Assumptions get you nowhere
Did you know that your brain is a liar? That’s a bit of a statement to make, but if you think that all the decisions you make, or your reasons for making a purchase, are based on logic and rationale, you are wrong. The truth is, your brain is tricking you all. All the time!
Traditionally, people’s feelings and emotions are what marketing experts work with to create emotive messages that make consumers buy more things. Nobody can make people buy things they don’t want. However, it’s not that hard to make people buy things they don’t need.
We hate to generalise but, if you are a man, how many gadgets have you purchased that you never use once the novelty has worn off? Or, if you are a woman, how many pairs of shoes or outfits do you have gathering dust in your wardrobe? Some of the tags still on? We all know that the initial boost in happiness from purchasing something goes away quickly, and we return to a baseline.
Not everyone knows that there are gaps between what people see, what they think, and what they believe. While we like to think that our beliefs and decisions are logical, rational, and objective, but that’s not always the case.
People tend to disregard any evidence, no matter how obvious, if it undermines their beliefs. At the same time, they will embrace anything that supports their beliefs, even if it is clearly bogus. We have a strong tendency to search for or interpret information that confirms our pre-existing beliefs or hypotheses. This leads to statistical errors, and it’s called confirmation bias.
No matter how much you may think you are unaffected by it, we all have confirmation bias. Even if you consider yourself to be open-minded and observe facts before coming to conclusions, it's likely that some bias will shape your opinion. It’s a natural tendency.
That brings us to the topic of the dual-process theory, which looks at two different systems in the brain. It’s explained as System One and System Two, and they are almost exact opposites. System One is instinctual, fast, and emotional. System Two is rational, slow, and logical. It’s the more methodical decision-making process, where we weigh our options and carefully consider the potential outcomes.
As you can probably imagine, System Two easily crumbles due to the many distractions in our lives, while System One is always working. Consumers are bombarded with marketing messages every day, and marketers work relentlessly to turn those wants into needs. Generally, advertisements and the shopping experience itself are designed for maximum emotional appeal. This is true now as much as it was before, but there has been a shift in the traditional approach to marketing.
As we are saturated with information and advertising, the main motive for modern-day marketers is customer satisfaction. Businesses now look much more at what their customers want, and how they can tailor their offerings to fit this.
At Bravesight, we base our marketing strategies on evidence. When we make assumptions, as everyone does, we make a serious effort to look deeper. We ask questions. We find out why. Then we act. A quick fix would be to jump to a conclusion (assumption) and act on it. That’s where we stop. That’s where we start to challenge the assumption. That’s when the magic happens.
We ask why - why something does not work for a client; why they need a particular communication approach, why a certain type of marketing collateral would work well for them; why does a person actually purchase what they sell; or why do they choose a competitor instead? Because we ask the questions, we get to the logic behind the answer. That’s when we look at challenges from the opposite perspective, and that gives us a fast and effective method to test an assumption.
We know that learning how the two systems in the brain around decision making work together brings a better understanding of human behaviour and persuasion. Understanding how System One and System Two work, both separately and together, should be the focus of your marketing. It’s key to persuading your audience and conversion.
The approach we take for our clients starts with solid research and insights and we don’t shy away from asking tough questions. We base our strategies on facts and stick to it. Then we tell the story in a compelling and persuasive way. It’s by no means a quick fix, but it is extremely effective.
If you are interested in finding out how the Bravesight approach can help your business forward, book in a 30 minute coffee meeting
with us today.
Some insightful resources on the dual process theory: