The balancing act between numbers (data) and creative efforts while marketing

If you want your business to succeed, you have to be a master of numbers as well as creative ideas. Whether you’re a big-idea person or a number-cruncher, you need to be able to apply at least two to three skills of each to further your marketing goals. Data-driven marketing has its base in science whereas creative marketing involves art. Most marketers find it difficult to make the two meet. However, contrary to popular belief, data and creativity can go hand-in-hand.

Image: Shutterstock

Image: Shutterstock

A good campaign involves numbers as well as creative efforts. Here’s how marketers can strike a balance between the two.

E-Scan offers digital marketing insights

The Credit Union National Association recently released the 2017-2018 Environmental Scan. The E-Scan offers insights in 10 primary areas affecting credit unions, including lending, economics, technology and of course marketing. The E-Scan is a must-read for any credit union executive and is also an outstanding planning tool to use.

The marketing section is entitled “The Big Deal Behind Social Media.” It also mentions many of the other top marketing trends for credit unions, including disruptors, regulations, Generation Z, the evolution of marketing, highly personalized marketing, consumer preferences and the humanization of digital. But the bulk of the section centers around social media and engagement.

According to the E-Scan, there are five factors that come into play when brining engagement into your social media efforts:

(1)    Bring value first

As the E-Scan notes, “social media isn’t always about direct response…..once you’re identified as a serial promoter, people will shut you off and tune you out.” Look for ways to engage—not sell—on your social media platforms.

[“Source-cuinsight”]

Improve Your Marketing Communications With Insights From Neuromarketing

Would you like to significantly improve the effectiveness of your marketing communications? Of course, you would… We all would.

If you were to read Neuromarketing by Patrick Renvoisé and Christophe Morin, you would better understand how to get prospects to respond to your marketing efforts.

This article is the first of two intended to summarize some key arguments of—and encourage you to read—their book to better understand the how and why of effective marketing communication. That’s because it can help you better understand how the brain functions—what it responds to and understands.

Neuromarketing also substantiates the business process for positioning that I’ve been advocating for more than 20 years: Use simple language, make a unique claim that solves a real business problem, and repeat your position over and over to claim it.

The Three Parts of the Brain and Their Functions


Click Here!

 

The brain has three distinct parts, according to Renvoisé and Morin, and the best way to improve the effectiveness of your message is to direct your communication to the decision-maker area: the so-called old brain, or what the authors name the reptilian brain. It makes decisions by considering input from both the “new brain” and the “middle brain.”

  1. The new brain thinks: It processes rational data.
  2. The middle brain feels: It processes emotions and gut feelings.
  3. The reptilian brain is much less developed than the other two parts of the brain, yet it makes the decisions: Though it takes into account input from the other two areas of the brain, the reptilian brain pulls the actual trigger for decisions.

In the book How the Brain Works, brain researcher Leslie A. Hart writes, “Much evidence now indicates that the reptilian brain is the main switch in determining what sensory input will go to the new brain, and what decisions will be accepted.”

More recently, in Thinking, Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman, a Nobel Prize winner and psychology professor, brilliantly demonstrated that we have two primary systems in the brain. System 2 (the slow brain) is the so-called smart brain, and System 1 (the reptilian brain) is the fast but primitive brain. After 30 years of research, Kahneman concluded: “System 1 still rules.”

Accordingly, to become successful communicators, marketers need to understand how to get through to the reptilian brain.

The Reptilian Brain

This most primitive section of our brain has not yet had enough time, on an evolutionary scale, for written words to influence it. And because the reptilian brain is so primitive, just six types of stimuli reach it. In that light, let’s look at the reptilian brain (note that some of the following content was taken directly from Neuromarketing).

The reptilian brain…

1. Is self-centered. The reptilian brain has no patience or empathy for anything that does not immediately concern its own well-being and survival. Your entire message should focus on your audience, not you: Your audience must hear what you can do for them before they will pay attention to you. Buyers really don’t care whether you are No. 1 or the leader or the most innovative; they are in buy mode because they have a problem. You need to tell them how you solve it!

2. Likes contrast. The reptilian brain is most sensitive to clear contrast, such as before/after, risky/safe, fast/slow. Without a clear-cut choice, the reptilian brain enters into a state of confusion, leading to delayed decision or no decision at all.

Fundamentally, the reptilian brain is wired to pay attention to disruption or changes of state. Those changes may signal what is going on in our environment, so they receive priority in the way they are processed by our reptilian brain.

3. Needs concise input. Since the reptilian brain can’t process language, the use of complicated words slows down the decoding of your message and automatically places the burden of information processing onto the new brain; as a result, your audience will want to “think” about making the decision more than they will want to “act” and decide now.

The reptilian brain can’t process concepts like “a flexible solution,” or “an integrated approach,” without a great deal of effort and confusion. It appreciates simple, easy-to-grasp ideas like “more money,” “unbreakable,” and “24-hour turnaround time.”

4. Focuses on beginnings and endings. The reptilian brain enjoys openings and finales, and often overlooks what’s in between. Placing the most important content at the beginning is therefore a must, as is repeating it at the end. Here’s why:

For survival, it is in the best interest of your reptilian brain to be most alert at the beginning and end of interactions, in case change or new factor is cause for danger. Anything in the middle of your message will be mostly overlooked because once the reptilian brain becomes comfortable, it often goes into a sort of energy-saving mode and pays less attention to its surroundings, often dropping information in the process.

