate your desired actions, whether that’s a checkout, form fill or engagement.
Segmentation is a great start, but it can be deceiving.
Let me describe two men to you. Both male, British, in their 60’s, rich, love holidaying in Monte Carlo, love dogs and have lots of children. One is Prince Charles and the other is Ozzy Osbourne.
3. Behavioural Economics, Nudges and Linguistics
Everything from confirmation bias, cognitive blindspots, social proof and anchor pricing to using sensory language, disruptive linguistics and cognitive load to create friction.
Every element of the above deserves its own blog post, so that’s probably the roadmap for future posts.