Written by Desmond Ekeh | BrandiQ
Andre Morys of the CXL Institute promotes the idea that a marketer needs to understand the core principles of the brain, how it works, and how to leverage that knowledge to create business growth. If the marketer understands how the mind of the customer works, she would then rather sell to the brain – to optimize her customer conversion.
A Gallup survey showed that marketers rated low on integrity and ethical issues, about 11% – when compared to engineering 70%, and Nursing 83%. CEOs of Companies rate their chief marketing officers, CMOs, lower than their chief financial officers, CFOs, and chief communication officers, CCOs. Why? CEOs had less confidence in the capacity of their chief marketing officers to deliver on corporate goals when compared with the competence of their CFOs, and their CCOs.
Another reason, amongst many other possible reasons, could be that the CEOs consider most marketing budgets wasted, as a result of marketers’ inability to accurately measure the output or outcome of their budget spend. For instance, Wannamaker was once quoted to have said, “Half of the advertising was wasted, except that I do not know which half.” Some studies estimate that about 95% of new products fail and about 98% of direct mails get no response, while 98% of sales emails don’t convert.
For most CEOs, if not all, business success is fundamentally about profit. That’s why sometimes you hear business executives say “the bottom line is…” So if businesses’ bottom line is profit, and the marketer is not delivering on profit then that affects how she is rated by the CEO. For the marketer to deliver on the profit he will have to make sales. So sales are the core of the matter. All these constitute the challenges of the marketer. He is worried about his input, she cannot measure output, he cannot measure the use of her budget on adverts, she cannot measure her public relations input. She cannot measure anything. But she is expected to make sales and deliver on corporate goal – profit: Dilemma!
While in this lock jam the internet emerged. Thereafter, neuromarketing – the application of neuroscience to marketing. Hurray! The marketer is free – ready and set to make sales and profit; to deliver on corporate goals and earn respect from the CEO and the management. Hold it! Not yet uhuru. Making sales on the internet – that is e-commerce business, has its own challenges, which if not overcome means the problem will still be there. Then begins the challenge of website optimization and how to lead the customer to make purchase decisions. The optimization of a website is more a technical issue, whereas to lead the customer through the sales journey is human.
Disruption and Disruptive Growth Business Model
To lead the customer to make a purchase decision is the core of our article. For Morys, it is more than optimization. It is more about understanding the use of creating and adopting disruptive growth as a business model to deliver corporate business goals – sales and profit. Disruptive growth business is hinged on selling to the brain based on customer experience. Give the customer experience – right from when he sets into your website to after-sales service.
This does not have much to do with technology and data, but more on how the customer reacts to a strategic system created by the business to give the customer a unique experience. Remember that it is the customer’s old brain that takes purchase decisions. The ole brain loves pleasure, dislikes pain, enjoys to be treated nicely, and loves himself. He is unconscious and takes decisions based on what titillates his nature. So, the marketer should build his system to sell to this unconscious part of the brain, taking consideration of his nature – give him a good experience.
For instance, Uber gives customers a new and good experience. The Uber system removes the frictions associated with the traditional cab drivers. A customer who wants to use Uber already has an idea of how to rate the cost of the trip because there is a rating mechanism to determine that. He anticipates the behavior of the driver and knows that he will not likely meet an unfriendly person. He understands that the possibility of missing his way is greatly reduced by the Uber use of the global positioning system, GPS. The customer has most of his questions concerning cost, direction, the driver’s behavior, and others already answered and this reduces his fears or his pain. With the classical or traditional cab drivers, he may not have these questions answered in advance and it could constitute pain and fear for him and hence unpleasant anticipation for him. So the marketer in Uber generates purchases and profit through experience, not based on data or technology, even though driven by data and technology. The business model is based on experience – give the customer experience. Sell the Uber experience to his brain – not the Uber data or technology. Sell convenience and pleasure to him and make your sales.
The Amazon Experience
Talking about logistics, technology, infrastructure, and data-based business you talk about Amazon. However, the growth in the Amazon business is not about the infrastructure and technology, instead of customer experience. The customer knows that if she orders something it will be delivered timely, maybe in less than two hours. It is that experience that brings growth. That experience gives the customer assurance, peace of mind, and security. It reduces pain and offers customer pleasure. That is what determines sales and profit. The Amazon customer experience is what delivers customer conversion
The Airbnb Experience
Today, Airbnb is known to be growing rapidly. That growth is not just because of the company’s technology or data. Yes, they have all that, but what grows the business is the offering the company delivers to the customers – experience.
Airbnb gives the customers the feeling that they can find their objects, their houses, their holiday homes, that they will locate these anywhere of your choice. They remove your anxiety, your doubts, your concerns will be taken care off. That gives you pleasure and not pain. If the marketer sells to customers’ brain conversion becomes easy with a little nudge and trigger.
The Facebook Experience
Why do you think most people flood Facebook and virtually sleep there all day, as they go and come back to it? To some, it is almost like an addiction. They are programmed to check their Facebook pages every now and then. Facebook is a great technology designed to keep people and their friends, families, and well-wishers connected. But that is not why people are almost addicted to it. It is the experience. They do not want to miss anything. For instance, the fear of missing out on any positive reaction on something that they posted. The human brain loves something to make it happy. It could be a message to support someone’s opinion or validate someone. So, some are very hungry for positive feedback. So you could basically reduce the success of Facebook to this Notification and validation. “I would want to know if anyone liked my post.” This is the case not just for Facebook, but also for Instagram. It is all about acknowledgment, positive feedback, and relevance; and these systems are giving them the experience. It could also be about instant gratification which directly works with the system. In this instance, the rewarding system is capable of producing ‘dopamine,’ which is like a drug for the human body that makes it feel good, relaxed. So the marketer’s business model must connect to how the brain works. Sell to the brain.
The emergence of digital marketing has enabled the marketer to measure his inputs and outputs. This way he has overcome most of his traditional challenges and can now earn some respect from his CEO. But digital media does not solve all the problems. To be able to make sales and profit for his company he has to understand the customer’s behavior. To do that means to understand how the customer’s brain works. To sell to the brain helps the marketer to take the customer through the customer journey to make a purchase decision. That is the goal – customer conversion.
Desmond Ekeh, is a PR consultant, digital marketing professional, and researcher in media and communication. He is the CEO of Synthesis Communications and Publisher of BrandiQ.