Psych! 5 Brain Tricks to Make Customers Buy

As an aside, if you’re not following the Inc page on facebook, twitter, or just regularly going there you’re missing a wealth of great business information.  With such an established magazine they report on a lot of great business topics (and really know how to write a headline, as shown above).

Below are the 5 points from their article of the same name, based on the book Brainfluence.

“Fact No. 1: People aren’t always rational thinkers. In truth, research shows that a huge amount of decision-making is actually based on subconscious factors.

In both his new book, Brainfluence, and in a recent interview, Dooley offered several ways to use “neuromarketing” to do a better job persuading consumers.

1. Clean Up Your Font


“Probably nine times out of 10 the simpler font is going to be the better choice,” Dooley says, “because the text will be more likely to be read, for one, and you’ll better convey information.”

Bottom line: Go easy on consumers’ eyes; use a clear, easy-to-read font such as Arial, for product and service descriptions as well as any instructions.

2. Don’t Show Them the Money

A restaurant currency study showed that patrons tended to be more price-conscious when dollar signs appeared alongside the prices on menus. If there was just a solo digit, by contrast—no dollar symbol, no decimal point—then spending went up.

Bottom line: If you’re a restaurateur, take dollar signs off the menu to increase your sales.

3. Remember the Senses

Look for environmental elements that you can control, like pleasant scents—even if your products don’t naturally have a smell. “You can create a scent environment that is pleasant, memorable, and distinctive that reinforces your branding,” Dooley says. “The scent will then trigger consumers’ senses and create a desire for that [the product or service].” Tests have shown that scents in shopping areas can increase sales.

Bottom line: Find creative ways to tempt customers’ senses.

4. Respond to Customers

Dooley cites one study that looked at people who complained via social media about a company or its products. When they got a prompt response—even if it wasn’t an actual apology—the majority of customers either removed their negative comment or revised it with a positive addendum. So take a minute to acknowledge what was said; it’s worth your time.

Bottom line: Keep your cool and respond to customers promptly.

5. Tell a Good Story

So whether you’re citing case studies or designing ads or other promotions, draw customers in by weaving facts and favorable information into a story format. A great story can engage customers on a deeper level; this also increases word-of-mouth marketing. “In general some of your information should be in a story format to keep your reader engaged,” Dooley says, “because if it’s all facts and all statistics, you’ll lose a lot of your audience.”

Bottom line: Turn percentages and figures into a good tale to capture—and keep—your customers’ attention.”

5 Annoying things brands do on social media


I was looking to write an article but came across one with graphics and text so great I’ll just be reposting it here.  The full article is at the bottom, but I’ll break it down into multiple posts as there’s so much good information each little piece could stand to be dissected.

The featured image literally tells 1000 words about how to be an expert social media person.  It lays out very distinctly 5 different things that people are annoyed when brands do or don’t do.  Most novice social media companies tend to overly post promotions or remind you to buy stuff.  The whole reason they’re following you is they bought stuff in the past.  Now they’re looking for you to provide some extra value, or to continue telling your story in an interesting an intriguing way in YOUR voice. Don’t try to be something that you’re not, be genuine.

Step one when we take over your social media accounts are to understand your voice so we can replicate it.

It’s very difficult to never digest social media on your own, then start posting content from your page. It’s very difficult to master without taking in how the different programs ‘breathe’ and vital to understanding the different platforms so you can also speak in the respective voice that each platform is trying to communicate.  People are on different platforms for different reasons and you must understand them before you try to speak on them.

So, as the list says, here are the 5 annoying things that brands do on social media.

  1. Posting too many promotions
  2. Using slang or jargon
  3. Not having any personality on their accounts
  4. Trying to be funny when they’re not
  5. Not replying to my message

This article from Sprout Social is really good and is basically a bachelors in how to be an effective communicator on social media. Because of it’s depth I’ll cut it into multiple batches to discuss, but you can read the full piece here.

Physical and online stores (The Library: GO!)

My love with the library tends to be an on again off again one.  I go with my son, but as a devoted student it’s been a while since I’ve devoted myself to regularly going.  You don’t know what you have til it’s gone, and the library is definitely one of those things for me that once I get back into the swing of it I can’t believe it’s been so long since I browsed the shelves.

And this is the one thing that scares me about ‘print dying’.  It is nice to have everything you could possibly want at your fingertips, but, it’s also another truly amazing thing to have a lot of things at your finger tips.

Whenever I leave the library I’m carrying out a minimum of 3 books on subjects I’m somewhat interested in and may or may not read, but, for the 4 renewal cycles where they sit asking to be browsed, I’m constantly reminded of them.

The act of going and browsing for just 15 minutes usually yields that amount of books.  I’ll try to pick up a couple visual books to quickly flip through, maybe read random pages, but just ingesting the visual information allows me to pick up something new. Heck picking up art books has allowed me to hunt the artist on wikipedia and download all their public domain images, just from a 5 minute browse.

