Here’s How to Influence Customer Buying Behavior through the Principles of Neuroscience
It’s a most unfortunate fact that literally billions of dollars are wasted on advertisements across all industries – including the vended laundry business – that simply fall short of grabbing the attention of potential customers or fail to motivate people to act.
The marketing effort of persuasion is all too often a complete waste of both time and money.
If you use conventional methods to develop your advertising, you will not get closer to the truth. Only direct measures of how people respond to ads can begin to shed light on the unconscious mechanisms that can explain and predict the real impact that sales messages have on the brain.
Persuasion science is a relatively new field related to behavioral economics that can provide scientific answers to questions that have baffled advertisers, marketers and public relations experts for decades.
After more than 20 years of research and practice in the field of persuasion science, also known as neuromarketing or consumer neuroscience, a practical persuasion theory has been developed. This approach can help laundromat owners avoid many pitfalls – such as excessive cost and ineffective results in constructing and delivering convincing claims.
Actually, there are numerous theories of persuasion that marketers have debated for many years. However, few are anchored in any measure of what happens in the brain when people pay attention and feel an emotion related to the ad message, which triggers a decision to buy or not.
But, thanks to the enormous growth in the field of neuroscience over the last two decades, new answers have emerged to solidify our scientific understanding of how ads can either positively influence or be disregarded within just a few seconds.
Here, in a simplified form, is what psychologists and other researchers have learned about the relationship between persuasive messages and the brain. Our brains are constructed of two major systems – the primal brain and the rational brain – yet only one dominates mental processing. And it’s probably not the one that you think.
The primal brain is the oldest system and manages critical internal states that control attention and emotional resources. It dominates the processing of all persuasive messages below our level of consciousness.
Therefore, to be persuasive, you must target your messaging to the customer’s primal brain. With that said, there are six persuasion stimuli that trigger instant primal brain responses:
1. Make your message personal. That’s because the primal brain has no patience or empathy for anything that does not concern its well-being.
2. Make your proofs tangible. The primal brain needs tangible input because it is constantly looking for what is familiar and friendly, and for what can be recognized quickly. The primal brain cannot process complexity without a lot of effort and skepticism. It appreciates simple, easy-to-grasp, concrete ideas.
3. Make your story memorable. The primal brain remembers very little. Placing most of the important content at the beginning is a must, and repeating it at the end is essential. What’s more, the primal brain absolutely loves stories.
4. Make your points visual. That’s because the primal brain’s sensory channel is visual. The optic nerve is physically connected to the primal brain and at least 25 times faster than the auditory (hearing) nerve. No other sense is more dominant than the visual sense. It’s the super highway of your advertising and marketing messages.
5. Make your impact emotional. The primal brain is strongly triggered by emotions. Emotions in your ad create chemical events in the brain that directly impact the way individuals process and memorize information. In fact, no emotion – no decisions.
6. Make your messages contrastable. The primal brain is sensitive to solid contrast such as before/after, risky/safe, with/without and slow/fast. Contrast enables quick, risk-free decisions. Without contrast, the brain enters a state of confusion, which delays a decision or, worse, stalls that decision altogether.
Learning to speak the language of the six primal brain stimuli is a great start, but your message also must be designed to provide answers to three critical questions:
First, what are the leading “pains” of your target audience? Diagnosing pains helps you unveil the most critical decision-drivers that influence your customers’ behavior. Our primal nature is to orient our attention to advertising messages that awaken our fears. This is the reason why a product, service or solution that can easily articulate which pains it can eliminate first will receive more consideration and create a higher urgency to act.
Second, what are your three unique claims? Turn the top three reasons why customers should patronize your business into short and simple words that are easy to pronounce and information that is clearly organized under a maximum of three arguments. Your messages also must be easy to read, with fonts that are processed with maximum fluency to appeal to the primal brain.
Third, what is the evidence of your gain? Your demonstration of value needs to be understood by the primal brain, which by physiological design does not understand the future. This means that you must make the advertisement simple enough that even a non-expert will understand it in the present moment. Use customer testimonials or simple demonstrations to create “lightbulb moments” that your potential customers will need to confirm their decisions.
And always remember to make your value demonstration simple enough for a non-expert to immediately grasp and understand it.
And there you have it! Those are the latest research findings on creating effective advertising messages from the world of neuroscience – and how these new discoveries can help you to better grow your laundry business. If you truly want to develop economically sane, highly effective advertising that works, learning and leveraging the contents of this article very likely will help you achieve those goals.
It might take some thought and additional study, but using these scientific methods will put you miles ahead of the competition. In fact, if you just put a little additional effort into your advertising and marketing programs, you’ll soon discover that there’s no traffic jam in the extra mile.