By: Nancy Harhut, Chief Creative Officer, The Wilde Agency
When neuroscientists explored how people make decisions, they discovered something amazing: Very often we don’t “make” decisions.
Instead, we default to hard-wired behaviors — automatic, instinctive responses that we give little, if any, thought to.
And this happens to everyone, no matter how educated or intelligent.
For marketers, this could pose a problem. We try so hard to convince people to do what we want them to do, and it turns out that often our customers and prospects don’t even fully process the messages we send. This means perfectly good ads, emails and websites can still fail.
But they don’t have to.
Because neuroscience can also lead us into the next generation of marketing, where our approach not only acknowledges these automatic behaviors but also makes them work in our favor.
Neuroscience can help marketers accomplish at least three key goals: 

1. Get people to notice and remember us.
2. Get them to do what we want them to do.
3. Get them to pay what we want them to pay.

Based on neuroscientific research, marketers can increase the likelihood people will pay attention to and subsequently recall our message by using several principles. One example is the Von Restorff Effect – the hardwired human compulsion to notice something different, new or out of place.
We can motivate people to take the actions we want them to take by leveraging scientific principles such as Availability Bias – the cognitive bias that makes people judge the likelihood of an event (ex: needing your product or service) based on how readily they can recall an example from the past.
And we can better persuade people to pay our asking price by factoring in a number of cognitive bias and decision-making shortcuts including Anchoring, Decoy Pricing, and Single Choice Aversion. The latter is supported by research that shows people are four times more likely to make a buying decision in the moment when they are given choices versus a single option.
Truthfully, this just scrapes the surface of the ways neuroscience will shape the next generation of marketing. But one thing is certain. Tapping into what science has proven about human behavior in order to influence it pays big dividends. Over the last several years, we used this approach in the work we do for clients and have seen double and triple digit lifts over controls and benchmarks – regardless of vertical.

Nancy-Harhut-CCO-Wilde-AgencyNancy Harhut
Chief Creative Officer
Wilde Agency

This week, Nancy debuted her talk Next Generation Marketing with Neuroscience at SXSW in Austin, TX.
Nancy is also a member of the Board of Governors for the 2017 DMA International ECHO Awards. As Co-Chair of the ECHO Call for Entries campaign, Nancy seeks out, identifies and curates some of the best data-driven marketing work around the world. Show off your own great work in the DMA International ECHO Awards.

echo-newfrontFor additional information on how you can be a big winner at the ECHO Awards, grab a hold of the “ECHO NewFront,” which has everything you need to vie for marketing’s highest honor.