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My passions and interests are a mix of topics such as psychology, communication, neuroscience, emotional intelligence, and marketing.  And with the field of Neuromarketing quickly rising, I thought I’d share a quick, practical lesson.

We are going to keep the science very basic, but talk about how you might apply this in your every day marketing.  Understanding the connection between neuroscience and marketing has been tremendously helpful to me. Helping clients succeed really requires the understanding of more than just digital marketing.

First, did you know we have three brains?  It’s true.

  1. Our old brain. It’s also commonly called our reptilian brain.  This dates back to our primitive days.  Think 400 million years ago.  It’s home to our most basic functions, but a key function as well: deciding.
  2. Our middle brain. This is where we process emotions and feelings.  This is something we tend to target in marketing, hoping it will influence our old brain.
  3. Our new brain. We can also call this our logical brain.  It’s where we process data and rationally consider situations.  If you’ve heard of the Neocortex before, that’s part of our new brain.

What’s this mean to us as marketers?  We need to focus on reaching that old brain.  That’s where the decision to buy happens.

We usually try to build logical cases, listing out our features.  If we’re savvier, we use emotional triggers, discussing benefits.  But persuasion is better when targeting the old brain.

There’s a ton of ways to target the old brain.  Here’s a list of ideas:

  • Use pictures
  • Use storytelling, and use it well
  • Use stark contrast to make a point
  • Communicate with emotion and passion
  • Use testimonials and case studies as proof
  • Always use the word “you” to focus attention on the reader or listener

These things all get the attention of the true decision maker within us.  The logical and emotional points help to influence our old brain, but directly speaking to it gives us the greatest chance of success.

I’m sure you’re thinking – “Pictures…storytelling…testimonials… yeah, this is stuff we already know.”

But, I find understanding the connection to the brain to be more powerful than just knowing to use testimonials, and such.  When you understand that there’s different brains within us all affected in different ways, you know how to use marketing better.

Marketing isn’t a single, siloed discipline.  Not when done well.  The more you understand about different disciplines, and the world at large, the better of a marketer and copywriter you can be.

For an in-depth analysis of what’s really possible with Neuromarketing, I recommend reading the book Neuromarketing by Patrick Renvoise and Christophe Morin.  They put together a great resource on how to practically use Neuromarketing.  I just wanted to give you a sample so you know to keep an eye out for this rising methodology.

I also took a course with Copenhagen Business School on Consumer Neuroscience & Neuromarketing.  I’d recommend this more if you want the science end than the practical, marketing end.  It’s a great look into the future of Neuromarketing, just much of it isn’t applicable yet.