How to Use the Science of Decision Making to Boost Your Marketing

There is no denying that the art of marketing is not exactly a clear path. We try so many methods and strategies to find the right formula. It can be daunting and often overwhelming to make the right choice for you and your business.  The difficulty is trying to understand what your potential customer will think and do in response to your marketing efforts. How can you ensure what you a producing is hitting the right buttons for them to choose you? Well, there is a mountain of scientific research available now that can help you understand how your customer makes decisions, and what you can do to make it easier for them. To save you the time of sifting through all those research papers we have distilled the most important aspects of the science of decisions making to help you get your marketing right.

Emotions Are Absolutely Fundamental

I don’t think it is any great secret that in marketing you know you need to hit the emotional triggers for your target market. It has long been known that this is an essential aspect of getting someone to say “yes”. But the reason why this is so important is not so widely understood. It turns out there is a neural link between your Amygdala (where our primitive emotions are found) and the Orbitofrontal cortex (where we make decisions). This connection is really at the core of decision making. Our rational thought processes have been built on top of our more primitive emotional apparatus. Without emotion, our rational mind has no meaning or motivation to make a decision. If you fail to trigger an emotion within someone, decisions are far more challenging for them.  So when writing your next piece of content try to understand what emotional triggers you are trying to appeal to. It really is fundamental.

Great Expectations

When creating any piece of marketing content, it is essential to consider people’s expectations. If you promise the earth in your opening, then violate that in the next paragraph, you are likely to lose your reader. One small example is if you have a subject heading in a blog or an email and the content doesn’t relate to the expectation that sets, you will lose your potential customer. When our expectations are violated we do not like that. Setting expectations and meeting them is a key aspect of any successful marketing.

Make it Easy and Quick or They Will Lose Confidence

One key aspect of decision making science is the relationship between the time taken to choose and confidence. The research demonstrates that people are much more confident in their decisions the quicker and easier it is to make them. Therefore, if you are looking for clients to be confident in what you do, it is important to make the decision making process clear and efficient for them. The research also noted that there is a relationship between the evidence provided in order to make a quick and easy decision. So, if you want your potential new customer to have confidence in choosing you, it is important to get the right balance of key information in your marketing materials, so they can choose as fast as possible. Try not to overload them with unnecessary information. Keep it simple, to the point and relevant.

Choice and Information: Keep it Simple

About ten years ago a popular idea was born in the science of decision making called “the paradox of choice.” This theory said that, contrary to what we believe, more choice actually makes decisions more difficult rather than easier or better. This theory was put to the test. It was indeed found that in a study of choice of jams, 6 choices were more effective than 24 jams.  Following on from this further studies were carried out and there was another layer to this. It was found that it was not only about the number of choices but the quality of the information that was provided to the customer. Much like the studies into the time it takes to choose (above), having the right and relevant information was absolutely paramount. The key to making decisions is the ability to understand the different choices you are offering. So, if you are offering different product choices to your customers, make them easily understandable. Leave your customer in no doubt about what it is they will be getting from you.  

Understanding people’s decisions and choices is no easy task. However, if you examine what science is showing us, you can build key elements into your marketing that will take advantage of this knowledge. Appeal to their emotions, meet their expectations, make it easy for them and ensure they understand what you are offering. By incorporating these fundamental aspects of human decision making into your marketing you will maximise the possibility that more people will choose you.

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