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Cookie Framing

By |February 9th, 2010|

Years ago, when The Tonight Show ruled late-night TV and when all the guests weren’t celebrities promoting their latest book, movie, or TV show, host Johnny Carson interviewed the Girl Scout who sold the most cookies that year. This young lady, Markita Andrews, set a cookie-sales record that has yet to be broken. What was her technique? In addition to hard work, she used a framing strategy to make her customers view the purchase as a trivial expense: […]

Why Negative Ads Work: Framing, Emotions, and Irrational Decisions

By |August 7th, 2006|

How to Turn a NO into a YES!

By |September 26th, 2012|

Can an initial rejection actually help you get the “yes” you really want? Surprisingly, if you create the right first and second requests, it can. Persuasion expert Robert Cialdini conducted a classic experiment that demonstrates the technique by soliciting volunteers to work with troubled kids. […]

How to Write Taglines That Double Sales

By |December 28th, 2011|

Two Customer Types

Taglines for products and brands are everywhere, but often they don’t get the attention they deserve. A variety of research shows that one phrase slogans can have a profound effect on how customers see the product. One key factor in crafting that phrase is matching its content to the customer’s mindset, and in particular to two important consumer motivations: prevention and promotion. […]

How “Loss” Can Be a Winning Strategy

By |September 15th, 2011|

If I gave you $50 with the following two choices, what would you do?

Keep $30.
Gamble, with a 50/50 chance of keeping or losing the whole $50.

An experimenter posed that question to subjects, and found that 43% of the subjects chose to gamble. Then the options were changed to: […]

Neuromarketing Debut in Slovenia

By |March 30th, 2009|

Well, the Slovenian Advertising Festival has drawn to a close, and I’ve finally got a few minutes to comment on the experience and share some of the things I learned in my few days in Portoroz. First, my Neuromarketing keynote, or “lecture” as seems to be the local translation, went just fine. I was a bit concerned about the language issue – 95% of the conference was in Slovenian, with only a few English segments. It seemed that language wasn’t as big a barrier as I feared. My segment was well attended, almost all hands went up when I asked who spoke English, and when I said something funny the audience laughed. (That doesn’t always happen even with native English-speaking audiences!) Still, I wondered if for this presentatation I should have broken one of the PowerPoint maxims and actually added MORE text to my slides. I speak a bit of Spanish, and I can often comprehend Spanish text better than rapidly spoken words. […]

Creative Disruption

By |November 19th, 2008|

Need to sell more without cutting prices or spending more on ads? It may be possible. Last week, I wrote about Guy Kawasaki’s new compendium of business savvy, Reality Check. One of the little gems he writes about is an experiment that involved selling door to door note cards. A simple but rather weird change in the sales pitch caused the close rate to jump from 40% to 80%: […]

Political Neuromarketing

By |November 12th, 2007|

I’ve been waiting for the first news of neuromarketing in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, and it has arrived a full year before the election itself. The first few conclusions seem so obvious as to not require firing up a multi-millon dollar fMRI machine:

Voters sense both peril and promise in party brands.
Emotions about Hillary Clinton are mixed.
Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani are on opposite sides of the gender divide.

These were among eight conclusions of a brain scan study described in an New York Times Op-Ed piece, This Is Your Brain on Politics, credited to Marco Iacoboni, Joshua Freedman and Jonas Kaplan of the University of California, Los Angeles, Semel Institute for Neuroscience; Kathleen Hall Jamieson of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania; and Tom Freedman, Bill Knapp and Kathryn Fitzgerald of FKF Applied Research. The details involved in reaching each conclusion may be more interesting than the seemingly bland summaries. Here’s the Hillary Clinton one, for example: […]

Why Percentages Don’t Add Up

By |October 29th, 2007|

Which is scarier – undergoing a potentially fatal surgical procedure that has a 95% survival rate, or one that causes death in 1 out of 20 patients? If you are like most people, you would find the latter statistic far more worrisome, even though mathematically the two statements are the same. A variety of research shows that marketers should choose carefully when throwing numbers at their customers. […]

Five Keys to Selling to Spendthrifts

By |October 9th, 2007|

Neuroeconomics research suggests that roughly 15% of your consumers are “spendthrifts” – they have unusually low sensitivity to the pain of paying, i.e., the neural discomfort associated with parting with money. Selling to people who feel little or no buying pain should be easy, right? With reduced buying inhibition, a spendthrift is more likely to take advantage of any given offer compared to a tightwad or even a normal, “unconflicted” person. Nevertheless, making the sale isn’t a given. For one, your offer is competing with other offers both for similar products or services as well as offers for dozens of other, unrelated items. Unless your spendthrift has the net worth of Bill Gates, he will have to make choices – as much as he might like to, he can’t buy everything. So, in our ongoing effort to translate academic neuroeconomics into practical neuromarketing, here are five ways to help close the deal with these free-spending customers: […]