By Neal Cole
According to research by Harvard Business School professor Gerald Zaltman, up to 95% of our purchase decisions are directed by subconscious mental processes.
As digital marketers, we know this intuitively. How many articles have you read that advised you to appeal to the emotional, irrational, subconscious part of the brain?
Despite this evidence, a majority of marketing efforts still focus on making logical appeals to a rational mind.
This approach leads to a sub-optimal user experience and poor conversion rates because it ignores how the human brain actually works.
So, how do we effectively target the subconscious brain? Well, we first need to understand the nature of subconscious decision making, including the role of emotions and the mechanisms that trigger attention.
How Good is Our Subconscious Brain at Making Decisions?
A lot has been written about how our decision-making is prone to bias, and as a result, people often make poor judgments. While this may be true some of the time, research by Alex Pouget found that people can often make optimal decisions, and usually do so if the choice is made by the subconscious mind.
So, users will trust their gut instinct – because it is often right! This is why if an offer doesn’t come across as credible (e.g. it is too good to be true), visitors will often reject it. Psychologists have also found that the goals which direct much of our behavior are often activated by our subconscious mind.
If it’s too good to be true…
Neuroscience research has also found that when our subconscious brain identifies a good opportunity to achieve a goal it produces a positive emotion. The brain then automatically triggers a decision to seek goal fulfillment.
The opposite is true when our subconscious brain identifies something that we don’t expect to help us meet an active goal. A negative emotion is triggered and we avoid the behavior associated with that outcome.
Our conscious mind, System 2, on the other hand, is much more deliberative and conservative in thinking.
Don’t worry though, it only tends to be in control when we do mental math or if there is a problem of some kind. System 2 uses up a lot of energy so it gets depleted easily.
That’s why marketers should be ruthless with removing clutter on a website and create an intuitive design. A design that is easy and simple to navigate does not activate System 2 and so the user’s mental energy does not get depleted so rapidly.
Do we buy what we like or like what we buy?
Neuroscience research by Gregory Berns and Sara Moore from Emory University found subjective likability is a poor indicator of sales.
Instead, activation of the brain’s reward center was much more predictive of future sales than subjective likability. So, it’s true we like what we buy, not buy what we think we like.
How do We Target the Subconscious mind?
To target the subconscious brain, we have to communicate that our brand meets implicit or psychological goals that activate our reward center.
When this happens, we Go to the full article.
Source:: Business 2 Community