Thursday, September 24, 2009

Neuromarketing and Nuero Social Marketing

I recently learned more about the field of neuromarketing at a lecture by neuromarketing scientist, sales presentation guru and passionate speaker Christophe Morin, founder of Sales Brain.

For those of you who haven’t heard, neuromarketing is the study of how the brain acts during buying decisions. Just as more active muscles in our body need more oxygen, the more active areas of our brain also get more O2 enriched blood flow when they are working harder. Using an MRI machine, this can be tracked, catalogued and studied.

So, scientists know what you’re probably thinking right now. They know our attention span during sales presentations: 20 minutes tops. As I found out by reading Martin Lindstrom’s book Buyology, they know how we want to mirror the sexy men and women in ads, whether we know it consciously or not.

The most intriguing findings, according to Christophe, are that decisions aren’t made in the part of the brain that controls logic, or emotion, or smell, or even vision. It’s made in the section of grey matter that deals with our basic instincts: fight or flight, food, sex, and how we stay alive. Here, before we even know we’ve made a decision, the part of our brain that handles survival pulls us in one direction or another. So, the smart brains at Sales Brain have ways of talking to that part of the brain. Without their permission, I’ll now blog about them and hopefully get them some business.

Now, Christophe’s presentation wasn’t geared toward social marketing, but this post will.

1. Me, me, me
Our reptilian brain, or survival brain (as I call it), doesn’t care what you’re reporting on Twitter unless it pertains to us. Will it help us survive by giving us information that will help us keep our job? Will it help us reproduce by making us wittier or better looking? Will it at least make us laugh? It has to be rewarding for the reader.

2. Beginnings and Endings
We constnetrtae on bgennigns and ednings, wichh aollws oru brnais TO FGUIRE TIHNGS OUT. If you jumble the letters of words, except for the last two letters, the brain figures them out. If you start and end a podcast with your topic, then the brain might not listen to all of it, but it will fill in the blanks and guess at the rest.

3. Contrasts or Anomalies
Seth Godin’s book, Purple Cow, talks about how if you’re on the road and see a herd of cows you won’t notice any one in particular unless it’s a totally different color, say purple. Our brain is trained to notice contrasts. That’s why it’s shocking if a noisy room suddenly gets quiet or a cell phone interrupts a quiet room. It’s a basic brain function. Build the unusual and people will come.

4. Tangible
Our survival system doesn’t deal with the abstract. It deals with things in this world. If you want to talk about a thought, what’s an example of how that idea affects the world? Could it help someone, increase sales in a store, save a life? Be specific.

5. Visual
Without thinking, your brain is trained to make you jump if you see a snake. Talk about the idea of a snake and nobody moves a muscle. Be as visual as possible. Even on a podcast or blog, you can use words to paint pictures. We understand what we read, but we’re moved by what we see, even if it’s in our imagination.

6. Emotions
Think about your favorite TV ad or even a good Tweet. Was it great because it was factual or because it was funny or moving in some way? This is a no brainer about the brain, the more emotional you can make something, the closer we feel to it.

If you use social media, you probably already instinctually follow some of these rules. Maybe you don’t. The fact is that it’s easy to create social content. It’s more difficult to make sure that content is strategic. Then, the biggest trick is to make the content compelling. Neuromarketing helps to engage people on an unconscious as well as conscious level.

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