Can magicians really read your mind, cut people in half, and make the Statue of Liberty disappear? Well, it depends on how you approach the question. Realistically, they can’t achieve these feats but they can trick your eyes and brain to think such. Marketers are not magicians, yet great advertisers use the same neurological principles to influence target markets.
Magic may not be ‘real’ yet a number of truths influence the way people see, comprehend, and react. Learn four truths about marketing magic and better advertising.
Multitasking is a Myth
Your boss or favorite entrepreneur is likely to champion the notion of multitasking, but ask any neurologist; multitasking is a myth. Our brains are not wired to do two or more things at once, at least not as efficiently as we would wish. It’s a matter of science. We use the area of the brain called the striatum to learn new skills and the hippocampus when we recall information for higher level thinking and functioning. When we multitask, the striatum area, not the hippocampus, is activated. We may physically do more than two things at once, yet we’re using the area of the brain devoted to low-level thinking and functioning.
Magicians know such truths and use it to deviate attention or make you comprehend several things while others are going on right in front of your eyes. For example, in a study, researchers made people watch a basketball video, noting how many times the ball is passed between players. The video features a man in a gorilla suit jumping from the stands and on the court, yet those concentrating on counting passes totally missed this out-of-the-ordinary sight. Why? You already know the answer.
While marketers would like to inundate target markets with sights, sounds, and information, it’s better if endeavor, such as a web page, to focus on one sentiment at a time. The same is true for videos, especially since online attention is extremely limited. The average person shortened their attention span from 12 to just over 8 seconds in 15 years!
Many Choices Is Too Many
Ben and Jerry’s ice cream is heralded for the huge assortment of offerings. However, the dessert’s success is a marketing anomaly. Our brains are wired to seek simplicity. Getting barraged with a high number of choices creates anxiety, a negative feeling a consumer could unconsciously associate with your brand. As above, you want your offerings to be simple, direct, and free of too many choices.
Actually, you can use a competitor’s range of choices against them, bringing the customer’s attention to the fact your sales cycle involves little mental strain and is straightforward versus frustrating and needlessly time consuming.
What if you were told that each time you recall a memory, you’re actually changing it, so it’s constantly in a state of flux despite how many times you remember? It’s true. So, ongoing, your remembering a memory of a memory of a memory…
Those providing testimony of an event second guess all the time. In some instances, one cannot tell the difference between what did happen and what could of happened. In recent news, a popular South Korean author admitted she “must have” plagiarised another piece of literature, though she can’t definitely recall reading it.
In a world cluttered with information coming in an endless stream via social media, a brand is as good as its last story. Successful public relations is really just a repeated cycle of positively spun stories. If we’re told stories of how a brand is revolutionary, edgy, altruistic, or monumental, we’re more than willing to believe, even if facts say otherwise.
For example, Google is a brand that gets negative press yet the brand’s ongoing story tells of its innovation, free tools, and willingness to serve society. The tech giant may have violated privacy in the past yet it has no problems continuing to be the most beloved search engine in the world.
Why can Google’s trespasses be dismissed while it continues its reign as top search engine? Well, you may have heard about its privacy violations, but you’ve heard positive things about the brand a lot more often. Actually, repetition can outweigh reality if we’re told the same things repeatedly and often enough, even if those things are not true.
Why do you think those late-night infomercials, pushing revolutionary yet hardly-believable products, are so successful? Will that product really make body hair never grow back (despite centuries of homo sapien hair growth)?
Will you really lose all that weight in the first week? Will you really transform your beer gut to a rippling six pack with little effort? In short, no, not a chance, yet those products get purchased all the time. In addition to selling the benefits to those hoping the promises are actually true. The hope makes us believe the claims to be true, even if a part of us thinks otherwise.
For example, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the famous author responsible for the cleverest of all detectives, Sherlock Holmes, was fooled by two young sisters who insisted fairies did in fact exist. Doyle, very much like his detective creation in real life, initially took interest in the assertion of the two girls, wanting to debunk the visual ‘proof.’ After much speculation and having the photographs inspected, Doyle actually became a mystic and believer of fairies!
How could a highly intelligent man be convinced fairies exist? Well, in addition to the repetition associated to their reality, a part of the man wanted the story to be true, and voila!
Cam Secore’s interest in business inspired his college education at Keene and entrepreneurial pursuits online. CEO at AllPowerMoves.com, Secore shares his business insights and experiences on Twitter and marketing blogs across the Web.