3 Secrets To Getting Inside Your Customers' Heads
Marketing would be really simple if you only knew exactly what would work for all your customers, wouldn’t it? To do that, though, you’d have to be a mind reader, and that’s impossible. Or is it?
Developments in the field of scientific neuromarketing show that the discipline, created in 1990 by a team of Harvard psychologists, can help marketers predict the likelihood of a customer buying a product. A far cry from the traditional methods of tracking how purchases increase in response to promotional campaigns, neuromarketing is really starting to take hold in consumer-focused industries.
The Science of Neuromarketing
Born out of a combination of neuroscience and marketing, neuromarketing studies the human brain’s responses to advertisements, branding, and other communication messages. Companies use the data they record to customize their marketing messages, along with website analytics and demographic information. The data gleaned from the science makes it possible to build your content around what the customer wants to hear, and turn the writer into a storyteller – one with a bestseller up his sleeve. And as a storyteller, the most successful methods of getting into your customer head are really simple and easy to follow. Roger Dooley, the writer of the neuromarketing book Brainfluence, has techniques that can help you to do this, and we’ve included three of them.
Secret # 1: Tell Your Story
Storytelling is an ancient art, but it’s one that has a very secure place in modern marketing. Content marketers understand that telling the story of their brand, their products and services and anything else that’s relevant gives them a valuable message delivery vehicle in the age of neuromarketing. To tell a story successfully, however, it’s essential to follow a few tested rules:
- Zero in. Focus on a specific issue for each story, identified from your neuroscience and market research data. Don’t try to cover too many points in each story, or you’ll lose your reader’s attention.
- Make it aspirational. Everyone loves a success story, or one in which good (read: success) triumphs over evil (read: failure). Tell your story in such a way that you speak directly to your customer’s inborn desire to succeed. Make him (or her) WANT to experience the benefits of your product or service.
- Use customers’ own success stories. Nothing works as well as the truth does, so tell real stories from real people about what your company, product or service has done for them. Don’t call them testimonials, call them real-life success stories.
Secret # 2: Build Up Trust
You can “buy” your customers’ loyalty by building trust. By providing valuable information and resources to your existing and potential customers over time, you generate goodwill that is repaid by the customer knowing who to turn to when they are ready to purchase. Get inside your customer’s head with your weekly blog posts, telling the stories of your company, team and products. Make it a point to always provide information that’s useful, without including a marketing message. You want your customer to feel comfortable, to believe that you are the expert, and be convinced that you are not trying to sell to them. When the time comes to buy, Dooley says, your customer will trust you to supply the best solution to his needs, and not just the one that nets you the most cash.
Secret # 3: Align Against a Common Enemy
Us and them. It’s powerful positioning, and it has been used since the beginning of time to divide societies and forge alliances. The secret is that it still works. Establish a common enemy and align your company or products with the consumer against it. It doesn’t need to be competitor-focused; you could be fighting alongside your potential customers against high prices, lack of availability, or the problem itself. For example: offering a new environmentally-friendly insecticide for bed bugs ranges you on the same side as your customers, opposite the bugs and the problems they cause.
Getting inside your customers’ heads has never been easy, but it’s now at least possible. With a road map to guide you, customize your content marketing to appeal to the areas of the brain that respond to your products. Daimler-Chrysler found through studies that sportier cars activate the same reward center of the male brain that drugs and alcohol do. Find out what is likely to motivate your customers to want your product or service, and then tell them the story you know they want to hear.