Marketing Techniques: How to Stick in the brain!

Graphic showing button being pushed that is connected to the brain

When you think of marketing techniques for your business, if you drill all the way down, all you are really looking for is more people to buy your stuff, or the same number of people to buy more of it (or both).  So how can you make that happen? What marketing techniques can you use?

Basically, in order for this to happen, you need to be in the consciousness of the right people at the right time.  However, although it may be easy to highlight the types of customers we would like to target, it is always really difficult to get the timing right!

Think of our consciousness as an awareness which has to have been stimulated by the brain at some level.  So, consider the brain to be a giant room which has multiple entries and exits.  As something enters our consciousness (in marketing terms this could be a message, a logo, an advert, a recommendation) it enters the room.    However, if there is nothing in the room to keep it interested, it may hastily exit, or hang around for a short while before leaving by a different door.

Revolving door at building entrance

Similarly, if the room is already full, it may actually avoid entering in the first place.  The doors are also likely to be revolving doors as there are so many things that stimulate our consciousness on an hourly basis.

So, if our business or brand is to be front of mind when the time is right for our desired prospective customer, how do we make sure we set up camp in that room.  How do we stick around?

Firstly, it is not an easy question to answer.  If the answer was obvious, we would all be marketing geniuses and selling as much stuff as we wanted, to as many people as we desired.

This article however attempts to delve into the mechanics of the brain to provide you with 5 key marketing techniques so you can improve your stickiness.

Number 1 – Relevance

Online Shopping with Futuristic Virtual Reality Web Browsing

Remember, space within the brain is at a premium, and we can only consciously and subconsciously store a limited amount of information.  It is a lot, but there is a limit.  If you think about how much information we are exposed to a day, and how much we forget of things we want to remember, it shows just how much the brain needs to cope with.  So, as a business, if we are not providing relevant information to a relevant audience, the brain will automatically detect its irrelevance.  In essence your message will either not make it through the door into the room, or it will exit straight out the revolving door again.  The key to relevance is identifying who your key target markets are and then understanding precisely their needs and behaviours.  What makes them tick?  If you understand this, you can ensure your message is relevant and guess what?  It will hang around in the room of consciousness a little longer.

Number 2 – Difference

Yellow ladybird in the middle of red ladybirds

We are exposed to an estimated 3000-4000 marketing messages per day.  The key word here is exposed.  We don’t actually consciously see them all, but we are in their presence.  So, with so much competition for attention, how can we possibly hope to stand out within this crowded environment.  One easy way is to have an obvious point of difference.  This could be in the offering, the message, the brand or the channel.  How many times have you been in an autopilot mode when something has suddenly snapped you out of your trance, usually because something about it has caught your attention.  We subconsciously ignore the normal.  It is there, but it is almost invisible.  Break the marketing monotony by being different.  Look at your competitors, what are they doing?  Don’t do the same, do something radically different!

Number 3 – Familiarity

Dog licking its owners face

We all have, whether we like it or not, comfort zones.  The vast majority of us are all creatures of habit and naturally gravitate towards doing the things, going places and spending time with people that will feel comfortable with – or are familiar with.  It is no different with brands and companies. So, consider that when your company or brand enters the room for the first time, it may not be welcomed enough to hang around for long.  However, as it keeps appearing, it gradually becomes more familiar, like an old friend showing its face again.  This is why many advertising campaigns which rely on a blast of 1 or 2 adverts are far less effective than a drip campaign over a longer period.  Remember timing is key.  When the time is right and they need your assistance, their first port of call will be their network of friends that they feel comfortable with.

Number 4 – Simplicity

There is beauty in simplicity - handwriting on a napkin with a fresh apple

We are all busy people.  We are all thinking about multiple things throughout the day.  For most of us, we don’t have the mental capacity to try and decipher difficult information.  We are inherently lazy.  We may occasionally choose to do something to specifically stimulate the brains cells, but on our terms, at a time of our choosing.  From a marketing perspective, it is really difficult to know when our message or brand will be exposed to the individual.  This is why simplicity rules.  If something is really simple and easy to understand, the individual can digest the information and thus enter the room.  Imagine there are two bouncers on the door, and if the information is too complicated or requires too much thinking time…”Your Not Coming In”!

And finally…

Number 5 – Powerful

Powerful man meditating in peaceful area

Think about the last really good film you watched.  The chances are you loved it so much because something within it was powerful, it stimulated something within – whether it was edge of the seat excitement, a really emotional true story, a side splittingly funny film or an uplifting theme.  It was its power that moved you in some way.  Power is equivalent to impact.  If your marketing message can create an impact then they are likely to be invited into the room.  Power is really a combination of three of the other elements – relevance, difference and simplicity.  Power could be conveyed by a word, a graphic, or a 10 second video.  Again, what will get you into one person’s room may not even get you into another’s neighbourhood – so you need to ensure you are targeting correctly.

In summary

Turning cogs linked through a pipe into the brain's conscience

So, there you have it, 5 marketing techniques in which to ensure that your marketing sticks in the brain of your desired audience.  If you are “in the room”, when the realisation of the need is there, then you have a strong chance of converting them into a client.

It doesn’t stop there, however.  Just because they have purchased it doesn’t mean you have permanent access to the room.  Remember there will always be others trying to gain access and slowly edge you towards the exit door!  There are also marketing techniques to help avoid this. That, however, is another article for another day.

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Ian is the founder of Opportunity Marketing marketing, with over 18 years of experience in successfully setting up marketing departments, creating marketing strategies and implementing these strategies across a wide number of SME companies in both the B2B and B2C sectors through a variety of channels.