Mind over matter in marketing and comms

The role of the unconscious mind in marketing and comms

As a communications agency, we understand that good comms isn’t just about transmitting information. Ultimately, it’s about achieving wider recognition and building trust.

Your audience must trust your values and expertise to engage with your offer. Be it stakeholders, policy makers or the public, it’s how people feel and respond to communications that makes the real difference. But how does the human brain help, or hinder, that process?

We’re always interested to hear perspectives on comms from other disciplines, and were excited to attend the latest Bristol Creative Industries webinar led by Dr. Andy Myers, Director at Walnut, a human understanding agency.

Dr. Myers shared how neuroscience has revealed a whole new understanding of human decision making.

Here are our key takeaways from the session.

Mind-blowing stats

The brain:
• Makes 35,000 decisions a day
• Weighs just 2% of our body weight, and yet,
• Uses more energy than any other human organ (about 20%)

Reshaping our assumptions

It seems that thinking is hard work for the brain. The brain is designed to feel, not to think.

You may be familiar with the Think-Feel-Do model of effective communication, but it works in the reverse.

Feel-Do-Think: If feelings are the driver of our actions, then marketing and communications need to evoke emotion, to provoke a reaction, and, consequently, cause action – not the other way around.

The principles of the human mind

Authenticity: Humans are very good at spotting a fake. We’ve all spotted a false smile! That’s why your messaging and tone of voice is crucial, along with evidence that you mean what you say.

Overly curated images can also generate a sense of flat, unrealistic perfection. Life is messy, busy and joyful. Comms should reflect this. Be genuine.

That said…

The brain is biased towards negativity: Many of our clients are aiming to improve their industry and make the world a better place. This may mean drawing attention to the challenges that you are trying to overcome.

But avoid becoming too negative, as people’s brain will seize on this message, and potentially miss your call to action. Make sure that the overall emotion you’re generating is positivity and a force for change.

Bind emotional moments to your brand: This is key to hitting home with your communications. How do you want your audiences to feel? This is the first question that should be asked, rather than what you want your audiences to think, or do.

Consider the human stories behind your organisation. How is it benefitting someone’s life, or a community in real terms?

Speak to your audience as emotional beings, and you will have their attention.

Thank you to Dr Andy Myers and Bristol Creative Industries for sharing such fascinating insights into the human mind. To find out more about how Distinctive can help your comms stand out, and generate the right feelings (and actions), please get in touch.

Photo by Mitchell Hartley

Written by

Jasmine Gordon


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