“Logic will get you from A to Z … imagination will get you everywhere,” are not just famous words by Albert Einstein, but a clever tactic used all the time, by the world’s greatest novelists, movie-makers, world leaders, orators, advertising execs and marketing gurus.
Now, with the help of new discoveries in neuroscience, you can not only make a compelling proposition through your marketing, you can learn how to speak directly to the part of the brain that will help you to connect with a person’s emotion. Storytelling, when connected to emotion, is one of the most powerful human motivators.
For years, advertising executives have relied upon inducing fear as their greatest weapon in three simple ways:
- By identify a problem customers don’t know they have
- Creating angst around the problem
- Selling the solution
But now, advertisement and marketing can go substantially further in resonating with customers by taking advantage of what we now understand with modern neuroscience, social psychology and behavioral economics, which are all components of neuromarketing. Neuromarketing helps us create an advertising message that resonates with our customers’ brains through a deep understanding of how the brain prefers to process information.
Society has used fables, myths and narratives from the beginning of time to connect communities and create movements, from cave drawings to campfire tales. Even in a digital age, stories continue to be committed to memory and passed on from generation to generation.
Making the message stick
Storytelling is an essential component of marketing for your brand. Stories affect us at an incredibly deep intellectual and emotional level, and neuroscience is just beginning to understand how it all works. Scientists have discovered that fictional stories affected the same region of the brain that reacts when you are engaged in a real-life event.
Stories create a bonding empathy that causes you to strongly identify with the characters, as if you were actually a character. Stories have such an impact because your brain actually gets a little mixed up as to what is real and what is not real.
But, how do we make it stick? By getting to the heart of the matter, creating an emotional hook that reaches into your audience’s unconscious mind, forming deep connection so that the information will be better remembered.
Feelings are what you must aim for in order to achieve successful marketing. Mind you, this is not the only way your customers make decisions, as there is also the rational mind, the prefrontal cortex that looks into the facts, data, numbers and statistics. However, the stronger part of the mind that elicits the stronger pull towards a decision, is marketing to the emotional part of the brain, the limbic that speaks the language of pictures, stories and any form of emotional response.
Engage the limbic
This is why storytelling with neuromarketing is a simple and effective process to use. By using visuals to help tell your brand story, you will immerse your customers in the story, which triggers an emotive response.
We know this much about our brain:
- It can’t easily remember a large amount of data with no context
- It can only hold about seven pieces of information for less than 30 seconds at a time
- It can hold attention for 10 minutes at a time before it tunes out
- It requires to be told the same message over and over, repeatedly so that it remembers, and then can analyze the information to store it into memory
Did you know that 95 percent of decisions are made by the unconscious mind? So how do we tap into the unconscious mind to understand your customer’s behavior, attitudes and what drives their motivation?
We know this much about our unconscious mind:
- It is driven by basic primitive instincts for survival
- It is fundamentally tied to emotion
- It is visually orientated, speaks the language of pictures and symbols
- It is driven by senses
- It is influenced by beginnings and endings
This is how we grab attention and make it memorable for our customers to engage emotionally and, most importantly, drive purchase and referral intent.
Everyone remembers a good story, whether it is a good book, a movie or a personal narrative. In fact, personal stories and gossip make up to 65 percent of our conversations. Imagine the incredible result you can achieve by working with our biology to deliver a brand story that connects or engages with customers by directly connecting with your customer’s brain.
Influence as many senses as possible
The stronger the sensory experience, the greater the overall impact. If you engage your customer with a sense of sight, a sense of hearing and even a sense of smell, you’ll be more successful.
It’s not a well-known fact, but the human sense of smell is the only sense that is directly hardwired to our brain. Individual scents can trigger such strong feelings and memories because smell is connected with the part of our brain that handles emotions. Our sense of smell is a strong mood shifter, and it can definitely impact our decision-making process. An interesting fact: neuroscience studies have shown that people can recall smell with 65 percent accuracy after a year, while the visual recall of imagery sinks about 50 percent after only three months.
On a final note: repeat. Repetition works. Express the most important information at the beginning and repeat it at the end. Remember, you have 30 seconds to drive action and engage with the emotional reptilian brain, and it is possible to do this, so long as your story is powerful enough to engage emotion.