CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- You may be surprised.
One of my favorite passions is learning about human behavior. Fortunately, I get to do this in my day job with marketing. And I get more of it with graduate studies in psychology and counseling. So, when I ran across the book "Neuromarketing," it was a no-brainer.
The book jacket immediately reeled me in:
The brain has three distinct parts:
The authors, Patrick Renvoise and Christopher Morin -- with backgrounds in business, rather than medicine -- have taken some liberties in relabeling parts of the brain to illustrate their theory. For example, their "middle brain" would be referred to by neuroscientists as the limbic system.
Breakthroughs in brain research, cited by the authors, suggest we make decisions on an emotional basis first, then rationalize them later. When I first heard this theory several years ago, I was told all this takes place within a nanosecond. So, we're really not aware we're making the decision on an emotional basis. We may think we're using logic and reasoning. (After all, a nanosecond is pretty hard to detect!)
To influence emotional decisions, successful salespeople, marketers (and just about anyone who communicates) needs to activate the "old brain." By practicing neuromarketing techniques, the authors claim, you'll find out quickly how to find your audience's "buy buttons." And you'll learn to create messages that influence people over and over again.
On the surface this sounds a bit manipulative. It's really no different, though, from packaging and presenting your message to be "heard" by your target market.
I find many of us communicate much more with our mouths than our ears. In other words, we're focused more on what we have to say than what our audience needs to hear.
There are only six stimuli that influence the decision-making part of the brain (the old brain), according to this theory: