People today are completely bombarded with messages on an increasing number of media and platforms – TVs, smartphones, internet advertising, social media, billboards – that are difficult to measure. But the modern consumer sees thousands of ads every day. Even places that previously had no advertisements (gyms, for example) are gone.
Here are six neuroscience principles that brands can use to promote their campaigns.
- Belief bias
Belief bias is the tendency to accept things that fit the existing belief system and judge the strength of the arguments based on previous beliefs rather than logic or data. In getting users to buy a product, brands can use this principle and focus on how the product will benefit someone’s lifestyle – how the product will help them personally and positively in the context of what they consider to be true.
- Bandwagon effect
The bandwagon effect is the principle that when you create the perception that “everyone” is buying a product or service, people buy it. Consumers feel safer and more eager to buy if they think there is an impulse around it and will take the opportunity to be part of the crowd. Using language like “everyone changes to X” or “everyone changes to Y” helps to keep the message.
- Principle of rarity
The wave effect can be used in conjunction with another neuroscience principle: scarcity. When something is missing, potential buyers have an inherent sense of urgency to act before availability runs out. This idea is fundamental to the success of DRTV. Adding a sense of urgency encourages people to take action before it is too late. If you offer a 20% discount for a limited time or say that an offer won’t be available for much longer, people are more likely to buy before time runs out.
- Group polarization
Internal polarization messages qualify frontline personnel for a specific product or service. Basically, it is aimed at interested people. For example, “If you have type 1 diabetes” or “If you have a dog”, this product is for you. People who don’t fall into that category will ignore the ad, but it will have a greater impact on the audience trying to reach the brand.
- Injury discrimination
The distinctive bias is the tendency to see two options differently when evaluated simultaneously than when evaluated separately. Side-by-side comparisons can be effective here. Consider your own online clothing store. If you show the price of a second-hand store close to what someone in the same store would pay for the same item, the discounted price of the first will be even better.
- Visual coding
When images are used to convey messages, the public can use visual aids as clues to remember and retrieve information. People will probably remember 10% of the information written three days later, but registering a relevant image can increase it to 65%. If you link the views of a brand – as the number of hours someone sits – to the image of someone sitting, it adds weight to the ads.
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All of these neuroscience principles can be used in combination, among other things. Why not combine the bias of discrimination with social validation? Or the effect of the car and the scarcity principle? Ultimately, integrating neuroscience is a way to stimulate creative work.
Effective advertising does not mean throwing objects against the wall and seeing them crash. If you have a good idea, the creative person can reach the full potential of the intertwined neuroscience principles. It has to be done organically, also to adapt these principles to existing ideas. Small adjustments to a campaign can yield many results.