Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Let’s take Frito-Lay, for example. In 2009, they used neuromarketing to discover women’s feelings about snacking and guilt, and launched an entirely reworked brand for their calorie-conscious snacks. The effort was a huge success.
Fortunately, you don’t need a multibillion-dollar budget to immediately begin using neuromarketing tactics in your marketing campaigns. Here are four neuromarketing hacks that you can start using right away.
1. Personalization: “The cocktail party effect”
People love hearing their own names. It’s the sweetest sound to our ears, making it a powerful marketing tool to get others to pay attention to what you’re saying.
When the mind hears its own name, it perks up and starts listening. This is also called the “cocktail party effect” — when you hear your name at a cocktail party, you can filter out the other conversations and focus on that one specifically.
I did a neuromarketing experiment on this with paid ads using Instagram chatbot automation that I set up for one of my NFT Magazine marketing campaigns. The chatbot asked for the user’s name alongside their contact information early in the conversation. This allowed me to set up daily automated DMs, text messages and email follow-ups that always personally addressed each lead by their first name.
Unlike an anonymous message blast, personalization creates the feeling of 1:1 communication, therefore inherently creating a more meaningful interaction with your leads. The more meaningful an interaction is, the more likely your lead is to stick around longer and pay attention to whatever you’re talking about.
2. Decision paralysis
Research indicates that offering too many choices can cause people to make decisions that are against their best interests.
Although offering a wide array of choices might sometimes result in more conversions, people will feel less satisfied with what they have chosen if given too much to choose from. The important factor to consider here is the “quick buck” versus long-term value.
This all comes under the heading of a customer’s lifetime value. Customers who are satisfied with their first purchase will be more likely to buy from you again.
Here are some key statistics:
- The likelihood of a sale to a new customer is between 5% and 20% whereas the likelihood of a sale to an existing customer can be as high as 70%.
- Returning customers spend 67% more than new customers.
- Harvard Business Review reported that “increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.”
Offering too many choices can paralyze a potential customer’s ability to make a satisfactory choice and so ultimately leads to customer dissatisfaction. That raises the churn rate — the percentage of customers who stop buying from you — and thereby increases long-term marketing costs because you will constantly need to bring in new buyers instead of selling to existing ones.
In social media campaigns, focus on one or just a few choices per campaign and drive these home to potential buyers before switching gears and offering other choices. Customers will feel more satisfied with their purchases and be more likely to stick with your brand.
3. The Zeigarnik effect
The Zeigarnik effect is a psychological phenomenon where interrupted tasks are more likely to be recalled than completed ones.
Adding a pattern-interruption strategy to your chatbot marketing campaigns is an extraordinarily powerful tool. One way I implement this strategy is by designing all of my conversational chatbots to emulate human typing behavior. The bot responses have time delays that are unique to each lead and vary depending on how the leads interact with the bot in real-time.
This means that after a lead sends a message to my account, my chatbot does not reply back with an instant response. The bot will wait until the lead has already gone back to scrolling through their social media feed, or has even closed the app entirely, and only then does it respond to the message.
The goal is not to complete the interactions as soon as possible. The goal is to create interactions and experiences that they will remember. How is that done? The chatbot sends a perfectly-timed DM that interrupts the lead’s pattern, grabbing their attention and bringing them back to its Instagram conversation — where the lead is left without a next step in the thought process, therefore becoming highly suggestible to the chatbot response copy. I’ve been able to get 97% open rates consistently for four years now with this strategy. The Zeigarnik effect is one of the most influential neuromarketing hacks you can use today.
4. Keep it simple
The technical term for this is “cognitive fluency” and it is the discovery that people prefer things that are “easy to think about.”
One of the clearest pieces of evidence of this is the mass adoption of platforms and websites that are easy to understand:
- Twitter: You type a message and click send.
- Google: There’s one box on the entire page. You type it and click “Search.”
- Platforms such as Robinhood, Acorns and eToro have taken off because they finally make investing simple.
The brain “short-circuits” in the face of complexity. In your social media marketing campaigns, make your offerings simple so that people’s minds don’t feel the need to defend themselves against complexity.