Best of Neuromarketing – 2013

It’s time for our annual roundup of the top 12 posts here at Neuromarketing. The main criteria for selection is the amount of reader sharing and overall views. I find that the discerning readers here are great at identifying the most useful content, so a “crowdsourced” approach makes sense. If I missed your favorite, leave a comment!

Four Words That Double Persuasion

free to chooseWant to double your success in persuading people to do as you ask? Four simple words, and even other phrases with the same meaning, have been shown to double the success rate in dozens of studies worldwide. What are these magic words? Here’s a clue: they aren’t, “But you have to!” or, “You absolutely must, really!”

Read more: Four Words That Double Persuasion

Image Influence: Placing Pictures for Maximum Impact

20130604-100034.jpgThere’s an idea from cognitive psychology called cognitive fluency that has been making the rounds in the business world lately. The idea is simple enough: as human beings, we prefer that which is easy for us to understand and process, and will find products and messages that are “easy” to grasp more desirable than those that are “challenging…”

Read more: Image Influence: Placing Pictures for Maximum Impact

The Persuasion Slide: An Introduction

Persuasion SlideIn my keynote at the ConversionSUMMIT in Frankfurt (an amazing one-day conference I highly recommend!), I introduced a new concept I’ve been working on: The Persuasion Slide™. In short, it’s a simple model for persuasion that encompasses a variety of conscious and non-conscious factors…

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Is This Common Pricing Mistake Costing You Sales?

Different prices, more buyersIf you have an ecommerce site, how often do customers visit – often after a costly paid click – and end up leaving without buying? Are abandoned shopping carts all too common? Or, if your customers visit your retail store, how often do you see them compare several items, only to buy none of them and move on? If you stock similar items (and who doesn’t?), the problem could be your pricing…

Read more: Is This Common Pricing Mistake Costing You Sales?

Sex, Lies, and Our Secret Motivators

sexy-womanHere’s news that probably won’t shock you: sex is at the top of our unconscious minds. And, when marketers ask us, we won’t come close to admitting it. A fascinating new study by Young & Rubicam provides insights into what we say vs. what we really think. The firm, in conjunction with Adelphi University psychologist Joel Weinberger, used implicit association testing to compare what consumers in the U.S., China, and Brazil said was important to them to what was subconsciously important.

Read more: Sex, Lies, and Our Secret Motivators

Persuade with Visual Metaphors

Nice StemsWhile we think of metaphors as mainly word-based, visual metaphors can be a potent selling tool. They can both engage the brain like text metaphors and stimulate the viewer’s senses in a way that words alone may not. Recently, I ran across an ad for Austin-based Elements Laser Spa that includes both a visual metaphor and a play on words…

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Boozing & Schmoozing: Alcohol Boosts Bonding

MartiniCompany happy hours, Friday afternoon beer busts, and similar events are standard operating procedure at many businesses – sometimes to the dismay of the firm’s accountants and attorneys. A new study shows that there are indeed benefits from these kinds of activities. Specifically, the research shows that moderate amounts of alcohol increase both positive emotions and social bonding and also relieve negative emotions.

Read more: Boozing & Schmoozing: Alcohol Boosts Bonding

The Fatal Flaw in Loyalty Programs (And How to Minimize Damage)

starbucks-demotedLoyalty and rewards programs can be great motivators. When a business rewards the behavior they want from their customers – say, giving them a free coffee after they consume nine – they encourage that behavior. The most potent loyalty programs go beyond mere periodic freebies and confer status.

Read more: The Fatal Flaw in Loyalty Programs (And How to Minimize Damage)

Flattery: A Free Way to Increase Recall

Compliments increase memory consolidation.We know that flattery, a form of social reward, is a powerful tool. In Flattery Will Get You Somewhere, we saw that complimenting an individual made them feel more positively about the person bestowing the favorable comments, even when they think it’s insincere. Now, research shows that compliments aid memory!

Read more: Flattery: A Free Way to Increase Recall

What Monkeys Teach Us About Social Media

chimp-computer-RT-thanksA social media platform like Twitter is a kind of social science laboratory that can be sliced in various ways. (For some serious social media slicing and dicing, check out the work of my friend Dan Zarrella.) Traditional community dynamics apply – there are high-status individuals who have legions of followers and wield considerable influence…

Read more: What Monkeys Teach Us About Social Media

Cultural Differences in Reading Faces

facial expressionsThe hottest new thing in neuromarketing is facial coding – the reading of fleeting facial expressions to determine true emotional reaction. Although the concept isn’t new – it dates to Paul Ekman‘s groundbreaking research in the 1950s to 1970s – the ability to capture and interpret facial expressions automatically with simple cameras and even webcams is driving the new interest. Big companies like Coca Cola and Unilever are adopting the technique as standard (see Neuromarketing: For Coke, It’s the Real Thing), and the technology is being made available to companies of any size by firms like Affectiva and YouEye.

Read more: Cultural Differences in Reading Faces

The Simple Way To Minimize Buyer’s Remorse

closed menuWho hasn’t had buyer’s remorse? That post-purchase anxiety about a decision is all too common. Did we pick wisely? Should we have spent more? Or less? What about the item we could have bought but didn’t – once we make a decision, the “grass is greener” effect kicks in and we question our choice.

Read more: The Simple Way To Minimize Buyer’s Remorse


This post was written by:

— who has written 986 posts on Neuromarketing.

Roger Dooley writes and speaks about marketing, and in particular the use of neuroscience and behavioral research to make advertising, marketing, and products better. He is the primary author at Neuromarketing, and founder of Dooley Direct LLC, a marketing consultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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