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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! […]

By |December 26th, 2013|

The Right Way to Reward Your Customers

Guest post by John Carvalho

In today’s fragmented marketplace, true brand loyalty seems like a hard thing for companies to acquire and harder still for companies to hang onto. Yet, it’s arguably ever more important.

Loyalty programs are a key tool for doing so. From a psychological standpoint, allowing consumers to earn and use perks lead to feelings of status, stronger brand-consumer relationships, increased word-of-mouth, and increased purchasing intentions. […]

By |September 17th, 2013|

Our Brains Make Facebook Worth $90 Billion

Those of us involved in social media know that people love to talk about themselves. They seemingly enjoy sharing the trivial, the personal, and occasionally the weird, details of their lives. Sometimes they overshare – as a longtime online community builder, I’ve found that “poster’s remorse” is common – people post something too personal and later regret doing so. So why do people share so much? New research from Harvard shows, in simple terms, that talking about yourself makes your brain feel good. […]

By |May 10th, 2012|

Juice Your Marketing with Dopamine

Dopamine-driven marketing sounds scary, but it’s more common than one might expect. Dopamine is a key element in the brain’s reward system, and when marketers trigger that system they can reinforce behavior and create positive associations. Ads that make consumers solve a simple puzzle can have this effect (see Puzzling Billboards, Schick Commercial’s Aha! Moment, and Puzzles Boost Brand Recognition, for example.) The dopamine kicker can also be generated using one of the hotter trends in marketing (and other forms of behavior modification): gamification. […]

By |April 10th, 2012|

Fight Impulse, Imagine the Future

Many of the decisions we make are guided by some kind of reward. Do I go through the McDonalds drive-thru window and get a burger and fries that will light my brain up like a Christmas tree, or do I delay eating until my planned meal-time and consume something healthy? Do I put part of my salary into my employer’s 401K retirement plan, or do I take the cash in my paycheck now? Do I buy the expensive camera at the retail store that I’m in, or perhaps save a portion of the price by shopping around at other stores or online? All of these decisions create a tension in our brains between a current reward and a future reward of (potentially) greater magnitude. While the brain tends to favor immediate gratification (see The Time Value of Bananas), new research shows that vividly imagining the future can help individuals make better, more future-oriented decisions. […]

By |April 22nd, 2010|

Collecting Visitor Info: Reward vs. Reciprocity

Many of us work with websites that depend on collecting user information – lead generation sites, charity sites, etc. Often, these sites have information useful to those visitors. The knee-jerk reaction is often, “Force them to give up their info before we show them the good stuff.” If there’s a search engine optimization person helping with the site, the immediate objection will be, “You can’t put your best content behind a registration form – it won’t get indexed by Google or even linked to, and your traffic will tank!”

The good news is that there’s a strategy that will keep BOTH the SEOs and the numbers people happy. […]

By |August 28th, 2009|

Another Puzzle Billboard

After I finished my last post, Puzzling Billboards, I ran across what might be an even better example of a billboard that cleverly invokes the “aha!” phenomenon and possibly the neuromarketing reward mechanism I described in Marketing to the Infovore. While I didn’t have my camera handy as I zoomed by it, the concept of the billboard was simple enough to reproduce here: […]

By |March 27th, 2009|

Puzzling Billboards

In past posts like Puzzles Boost Brand Recognition and Marketing to the Infovore, I discussed how letting a viewer solve a little puzzle might provide a little reward in the brain and help the viewer remember the product or the brand. My post about Schick’s shrubbery trimmer got me thinking about puzzle marketing again, and brought to mind what would seem to be the most unlikely venue for confronting a customer with a puzzle: billboards.

The classic advice for billboard design is to keep it minimal. As drivers flash by in their cars, they don’t have time to read text, and, of course, the more text you put on the billboard the smaller the type size must be. The idea of incorporating enough of a puzzle to produce any kind of “aha!” reaction seems outlandish. But is it? Check out these billboards I spotted in Indiana recently: […]

By |March 24th, 2009|

The Power of “New”

Marketers know there are potent words in advertising, like “Free” and “New.” Neuroscientists have now determined that the appeal of “new” is hard-wired into our brains. Novelty activates our brain’s reward center, which may have been an evolutionary advantage to our ancestors as they encountered new food sources or other elements of survival. Today, we are no longer hunters and gatherers, but the novelty-seeking circuitry is still active and makes us find new products (and even repackaged old products) attractive. […]

By |June 26th, 2008|

Marketing and the Placebo Effect

We all know what the placebo effect is – give a group of patients a sugar pill instead of a medication with active ingredients, and some of them will show an improvement in their symptoms. Drug researchers treat […]

By |July 23rd, 2007|