Neuromarketing: How to Persuade Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime

February 20, 2020 – One of the leading pioneers of neuromarketing, Patrick Renvoise, joins FS Insider to discuss his book, The Persuasion Code: How Neuromarketing Can Help You Persuade Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime. Patrick, who wrote the first book on neuromarketing, explains the cutting edge neuroscience being used to both persuade and manipulate people at the subconscious level.

Here's what he told listeners when it comes to subconscious marketing, tailored messages, and hacking the primal brain...

What Is Neuromarketing?

Traditional marketing relies on focus groups answering questions and reporting likes and dislikes about products or services. However, Renvoise said this isn’t always the most effective approach.

Cue the burgeoning science of neuromarketing, which focuses on using physiological measurements of signals our bodies unconsciously produce to deduce information about what we really want.

Rather than ask a blunt question to a sample study group, this new approach uses involuntary measures to find out what’s really going on inside our unconscious minds. A neuromarketer will ask a similar question and measure unconscious responses via eye tracking, heart rate, and other indicators.

Traditional measures are producing false positives, and the reality is that often we don’t know what we want.

“This is why traditional marketing is not that effective,” Renvoise said. “The promise of neuromarketing, however, is that by asking people what they want, but not trusting what they say, and instead measuring directly their various physiological changes, we will get a much better idea of what they truly want.”

The Six Tells

Renovise tells us a typical human brain processes about 11 million bits of information per second, but can only be conscious of about 50 bits per second.

There are numerous ways to identify what people truly want, and one of the promises of neuromarketing is that we'll be able to access some of the hidden forces in peoples' minds. This approach helps cut through conscious errors and known cognitive biases, Renvoise stated.

The six rules of stimulus that Renvoise and his team have uncovered are:

  1. Personal: The primal brain is self-centered, responding better to information geared directly to it. Rather than talking about ourselves when we’re trying to reach someone, it’s far more effective to spin it about them.
  2. Contrasting: Contrast is vital for the brain to make quick and safe decisions. It's something that stands out against the background information in an environment.
  3. Tangible: Relying on intangible concepts, such as numbers alone, doen't always work. Provide tangible information and concepts when discussing an idea or a pitch.
  4. Memorable: Our brains are wired to remember most about what's happening at the beginning and the end of a message but tend to forget everything in between.
  5. Visual: Our visual systems have been around longer than verbal cues and are powerful in marketing ideas.
  6. Emotional: Emotion is the basic fuel that is necessary for the brain to make decisions.

“You have only six ways if you want to stimulate that primal brain, that unconscious,” Renvoise said. “We have translated those six stimuli into steps that everybody should apply in sales and marketing if they want to have a chance to persuade or influence people.”

Future Applications

Though it may have been cumbersome to perform neuromarketing tests on subjects in the past, now it is built right into our technology through facial recognition, access to our web searches, and social media data. Renovise added that ethical considerations to neuromarketing are a growing concern, but, there are upsides to it if devices in the future can read our emotional states.

Also, it isn’t only the fields of sales and marketing that stand to be impacted. In the future, everything from education to politics may be influenced by neuromarketing.

Renvoise’s book includes a predictive model based on his research that can be applied to nearly anything. For example, a body of research shows that judges tend to be more lenient or more severe depending on the time of day they make rulings. Unconscious biases exist in almost every arena, and neuromarketing allows us to identify these to help produce better outcomes.

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