Feature: Neuromarketing
Communicate March 201334
I
n a fascinating recent article I was reminded
how Aristotle – back in A...
Feature: Corporate affairs
March 2013 Communicate 35
herd. They should behave ‘as if’ they already represent
their best se...
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Neuromarketing - Communicate feature article

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My latest Communicate magazine piece "The future of communications is inherently a psychological and more mindful process. For business, developing engaging content is a psychological process, writes Hubert Grealish" ___ (get discounted iPad edition at http://lnkd.in/d4-c7tV)

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#websummit #startup #dublin #techbiz #business #communicate #neuromarketing #marketing

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Neuromarketing - Communicate feature article

  1. 1. Feature: Neuromarketing Communicate March 201334 I n a fascinating recent article I was reminded how Aristotle – back in AD350 – was a master of message and delivery, with his formula for content sharing after a good speech. To ensure an oration is persuasive and strong enough for listeners to pass on, it has to work to the three simple principles: ethos, pathos and lagos – elements of ‘ethical, emotional, and logical’ appeal respectfully and the key ingredients of any good speech, worth sharing. Nowadays, with everyone having their own social voice through which to share content, marketers scramble for every new technology and widget to get ever closer to the herded message. It’s a confusing time as the connected world leads a swell of emotions in one way, and the other, with items of titillation and celebrity, promotion and value. Unlike in the past, the content being released now is often lacking curation. Brands no longer feel secure as group loyalties and attentions sway from one event or moment to the next. We’ve moved away from the topdown advertisers’ delight of years long gone, to a more peer influenced world where so the notion of ‘word of mouth’ has become the trading floor for all attentions, not to mention sales. We’re witnessing the greatest shift in control and power struggle as brands work harder and smarter to ingratiate themselves with their audiences. This shift implies that digital, digital content in particular, will have to change. The clues once again lie within, as the field of neuromarketing looks to tap the inner workings of our social and psychological patterns, for new ways to engage and converse. If companies begin to act as personas, customers will also begin to identify with these personalities and how much they listen to and trust them. This may become a proven way to win trust through your company’s behaviour. Communicators have been shifting toward a content-focused model since the social media boom. Content agencies have sprung up around the world, in-house teams have embraced brand journalism and content creation and individual The future of communications is inherently a psychological and more mindful process. For business, developing engaging content is a psychological process, writes Hubert Grealish It’s all in your head communicators have become content producers, editors and developers in their own right. Gilad de Vries, senior vice president of Outbrain, a digital content company, said last year, “What brands needed was a completely new vehicle to engage with their consumers in the digital space. In the digital world, there’s so much content that one of the biggest challenges was ‘How do you get people to find that content and engage with the content the brands are producing?’” The answer may be found in neuromarketing. In a groundbreaking study from 1979, persons, or perhaps companies, should act ‘as if’ they represent the values or characteristics they wish to be known for. Theoretically, that is exactly what will happen. In this test, Harvard professor Ellen Langer found that by simply filling an old folks home with 1950s icons and memorabilia and asking the men in their ’70s to pretend it was 20 years earlier, not only did the subjets act convincingly, they actually started to demonstrate improved physiological and youthful health improvements, almost as if they were younger again. As professor Langer said herself of the study, “Wherever you put the mind, the body will follow.” Indeed, with four decades study now behind her, she says, “Mindfulness is the essence of engagement” when considering how to effect change in people. However, in a world with thousands of messages bombarding the world each day, communicators are still struggling to reach through the noise. By introducing psychological or emotional triggers into content, they may be able to achieve cut-through. Until they succeed though, brands no longer feel secure as group loyalties and attentions sway from one piece of content to the next. The industry seems to at times even lack a certain confidence in itself. And so, in this more peer-influenced world of word of mouth, communicators are all ring-side witnesses to the greatest shift in control as companies bow to more public opinion and work harder to engage increasingly obscure and disinterested audiences. So what to do? The answer is straightforward. Companies, like folk, need to follow and think like the 34-35_3rd feat_mch'14_p.indd 34 03/03/2014 14:38
  2. 2. Feature: Corporate affairs March 2013 Communicate 35 herd. They should behave ‘as if’ they already represent their best selves, delivering on whatever values and services for which they seek to be known. We need to consider what already makes us happy and gives us pleasure, for new ways to produce useful and engaging content. James Olds and Peter Milner released research in the 1950s that discovered the brain’s pleasure center – essentially determining that certain triggers can have an positive emotional response on people. Neuromarketing seeks to harness these triggers in branded content in order to reach audiences more effectively. Music can be a clear winner for neuromarketing. Some of the most viral and far reaching campaigns I’ve worked on haven’t focused on product or brand marketing, they’ve consciously avoided it. In one case with partner professor Daniel Levitin, a neurologist and ex-music producer, we set out to seek the ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll’ part of the brain. That was in 2006 and the results helped sell early digital audio products. As Dr Levitin himself found, “Many people today use music for emotional regulation in the way that they use drugs such as caffeine and alcohol: they use a certain kind of music to help get them going in the morning, another kind to unwind after work. People use music to help make it through their exercise workout or to comfort them during emotional crises.” So music is the doctor. His book on the topic continues to generate news even now, almost a decade later. Nike’s Just Do It strapline continues to endure as an example of the success of neuromarketing, calling on its consumers to get out there and get busy, without overtly plugging any product. It gets people to buy into the pleasurable lifestyle idea, which has a greater reach than any single product. Neuromarketers of the new age will move away from product and brand messages, direct to the moments of pleasure and achievement, which make our daily lives. At base level, the importance is to consider simplicity and emotion. Keep the message human. This need not be a complex matter, not in execution anyway. The back-end ‘under the bonnet’ workings of larger and matrix organizations need not intrude on the customer mindset. In social media, everyone is quick to retweet and share the cutest of cats and the most shocking news. Though it’s not without a price. Those who like or +1 branded content, are keeping a semi-conscious tally of their attentions to that company, with a view to one day wanting some attention in return. This was proven in tests with monkeys, whose brains specifically remembered when scientists gave extra juice to their peers. As for the humans, beware the free lunch, as people won’t forget the likes. And finally, a word on mindfulness. As we’ve seen in TIME, people are increasingly aware and open to new ways of managing their (grey) matter. With so many individuals now embracing more conscious living, the possibilities for communicators are endless. A more developed sense of intuition can allow communicators to anticipate and connect with audiences at their most primed moments, while also consciously knowing when to hold back. Now there’s a thought – a mindful business model. Hubert Grealish is partner, strategy & communications, MPERA Media Consulting. If companies begin to act as personas, customers will also begin to identify with these personalities and how much they listen to and trust them 34-35_3rd feat_mch'14_p.indd 35 03/03/2014 14:38

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