While we like to think of ourselves as a species entirely of our own, the fact remains that humans are animals, driven by instinct more than anything else. Even when conducting business, we do so as upright-walking, hairless apes who communicate through spoken language. That’s a crude way of looking at it, but it’s fundamentally true. Furthermore, as the field of neuroscience develops, an increasing number of human tendencies are being unearthed, many of which can be quite useful for marketers. Marketing centralizes on the manipulation of consumers’ attention; understanding the psychological mechanisms that operate attention gives marketers more options in reaching out to their audience.
Emotions Work more Quickly than Thoughts
Words, and the information they represent, are a marketer’s best tools. While it’s important to convey the necessary information to consumers through language, it’s also advised to appeal to readers’ emotions as well as their intellect. Studies have shown that emotions tend to process input 5 times faster than the conscious brain. Marketing is all about directing attention to a brand; emotional appeals spark curiosity much more quickly than strictly intellectual ones ever could.
Emotions Leave a Longer Lasting Impression
In addition to emotion working more quickly than logic, its imprint is longer lasting as well. Thoughts are fleeting — they come in droves at all moments of the day and leave liberally. Emotional responses are much rarer, and their impression stays with people until they’re done experiencing it.
Images are More Optimal than Text
Business in the internet era is all about streamlining; producing the best tangible results as quickly as possible. Again, it’s easy for marketers to believe that words are their go-to medium when it comes to converting an early approach into some form of engagement; however, words fall short of creating a strong effect compared to images. The human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. As far as words have brought us, their uses are becoming increasingly limited as human tendency gravitates toward still and moving images as the main source of information.
Humans Identify with Other Humans
Through natural selection, evolution favored those able to quickly recognize threats and build relationships with allies. While we’ve been out of the Darwinian jungle for a long time, that tendency still survives today in the form of facial expression discernment. Humans are hard-programmed from birth to identify with the faces of other humans. At our core, we are deeply empathic beings; emotional outreach and visual stimulation are a great start, but marketers must keep human empathy in mind when attempting to influence consumers. Additionally, while all images of human faces instantly grab our attention, being shown babies activates emotional receptors.
Use Color Wisely
The field of design runs fathoms deep. It’s about much more than making sure things look pretty. Every color sends a specific signal to the brain. For instance, blue is a trust-building color, while yellow tends to activate the anxiety center of the brain. In fact, studies have shown that 62-90% of consumers’ views on a product is based entirely on color choice alone. Everyone knows the difference between a visually appealing product and an ugly one, but the full extent of the influence of design digs into the subconsciousness through abstract tools only the artist is in control of.