Which can tie into marketing.  Most companies are online, and that’s good.  It’s cheaper, it’s easier to stay there because there’s a store that’s always open and basically always staffed.  However what about that physical presence? Stores of the past are reminders of how excessive we could get, wandering through a best buy with so much open space now used for showrooming (basically, you go in there to check out a TV then you buy online).  CD racks with next to no music and hardly any movies, except for some collections and other big budget stuff.

But, you can browse.  You can see what’s out there, look, touch and emotionally get more invested.

It’s taken some time, but some stores are finally starting to treat their brick and mortar locations AS shipping centers.  Amazon has moved from exclusively online to open cashierless shops, and recently acquiring Whole Foods to basically have all the real estate they setup, use it as testing grounds and use it for Amazon Fresh, a place to store produce or buy it and ship it from the store.

Can you do that?  Maybe not to the scale of Amazon, but is there a small physical location you can have so your most devoted customers can come in and look at your products?  Even our small gallery in the Andersonville Galleria has been a nice anchor, with people who know us from online visiting the store and sending me selfies of them in front of the work.

It’s a nice addition, and if you can partner with someone or it doesn’t cost you too much, it might be nice to add a physical location.

Or, if you do have a physical location, when was the last time you upgraded it?  How about your website?  It’s easy to put your head in the sand to keep an out dated website and physical location, but consider new ways to look at both.  If it’s been a while look at rearranging your store, removing stuff that doesn’t sell and adding more products people are interested in.

What’s your biggest profit margin pieces?  Maybe focus on those for your webstore and keep the smaller products people can buy at Amazon off of your site, as they’re more of a nuisance and not really worth it for.  Or to look at them differently, can they be only add ons for the bigger profit pieces? Or, if they’re combined with 4 other similar but different things can you sell a package? Ie, if you’re an art store instead of selling 1 eraser sell an eraser with a pencil sharpener with pencils and a sketch pad?  As is business, the successful business person doesn’t grow roots into what made their business to begin with, they see what’s successful then pivot accordingly to what the current market is asking for.

Sure it’s difficult and more time consuming to keep track of an online and physical inventory, but it’s definitely worth it.  You don’t know exactly where your customers are so it makes sense to be where they’ll see you.  Get an idea as to what they’re buying and offer more of it.

Those bigger profit margin pieces?  We can help with a marketing strategy for those.  If you’re the expert we can help curate and design content to go in line with the material so you can be the online expert for those products or services.

To use the cliched apple analogy, you have to ‘think different’.  Sometimes it’s difficult to get a new perspective on a business we’ve been in for 20 years, but it’s definitely worth it to try.

If it takes a 30 min phone call with us to bring out new ideas, it could be worth it if it helps you find a new direction in your business.  Get in touch with us so we can start looking at new ways to transform your business.

(header Photo by Tamás Mészáros from Pexels)

What is your time worth?

“I do the marketing myself”

“I don’t need marketing help, we have an intern”

I get it. I used to cut my own hair when I was trying to save money in my younger days.  I’d set up 4 different mirrors and would use the 2 or 3 setting, keeping it the same length around my head to minimize my ‘error rate’.

It worked.  My hair was cut and I didn’t have to worry about it for another month.  Job done. But even with all the mirrors in the world I’d still miss a few strands behind my ears, or a big chunk in the back of the head spot that was my blind spot when the light shone on it perfectly.  After the haircut I’d have to get out the broom to sweep up the hair, then the vacuum to get the hair the broom didn’t get.  Then take a shower to get all the hair off that fell down my shirt because I kept moving and the hair cutting cape didn’t keep the excess hair out.  My cost saving hair cut would end up costing me about an hour, if not more if I kept finding hairs inside and outside the bathroom, stuff that I no doubt tracked while trying to clean.  Then there’s the mental stress of thinking about doing the haircut, putting it off until it has to be done, then worrying after the fact if I got everything.

Now I go to a barber.  I decide the day I need the haircut, I find the place, walk in, tell them what I need, then leave after 15 minutes with no extra clean up.  I enjoy my haircuts now.  They’re relaxing.  I usually find myself closing my eyes to relax even more and reflecting on when I tried to save myself $20 by doing it myself all those years ago.

I go to a professional, tell them what I’m looking for, and they deliver. The mental space saved is worth it alone for me. And I can suggest different styles and they’ll do it!

So, what are you doing to save money?  What are you best at in your business, and are you spending your time doing that?  Or are you trying to save money and read all the latest marketing articles and books, attending the latest marketing webinars and finally spending your time posting your own images on Facebook or Instagram?

I get it.  It also makes sense.  Starting off as an entrepreneur you have to wear all the hats to save & make your money stretch.  But now that you’ve been in business for more than a few months do you see where your money is made?  Could you be spending an extra hour having a meeting with another client instead of trying to write a paragraph for that perfect post on facebook that may or may not be seen? Or hunting through stock image websites to find a perfect picture to match your paragraph?

All of those things work and you can do them yourself, but, what is your time worth?  How many hours a day are you spending doing the above?  In addition, how many hours are you spending thinking about what you need to be doing with your online marketing? Are you getting the results you want, or are you spending the time and frustrated that no one is communicating back to you?

Come see a professional and relax.