Prospect Marketing for the Brain

Prospect Marketing

Have you ever been curious about why higher priced products sometimes outsell their lower priced competition – quality notwithstanding? Are you curious about why people buy what they buy even if it seems impractical? And why do some brands enjoy an almost cult-like following while others have no brand-loyalty at all? Here’s a more important question: Would you like your prospect marketing efforts to produce those kinds of results? Of course you would. Who wouldn’t?

Then you might want to apply something other than the traditional prospect marketing formula. The traditional formula consists of compelling headlines, benefits, guarantees, calls to action, etc. The goal is to lead the prospective customer to a conscious decision to buy. But, even after all that, marketing is still a “hit or miss” proposition.

What, then? What can you do to produce better results? The answer is “neuromarketing”. The basis for neuromarketing is the idea that the unconscious – not conscious – mind drives how people respond to ads, products, etc. and, ultimately, drives our buying decisions.

There are actually three parts to the human brain:

  • The “New” brain (aka. the Cortex), which is responsible for logic, learning, language, conscious thought, and our personalities.
  • The “Mammalian” brain (aka. the Limbic System), which handles mood, emotion, hormone and memory functions.
  • The “Reptilian” brain (aka. the R Complex), which controls our basic instincts for survival, like hunger, breathing, flight-or-fight response, and avoiding danger.

The traditional marketing model targets the New Brain. But neuro-marketing advocates believe the Reptilian brain is what actually drives people’s buying decisions. If your marketing efforts are to influence buying decisions, you must learn how the Reptilian brain operates and adjust your marketing efforts accordingly. Here are 7 keys to the Reptilian brain that can improve your marketing results:

1. Emotions

The Reptilian brain runs on autopilot. It’s a stimulus-response mechanism. Have you ever noticed how the sound of an old song, the sight of a sunrise or sunset, the smell of a particular food all trigger an unconscious emotional response. Stimulus-response has a similar impact on buying decisions. So, the more positive sensory responses you can trigger in your marketing, the better.

2. Pain vs pleasure

The Reptilian brain causes us to seek pleasure and avoid pain. More notable is that we react more intensely to the threat of pain than the possibility for pleasure. In a marketing context, prospective customers are more concerned about possibly getting hurt than the enjoyment they might derive from the product they’re considering. The solution is to somehow add more pleasure to the buying process.

3. The beginning and ending

The beginning and ending of any experience determines our perception of the experience as a whole. Our initial experience colors how we’ll perceive what follows. And our most recent experience adds greater weight to our final impression. So a strong first impression is essential to the prospect’s acceptance of your overall message, and a positive final impression will influence future buying decisions more than all other experiences combined.

4. Images

According to StudyMode, 90 percent of information that comes to the brain is visual. It’s common knowledge that we base our first impression of others on their physical appearance. That’s our Reptilian brain responding to visual stimuli, not words. The New brain processes words, and they are secondary in the buying process. So, focus on a visual approach to getting your core market message across. This includes everything from product design, to packaging, to advertising images and videos. This is how you strengthen your emotional connection with customers.

5. The perceived pain of buying

The most powerful pain-producing stimulus in the buying process is price – in relative terms, not absolute. Customers perceive a price that seems unfair as “painful”. A price that causes the prospect to consider an alternative use for the money is also painful. Conversely, a price that’s seen as fair, etc. is not perceived as painful. So frame your price in such as to minimize the perceived pain. For example, promote sale prices, package pricing, or spreading payments over three or four months.

6. Tangible vs. abstract

The Reptilian brain does not understand numbers or abstract terms. Phrases like “comprehensive solution”, “core competency”, or “integrated approach” cause the mind’s eye to glaze over. To reach the Reptilian brain, describe tangible benefits – what the prospect will see, taste, smell, hear, or feel (by touch).

7. The impact of culture

According to marketing consultant Clotaire Rapaille, some cultures, such as American, are very reptilian due to the need for instant gratification. Other cultures, like the German or French, are more control-oriented and aimed at the cortex. They prefer thinking rather than doing. So, implement regional prospect marketing to whatever culture you’re trying to reach. If you’re looking for global reach, you’ll need to create different marketing collateral for each culture. That may seem onerous, but it’s really the same as publishing websites in different languages.

To learn more about how you can improve your prospect marketing by connecting with your prospective customers in a meaningful, authentic way, contact us online or call 503-536-7350. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Prospect Marketing for the Brain

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