Neuromarketing - How to get people to buy

26 Aug 2016


Neuromarketing is a thing. A google search produces 1,820,000 results, dating back to 2006.

“Neuromarketing is the formal study of the brain's responses to advertising and branding, and the adjustment of those messages based on feedback to elicit even better responses.”

Emotions are central to advertising – and marketing. We don’t need expensive research to put this into practice.
We’re going to look at this in a simpler way.


It’s all about the brain.

There are three sections to the brain: The outer, the middle and the reptilian.
The youngest part of the brain is the outer layer. It is responsible for such things as processing the written language, complex thinking, calculating, and rationalizing your decision.

The middle section of the brain processes emotional responses. It gives you a gut feeling on your decision.

The oldest part of the brain is the reptilian area (amygdala). It is responsible for instinct and survival. Its main focus is to avoid pain, whether physical or psychological. This area controls our decision-making.


When writing your marketing messages, always direct them to your ideal (target) client and use a conversational tone as if speaking to someone you know – don’t use “corporate-speak.” You should have a clear idea of your ideal client – demographics, lifestyle, where they hang out etc. You can’t market to everyone – “spray and pray” doesn’t work. Think about who you love working with - who really appreciates you and would be happy to recommend you? Who do you find it easy to work with – who do you get great results for?

Your ideal client could be a specific business type. Or, your “niche” might be a particular problem or situation that potential clients are experiencing.


  1. Tap into your prospect’s PAIN POINTS. Describing your product or service doesn't work. How many websites do you see that simply list what the business offers? It’s always good to apply the “so what” test. e.g. “We have over 20 years experience working with private and corporate clients..” SO WHAT?? How will that help me? "With 20 years’ experience in the private and corporate sectors, we cut through the confusion and do whatever is necessary to get you the best mortgage for your needs" - much better. Do you know your customer’s pain points? If not, ask them. Do a survey.
  2. Appeal to their innate selfishness. Use the word “YOU” repeatedly. It’s the most persuasive word in the English language.
  3. Show contrast - “before and after”. The pain, then the relief from that pain; especially good with images / video.
  4. Demonstrate value. The reptilian brain understands only a few words at most. The optic nerve connects directly with it – meaning that images and/or videos are vitally important.
  5. Appeal to the emotions. Visual images or videos that tell an emotional story can be powerful. The reptilian brain is more drawn to negative emotion (survival instinct) so focus initially on the PAIN.


When writing marketing copy, creating graphics or videos, we need to think about what "pain" drives a customer to buy - and crucially, what initially attracts their attention. It's all about activating the reptilian brain!