Pubcon Talk by Tim Ash on Marketing to the Irrational Brain

Aside from PPC management, twitter, and other typical “bright, shiny objects” that we are all chasing as internet marketers, there are some evolving marketing techniques that utilize

Tim Ash, CEO,

Tim Ash, CEO,

neuromarketing to achieve sales and marketing goals from a different perspective.

Split personalities are something we are likely familiar with on some level, namely the left brain and the right brain, otherwise known as the Logical Brain and the Creative brain.  But these aren’t the only parts of the brain worth knowing about. You have three brains!

There’s the reasoning brain, the “Mr. Spock” brain. Planning ahead, making valued judgments—these are from the reasoning aspect of your brain. However, there is much more underneath, such as the mammalian brain where you are tuned in to feeling and emotion. Loving, hating and other emotions are developed in the mammalian brain. The mid-brain is where memory comes into play. Something important finds a home in the mid-brain. The reptilian brain is your reactive brain, where surviving and other instincts lie.

95 percent of your decisions each day are on auto-pilot. Thinking is hard and logical thinking takes a lot of effort.

Feeding the lizard. This brain truly runs the show. The reptilian brain is lazy and likes simple choices, such as decisions that can easily be made due to obvious factors. Impatience is also a trait of the reptilian brain, and responses are automatic and ingrained habits are hard to change. In fact, change is the scariest thing in the world for your reptilian brain.

The Four F’s

  • Flee- outrun it if you can. “Fight or flight?’
  • Fight- your subconscious makes decisions on preparing for confrontation.
  • Feeding- you are constantly thinking of consuming calories.
  • Fornicate- we are looking for mates

The real sales funnel is the brain stem, the limbic system, then the neocortex.  The reptilian brain is the bouncer and gatekeeper to the rest of the brain.

So how do you use this for making money and marketing?

Create a small number of clear choices. Give me for or fewer clear, simple choices. Rather than 3 pages of small images, use a few magnified and detailed images. Making choices is tiring to the brain, so decision making becomes difficult. Help guide your customers—answer a few questions to find the item you are looking for. Do not overwhelm potential buyers, you will deter them. Having several items that are similar but slightly different is a turnoff and should be an eliminated practice.

Use a big anchor. When someone shops for a suit, they focus on the anchor, the suit, and then ask about extras, such as ties, cufflinks, and tie clasps. Have an anchor to tie the buyer in and worry about the smaller details afterwards. Order prices so that reasonably priced items are in the middle of the list, and sales of reasonable items will increase accordingly.

Cultural tribes determine a large amount of what people are drawn to, such as the car you drive and

Tim Ash, CEO, SiteTuners

Tim Ash, CEO, SiteTuners

the shoe you wear are determined by your surroundings and your cultural groups. These things aren’t always an open choice. This came from the evolving nature of tribes—we care about the opinions of those who are like us. Look the part, communicate with your values and editorial tone—don’t worry about alienating outsiders, focus on your target demographic and market. Become a specialist in your niche!

A picture tells a lot. Visual processing takes up fifty percent of your brain. Pinterest, Instagram—these are picture driven, and visual processing has a lot of power. You have two types of vision—your brain focuses on points of interest and focuses on individual items before getting the “big picture” that you think you see from the beginning.  And the popular slider images seen on many sites today? Your eyes are drawn to them as the change, it’s not optional it’s an actual brain response, and they distract from anything else on your site. Videos should never be on autoplay, it should be a choice made by the viewer whether or not to watch.

Be cautious of using photos of people if they have nothing to do with your purpose or your business—stay away from gratuitous graphics.

The stuff you should be thinking about is not hidden in the universe or in technology, it lies in basic human biology.