Can the human brain make up faces?

Top 10 Brain Myths

Knowing how the human mind processes information and images—and putting that knowledge to use—can help you become a more engaging and effective marketer.

Researchers in a new(ish) field of study are trying to figure out how our hard-wired preferences affect the decisions we make. Neuromarketing research is “the systematic collection and interpretation of neurological and neurophysiological insights about individuals using different protocols, allowing researchers to explore nonverbal and unconscious physiological responses to various stimuli for the purposes of market research, ” according to the Neuromarketing Science & Business Association.

Put simply, neuromarketing is the study of how our brains respond to marketing and how it affects our behavior—consciously or unconsciously—explains Andy Crestodina, co-founder and strategic director of Chicago web design and development agency Orbit Media Studios, who speaks and writes about the topic.

“There are ‘cognitive biases’ built into all of us, ” he says. “We can’t help it. Marketing either works with or against the cognitive biases.”

It’s critical to understand these predispositions, to know how our minds process information and images. “The competition for attention is fierce, so knowing what lights up our brains gives marketers an edge that can help them win, ” says Grey Garner, vice president of marketing at Emma, an email marketing provider based in Nashville, Tenn.

So let’s take a look at some secrets of the human mind you can tap into from a marketing perspective.

Secret 1: We all have a primitive brain. The amygdala controls our reactions and emotions, and it works much faster than our conscious, rational mind, Garner says. In fact, we experience gut reactions in three seconds or less. Emotions make a more lasting imprint than rational thought.

Marketing takeaway: Aim for a gut reaction, and pay special attention to how your materials look when scanned quickly (as opposed to deliberately considered—because no one has the time or inclination to do that anymore).

Pay attention to the things people see first. In email marketing, your subject line and pre-header (that bit of text you read most prominently on a mobile device, above the body of the email) should grab readers and speak to their pains, wants, needs and emotions. In blogging or other online content, pay special attention to headlines. (You should spend as much time writing the headline as you do the rest of the piece.) In website content, make your pages welcoming and easily grokked.

Secret 2: Our brains love images. Our brains process images much faster than text. Approximately 90 percent of all data that the brain processes is visual. We remember pictures with text more than we remember text alone.

Marketing takeaway: Use images, of course—but make them special, and lay off the stock shots. I like the way Loews Hotels & Resorts integrates candid guest images into its “Travel for Real” ad campaign, and the way men’s clothing company Chubbies uses hilarious GIFs in its email mailings. You can also use a web tool like Canva or mobile app Over (madewithover.com) to create custom images.

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Q&A

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I have the same exact dream every single night, it's starting to freak - helpfulbox

I think you were seeing what happens in alien ufo's. clues: white light blinding, operating rooms, floating, human-like creatures. o well that's my opinion. keep ur eyes on the sky on october 14th, 2008

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