Psychologists call this phenomenon the primacy and recency effects. “The primacy effect is the beginning; you remember it because that is where you started,” wrote clinical psychologist Devin Kowalczyk. “The recency effect is the finish; you remember the end the best.”

Your opening, when you’re presenting or writing, is crucial. If you do not grab your prospects’ attention in the beginning of and exchange, you may lose them forever.

5. Relies on visual stimuli. The reptilian brain is visual. The optic nerve delivers input to the brain 50 times faster than the auditory nerve does. The visual processing capability of our brain has evolved to this level as a matter of survival. You will jump back from a stick that appears to be a snake before you even think about it.

The brain is therefore both extraordinarily fast and dangerously hasty. It is hardwired to make decisions that are based mostly on visual input. By using visual stimuli in your marketing communications, you ensure that you tap into the processing bias that the brain has developed over thousands of years.

6. Is emotional. The reptilian brain is triggered by emotion. Therefore, we remember events better when we have experienced them with strong emotion. “We are not thinking machines that feel, we are feeling machines that think,” said Antonio Damasio, head of the neuroscience department at UC Irvine.

Taking into account those six characteristics into your marketing communications will give you access to the reptilian brain will immediately improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

The next article in this two-part series explains why specific tactics—such as repetition, use of simple language, and storytelling—will further improve the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

The Future of Mobile Marketing: Smartphones and Augmented Reality

With each new year, marketers continue to say that mobile marketing is going to be huge. Has the time already come, or are there more developments in mobile marketing and technology yet to be seen?

Mobile is one of the most innovative technology platforms out today, and with about 50% of mobile users (and 70% of affluent customers) owning a smartphone, the market for apps and further technological advancement is greater now than ever before.

The Future of Mobile Marketing

Smartphone users are expecting a deeper personalized engagement and assistance from their phones. Many people are dependent on their phone as their sole source of telecommunication, as well as a way to connect via social media and email. They also use it for entertainment and consuming content. This means that app and operating system developers need to fulfill a hefty order: To continue to make smartphones an integral part of user’s lives.

Facilitating Experiences

FourSquare and Yelp have released app updates in the last year that allow users to be notified when their friends have checked into the same location or are nearby. This type of GPS-location for a user’s social network is even further reducing the need to communicate directly with friends to find out where they are. This can be useful when attending large events, going out with new friends while running into some new ones or even avoiding an ex-girlfriend/boyfriend/husband/wife or boss.

Besides utilizing mobile to market locations as a place where a user’s friends are hanging out, mobile apps can also be used to market events or unique experiences. This includes secret concerts or performances for only certain app users or a special on hot air balloon rides that a user just happens to be a few blocks away from. Users like the gratification of having apps do the work for them. That way, they can focus more on their friends and the experience itself, rather than spending effort having to find it.

Augmented Reality

Augmented reality (AR) continues to be the golden child in the minds of those thinking about the future of mobile marketing. Think of all the potential for local businesses – instant restaurant reviews (which Yelp has already been utilizing since 2009), hotel locations, online prices for products on shelves and more. Not to mention all the games and entertainment experiences that augmented reality can bring into users’ homes.

The potential of augmented reality is seemingly endless, especially because it is still in development and its potential remains vastly untapped. HowStuffWorks (who has a great video on AR) estimates that by 2020, there will be 50 billion devices connected to the internet. This means that online sensors can influence how users see reality in relation to their individual preferences and past history.

Price Comparison

Mobile makes it easy to instantly check for product and service prices, as well as for coupons and discounts, from anywhere there is wifi access or cell phone service. While many mobile marketing apps, like CouponSherpa (available at Google Play and iTunes) and Apple’s passbook, have utilized this to create services based on a user’s location, search and available connected profiles, the future still remains wide for further possibilities.

For instance, what if a restaurant’s app noticed a user’s negative tweet about a competitor and instantly text them a lucrative coupon? Or if a user’s smart phone GPS says they are in the area, a business could pay to be part of an app that offers instant, unique deals personalized to that user, depending on where they are (Groupon is going down this road with their instant deals).

The future of mobile marketing will depend largely on apps reacting to the customer, instead of the customer initiating the request for information themselves. GPS location, as well as inter-connected social media APIs will make this second nature.

Interaction With the Outside World

In relation to augmented reality and mobile marketing based on a user’s behavior and location, mobile technology may also continue to make a user’s life easier by increasing their ability to interact with the outside world. Instances may include:

  • Using Shazam to listen to an infomercial to instantly buy the advertised product.
  • Ordering photos from Shutterfly directly from a user’s smart phone camera album.
  • Using apps or bluetooth to pay for purchases at a department store.
  • Scanning a piece of furniture’s barcode to search for tutorial videos on how to assemble it.

There are many instances where the Internet already makes smartphone users’ lives easier than ever, but the key to future development is fine-tuning what has already been done while also innovating further ways to streamline and make things more efficient.

While mobile marketing has already come quite far in just the past few years, the fact remains that there is much more that can still be done. With almost every electronic device available being built to connect to the Internet, smartphones and other gadgets alike will bring marketers and users together to create experiences, influence purchases and make life a little easier.

Mobile Future Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]