In this week’s CXL Institute’s CRO Minidegree course study on Neuromarketing, Roger Dooley opens with a bold statement “the marketing industry desperately needs a shift in thinking”–– which I was instantly intrigued by. This study of marketing focuses heavily on human behaviors and is one of my favorites in the field of marketing. 

Neuromarketing: the study of neural activity to consumer behavior using techniques to measure processes such as decision making, reward processing, memory, attention, approach and withdrawal motivation, and emotional processing for our customers. 

The course starts out stating as human’s we are bad at predicting our own behavior, where the lesson states” there’s a very long history in psychology of people not being good judges of what they will actually do in future situations.” 

Throughout this course, I keep referencing a book study I read years ago called Sell or Be Sold by Grant Cardone. The book summary states in every situation throughout our day-to-day scenarios we are either selling ourselves or our products or being sold something. My favorite takeaway from this book, which aligns with this coursework is to sell with emotion and logic. To use and enter twine both as strategic methods equally. It’s true people purchase based on emotions and justify the decisions using logic. But it’s much easier to sell an informed customer because an uninformed customer usually avoids making a purchase decision at all. 

In the book, Thinking, Fast and Slow – by Daniel Kahneman the total brain functions are explained, which triggers the thought patterns of how and why we purchase things. 

Brain Stem: The old brain, which controls many automatic functions: breathing, blood pressure, heartbeat, and motor control are a few examples. 

Cerebellum/ System 1: This is the small brain that thinks intuitively and emotionally. This part of the brain loves to jump to conclusions as soon as it can. 

Cerebral Cortex/ System 2: This is the new brain. It’s the logical part of our brain that is needed to develop cogitation, thought, language and calculations. 

In my own words, I like to spell this out in order to increase conversions for revenue, not only increase conversions for conversion sake… you need to spark each part of the brain systems in order for a customer to feel confident enough to purchase from you. 

In order to spark all three parts of the brain, we need to target the unconscious brain with implicit codes. 

While setting up your experiment to test is important, so is best practices to keep in mind once your test is launched and running. Andre Morys jumps in this lesson explaining the importance of these best practices:

  • Don’t stop the test once you hit 95%, just because it’s close to reading significance. Make sure your sample size and web traffic are large enough to reach significance in a timely manner. There are ways to get around low-traffic sites, such as running a google ad-words campaign to increase real customer traffic. Be mindful if you go this route, that paid traffic may respond differently than organic in your conversions. 
  • Your website is a salesperson. Understand the cognitive biases of your customers well in order to develop an overall experience that converts and resonates with your customers. 
  • Growth System = Goals + Ability + Culture 
  • UX Is extremely important. Look at your tests from a desktop experience and a mobile experience separately. Set up a Hot jar and see where users are dropping off/ interacting with each experience and iterate/ make changes to either create or remove friction accordingly. 

The final element of Neuromarketing is friction. Creating intentional friction is necessary. Not for leads, but to make sure your match rate is high and you aren’t throwing low-quality leads through your funnel who aren’t ready to convert. 

There are two types of friction, Conscious and Non-conscious, which result in real or imaginary friction. Real frictions examples are things like the number of fields in a form, the steps in a checkout process, instructions that people have to read, confusion in any part of your conversation.

High frictions examples include multiple elements and steps that you cause a user to take that cause real friction, resulting in a confusing experience. When a digital experience is confusing, people exit immediately. 

One high friction example this course discusses: 

  • Getting served a web article in an ad that reads “interesting article that you will love to read. >> You then click the article, and it takes you to a web form that asks not direct questions like “Do you currently have a solution?” … which makes you ask yourselves I’m not sure what solution they are talking about. >>> The experience failed to serve you why you came to the web page in the first place, to read the “interesting article that you would have loved to read.” 

High friction experiences are almost ever intentional and serve no benefit for your customers.

The second part of Friction is UX Friction. 

Some best practices to keep away from creating unnecessary user experience friction are:

  • Create Autofill on forms, make sure if you have your autocomplete tags in-store to reduce friction. 
  • Security and passwords, don’t make your password requirements too hard where it burns a lot of calories for a user to come up with a password that complies. 
  • Refrain from using the auto sign out, when a user is inactive for a period of time. If a user starts you from and becomes distracted and inactive for a period of time, make it easier for your customer to come back and pick up the experience where they left off. 
  • When using Captcha’s, try to make it automated or the least amount of friction possible while still keeping your methods secure. 

The third part of Friction is Imaginary Friction & Cognitive Fluency. 

An example given was the phycology when pharmaceuticals use a drug name with a longer title, it is perceived as more dangerous because it burns more calories for the user to say. 

A second example is when an amusement park uses a longer title of a ride, versus a shorter title. Both rides have the same experience and amount of hills/ speed, although the ride with the longer name is perceived subconsciously as more dangerous due to the title being longer. 

My thoughts on this course

This course is great for anyone interested in neuromarketing or looking for opportunities to deepen their marking understanding, in general. Neuromarketing is one strong skill that I’ve studied deeply. The examples in this course study are real-life examples that help both new and experienced marketers.