Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Big Companies Use Neuromarketing to Influence Buyers. Can You?

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As a website owner (and digital marketer), could you apply the principles of neuromarketing to your online efforts? Do you know what neuromarketing is? Do you know how to apply the principles of neuromarketing to your website design and how to create landing pages that will generate more conversions? Learn the answers to those questions by reading the excellent articles that I found for you in this week’s #FridayFinds.

What Is Neuromarketing?

Are you trying to sell products or services on your website? If you are, have you ever heard of neuromarketing principles? Before I link to a great article on how to apply neuromarketing to your website, let’s take a look at what it is:
  • Neuromarketing is a field of marketing that uses medical technologies such as fMRIs (functional magnetic resonance imaging) and EEGs (electroencephalography) to study the brain’s responses to marketing stimuli.
  • By studying our brain’s responses to advertising and branding, marketers can adjust their messages to elicit better responses to their marketing efforts.
  • Neuromarketing is not cheap. According to Marketing-Schools.org, “an fMRI machine can cost as much as $5 million (and twice that to set up). Additionally, a single ad sample group of 20 people can cost in excess of $10,000″.
  • Remember the Pepsi Challenge? In 2004, neuroscientist Read Montague asked the question: “If people truly prefer Pepsi over Coke, why isn’t Pepsi dominating the market?” After publishing his findings, neuromarketing emerged.

How Does Neuromarketing Work?

While I always strive to include current blog posts in this series, I strongly believe that some articles are “evergreen” and stand the test of time. So, (for those of you interested in learning more about neuromarketing), I recommend reading Neurofocus Uses Neuromarketing to Hack Your Brain which is based on an article that was first  published in 2011 in FastCompany magazine.

In his article, Adam L. Penenberg introduces us to A.K. Padeep, the founder and CEO of NeuroFocus, a science based consumer research company. This is an interesting read because it starts out explaining how this company collected data (from paid participants who wore portable wireless scanners) to analyze their subconscious responses to commercials, products, brands and messages.
NeuroFocus collects the data, records it and analyzes billions of data points. While focus groups and surveys measure the conscious mind, neuroscience measures the subconscious mind. (One of the problems with focus groups is that participants can by influenced by the person conducting the research.)
Some of the companies that use neuromarketing include: Pepsico, Intel, CBS, California Olive Ranch, ESPN and eBay .

Neuromarketing Efforts of Big Companies
Image Credit: Illustration by Superexpresso on FastCompany.com

How Can You Apply Behavioral Psychology to Your Website Design?

The article that intrigued me this week (and the one that motivated me to research neuromarketing) is 6 Neuromarketing Principles For Designing More Persuasive Websites by Tim Ash on MarketingLand.com. This quick read shares six techniques that you can apply to your website to create pages that will persuade your visitors to buy right away.
As usual, I am not going to go into a lot of detail but instead I’ll leave you with these bullet points from Tim’s article and encourage you to read it for yourself. The screenshots that Tim includes illustrate how neuromarketing principles (based on using psychological behavior) are used by companies to create website pages that result in higher user engagement.
      1. Leverage scarcity to persuade visitors to buy now
      2. Use decoys to steer visitors to a specific product
      3. Anchor” visitors to justify a purchase
      4. Make your website visitors feel “indebted
      5. Offer items that you expect to be “rejected
      6. Employ the “hurt & rescue” technique.

Can NeuroScience Be Used to Increase Your Conversion Rates?

Are you unhappy with your conversion rates on your website? As I was researching this article, I searched to see what has been written lately on this topic and I came across Nick Kolenda’s guest post The Neuroscience of Conversion Optimization on NeuroScienceMarketing.com.
Nick’s post is written for digital marketers. In it, he shares three principles from neuroscience but he also cautions his readers that . . .
Sometimes principles—no matter how much they’re backed by credible scientific research—will produce odd results. It’s a matter of life. When you read these principles, you should follow the advice of conversion expert, Chris Goward, and, “You Should Test That!‘”
The three principles that Nick discusses (along with examples of companies where this has worked) are:
      1. Processing Fluency (processing information easily evokes positive feelings)
      2. Congruent Attitudes (actions can cause you to develop attitudes)
      3. Social Attitudes (being influenced by people who are similar to us)
Again, this is an article that you should read for yourself. Along with a deeper explanation of what each principle is, Nick also provides examples of companies that have implemented them successfully as well as examples of companies that haven’t. Additionally, Nick explains how we can apply these three principles to our websites
Note: You won’t want to miss Nick’s summary where he bullet points his own article. Personally, I’ve bookmarked this article to keep in mind when I redesign my site.

Over To You:

What are your thoughts? Were you familiar with neuromarketing prior to reading this article? Do you think that you can implement some of the tactics that Tim Ash illustrated to create website pages that will convert your website visitors to buyers? Please share your thoughts and ideas with us. As I always say, we can all learn from each other.


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