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Neuromarketing 101: How to sell to your customer's brain

Neuromarketing 101: How to Sell to the Brain

Neuromarketing is one of the most fascinating types of marketing. The term itself may make someone label it as cheap manipulation ploys for marketers and advertisers. While it may be impossible for a marketer to map the human brain, there are indeed several tactics that can be performed to entice potential customers that are very effective. Once you know how to utilize them, you’ll be able to apply these strategies to your small business or even when you create a website.

Below, we are going to show you a few methods to hook customers in, and other ways to draw and keep their attention: 

Avoid “decision paralysis” by limiting options

Customers want choices. No wait, customers say they want choices. Roger Dooley, author of Brainfluence, details a study out of Columbia University which concluded that offering too many choices to customers can overwhelm them and lead to a loss of a potential sale.

Let’s say there’s a store that sells t-shirts; everything from polo, sport and casual. Across the road, there’s an up and coming designer selling a variety of clothing; pants, dresses and you guessed it, t-shirts. With so many choices available at the t-shirt megastore, a customer could spend hours going through all of the inventory! But at the store across the road where the selection of t-shirts is less daunting, a buyer is likely to have more success.

By offering a smaller selection to your customers, they will be able to weigh the pros and cons easier in their minds.

Make scarcity work for you

We deem that what is rare is valuable and this very notion can affect the choices made by consumers.

Say you walk into an ice cream shop, craving an adventurous flavor. Each flavor is full and ripe for scooping, except for the vanilla, which is almost gone. Somehow, it now seems to be the most appetizing of them all, totally throwing your desire for a more unique taste on your palate out the window.

Scarcity also conjures up a common fear of missing a chance that you may not get to seize again. Far too often do you see “Only 2 left in stock!” or “For a limited time only!” when shopping online; this has been a very successful neuromarketing tactic in the eCommerce market.

Creating some kind of urgency can give a push for a customer to buy.

Neuromarketing - make scarcity work for you

Humanize your brand

We are naturally drawn to faces, and even more so to eyes. This is why it’s wise to use photos of actual people in your ads or website. Not only can such photos liven up a scene, but the expressions on their faces can evoke the same feeling your product or service can bring to your customers. So it’s best to make use of them!

Add a baby face

Speaking of faces, if you really want to turn it up a notch, add a photo of a baby! Even if a product isn’t targeted at infants, that hasn’t stopped marketers from adding a plump, young face to ads. Why? They work! Using eye-tracking technology, studies have shown that people viewing an ad with a baby tend to focus on its face more than they would an average adult and this adorable bundle is known to their attention much longer.

The same eye-tracking study also found that if the baby within the ad itself is looking straightforward, viewers would primarily focus on its face and nothing else. However, if the baby was looking elsewhere, say, off to the left, the viewer too would look there. For this use case, placing information or call to actions that you want viewers to read should be placed in the direction of the baby’s gaze.

Neuromarketing - baby gaze

Use simple fonts to promote action

In the report If It’s Hard to Read, It’s Hard to Do, Hyunjin Song & Norbert Schwarz state that people more likely to engage if the effort level is minimal. This also translates to the simplicity or complexity of fonts that are used when specific actions are requested.

Taking this into account, if you are seeking a specific action from your viewer, be sure that you display it in a simple, clean font. A font that’s easy to read can make the requested action appear as if it’s easy to complete. This may be why you don’t see many CTAs in a script-style font. Have a look at our article about the best ways to use fonts – you might find it useful. 

Use fancy fonts to add a complex and sophisticated feel

If you offer a complex or expensive product, a harder-to-read font may be needed to justify it. Using a fancier font and bigger wording in your product descriptions can increase the belief that it is, in fact, a unique product that won’t be found elsewhere.

Using a harder to read font and an air of complexity to your wording will also allow the viewer to take their time when reading what you have to say. This can allow them to absorb and remember your message, moreso than a simply-worded one. It’s important to strike a balance, as over-complicating your copy could result in an adverse response.

Show and tell (that you’re trustworthy)

Establishing and retaining the trust of your customers is vital for any small business, and sometimes the most obvious marketing strategy is the right approach. Tell them you’re trustworthy! You can do so in a number of ways; from offering free returns to giving a free gift with purchase, there is no better way to prove you’re trustworthy than to show it.

Neuromarketing - show you're trustworthy

Utilize progressive engagement

Basically, progressive engagement is like building a relationship. You need to move gradually and adapt your requests according to the stage that you’re in. Similarly, your approach with your potential customers should be done tactfully, starting off small. For example, you stumble upon a Facebook post on your newsfeed that catches your eye. You read the full post and decide to give it a like. From there, maybe you’ll head over to publisher’s page and begin to follow along. In time, you may share the page’s content and engage it with more. Slowly, a relationship is built with the Facebook page. The same can and should be done for your business – you can first give a free gift, then a coupon, then a small discount and so on, until the customer falls in love with your business. Think about all the Freemium platforms, this concept is at the core of their business model ;) 

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