Have you ever visited a website and your eyes immediately focused in on something on the page? And do you know those Sarah McLaughlin animal commercials that make you cry and pull out your wallet?
That’s not an accident - in fact, it was anticipated. That is Neuromarketing in action.
Neuromarketing applies neuropsychology to marketing and research. It studies the way our brain responds to certain stimuli or what sort of response a visual or message elicits as part of consumer behavior. There are a number of types of neuromarketing with different purposes, and each one is studied and tested using different techniques to understand how a consumer will react to what they have in front of them. Based on the results of these tests, content is adjusted to increase engagement and sales. Let’s take a look at some types of neuromarketing and how they work.
- Eye Gaze - When visiting a website, there is something your eyes will immediately be drawn to - maybe there’s a flashy new graphic or a new layout on the page. Eye gaze technology uses the computer’s webcam to determine where a website’s visitor’s eyes are drawn to, and then uses that information to place the content they’re looking to promote in that space. A/B testing can be completed to ensure the change was productive, and adjustments can be made from there. This puts the information you want your audience to see, where they can see it.
- ERA Satisfaction - ERA, short for emotional response analysis, uses EEG imaging to identify the brain’s response (as a level of satisfaction) in relation to a message, advertisement, product, or graphic. Researchers are then able to determine what does and doesn’t elicit certain emotions and feelings, and use that information to adjust their messaging to create the response they’re looking for.
- Speed - Imagine you’re buying a new computer online. One website offers express checkout, allowing you to make the purchase with a few clicks. The other requires you to create an account and fill out a customer survey. More likely than not, you’re going with the website that allows you to complete the process quicker - and the research agrees. Companies are starting to realize that speed and efficiency make a difference in all aspects of a digital marketplace, not just the webpage itself.
- Decision Paralysis - Have you ever heard “too much of a good thing is a bad thing?” When visiting a store or website, the amount of options available may be overwhelming, and without any logical direction, that could be a huge turn off for a potential consumer. Studies have shown that shoppers prefer having less options presented at one time, and through other data points (such as ERA or eye gaze), companies can more easily recommend or present items to their consumers.
- Packaging and Color - Every aspect of the packaging of a product can impact a consumer’s purchase. Researchers have studied fonts, color, terminology, and size and shape of packaging to determine the most impactful marketing tactics. For example, a simple, easy-to-read font will naturally attract more consumers than one that doesn’t have clear branding. By applying this information to your packaging, you can create a product that will entice more consumers to purchase your brand as opposed to the next company’s. One thing to consider is that your website is like one giant package. The way you present the information to your audience is going to influence how much time is spent on your site.
- Hippocampal Headlines - When we read a familiar phrase with a slight variation to the original, it activates our brain’s hippocampus and piques our interest, thereby spending more time considering the product. We subconsciously spend more time on things that are recognizable to us. For that reason, using catchphrases for branding that is a spin on an old saying, for example, will “hit home” for some people and increase their likelihood of buying your brand.
- Loss Aversion - It’s a simple fact of life - people like to win - or at least feel like they’re winning. Psychologists have researched this and found that the feeling of losing is psychologically twice as powerful as the feeling of winning, and thereby prompts consumer action. Framing your communication as “time is running out,” or “buy it before it’s gone,” suggests to consumers that they have to make a purchase sooner than later.
- Rewards - A marketing reward system, such as using a game to unlock discounts, can drive up sales. Have you ever visited a website and the first thing that pops up is a “spin the wheel” game where you can win anything from free shipping to 25% off? Not only is it a nice bonus for the person playing, but it’s also beneficial for the company. The neurotransmitters associated with pleasure and positive experiences increase dopamine levels when you’ve felt like you’ve won something, and that increased satisfaction leads to more sales.
Examples of Neuromarketing can be seen every day in the stores and websites we visit. While some examples are easier than others to accomplish, the overall goal is to create an experience for your customers that has an impact on them; it’s about giving consumers a reason to come to you, and to keep coming back. Here at Citro Digital, we’re able to employ several forms of neuromarketing in the way we draw up our ideas, design our websites, and craft our messaging. Is there something we can help you with? Drop us a line, we’ve got your back.