In the hyper-competitive world of marketing and sales, it isn’t sufficient just to push out an ad or a sales letter and hope and pray for a response.
Consumers and corporate buyers are increasingly spoilt for choice. Selling based on price alone is no longer sustainable in the long haul.
The solution? Market to your prospect’s old brain.
At least according to authors Patrick Renvoise and Christophe Morin (co-founders of SalesBrain) of the book Neuromarketing – Understanding the “Buy Buttons” in Your Customer’s Brain.
Describing how the primitive old brain (which date back 450 million years apparently) was the decision making centre of human beings, this highly readable volume suggested tools and techniques to create an impact where it matters most.
Unlike our more advanced “new” brain which is the grey matter on the frontal lobes of your cranium, the old brain is triggered by six different stimuli:
To hit the six stimuli of the old brain (self-centredness, contrast, tangible input, beginning and end, visual stimuli and emotion), Renvoise and Morin created an easy four-step process.
This involves understanding the fundamental problems and issues that your prospect faces.
For example, he or she may really want a beautiful set of teeth rather than a nice tasting toothpaste.
Key considerations include the source of the pain (eg financial, personal, health), its intensity, timing and awareness.
After you’ve identified your prospect’s pain point, you need to create significant contrast and uniqueness from your competitors’ product offerings.
Originality (Coca Cola and Levi’s), recommended choice (More dentists recommend XYZ…), or convenience (7-Eleven’s always close but never close) are some of the possible ways to do so.
Saying you’re different isn’t enough. You need to provide evidence that your claim works.
This can be in the form of a customer story or testimonial, a demonstration (eg the famous iPhone blending advertisement by Blendtec below), data (eg studies by independent research firms), or a vision (using analogies, metaphors or stories).
This final step involves coming up with the nuts and bolts of your marketing message. In the book, there are six key message building blocks which are proposed. I find them pretty interesting and insightful.
This can take the shape of a mini-drama, wordplay, rhetorical question, prop or story that can immediately capture your prospect’s attention.
Grabbers can be in your headlines or lead-in sentences.
The old adage that a picture paints a thousand words apply here. In this case, your picture should be one that immediately shows relief from the prospect’s main source of main.
These are your unique selling propositions which should be highly specific and defensible. Repetition helps to reinforce them in your prospect’s mind.
Include both the tangible and intangible proofs that your prospect can benefit from should she become your customer. This demonstrates to your prospect that you are not just pulling wool over their eyes.
Ah yes, this is a very necessary skill for both marketers and sellers alike.
In the book, this is done by restating your prospect’s objection, stepping into it, waiting for the feedback of prospects, stating your personal opinion on the matter, and presenting a positive side to the objection.
You can do this both in your sales and marketing copy, as well as in face-to-face engagements.
Last but certainly not least, you need a Call To Action (CTA).
Now, this is done through repetition of your claims and triggering a positive commitment.
Finally, to strengthen your marketing message, the authors have suggested seven impact boosters. These are namely:
While Neuromarketing may not go deeply into the theoretical underpinnings of how our brain works, it does provide rather useful and practical tips on improving one’s marketing techniques.
Some of its principles are derived from Advertising 101 (think AIDA). Others delve more into the art and science of selling.
While scholars may poo-poo the idea of exploiting one’s cranium for commercial purposes, it may have to be a necessary evil in times like this.
Overall, a highly recommended read for beginning marketers keen to hone their craft.