Archive for ‘Consumer Behavior’

August 4th, 2014

Use Visual Saliency Detection to Bond with Your Customers on a Subconscious Level

Slide1 Did you know that the first few seconds that your ad appears on a page are the most critical? It turns out that that’s when the subconscious does all its work. The subconscious is the emotional driver that influences the powerful human need for safety and reward, and that reward is what we experience from making purchase decisions.

But how can you know if your ads are standing out to your audience in those critical early seconds?

New scanning technology developed by neuroscientist laboratoriespredicts with 80 to 90% accuracy if consumers are seeing core advertising and marketing messages in the first seconds. Graphic designers can combine art and science to connect messages with the subconscious mind (where 95% of buying decisions are made) in those early seconds. This proven science is the biological basis for how consumers make impulse decisions from survival instincts.

The science of what happens in the first seconds:

Our subconscious protects us from perceived threats while searching for resources critical to survival. Humans are biologically wired in the subconscious for safety, reward and social interaction with other humans to build long-term relationships and attachments, even with brands. This all happens in the blink of an eye. Therefore, messages that consistently and quickly communicate safety and reward will trigger vital instincts in the reward and pleasure center of the subconscious, which determines safety from advertising messages. This will mean that people will be drawn to your ads rather than repelled by them.

The biological visual system is object-oriented:

Because of its desire to avoid danger, the visual system is innately drawn to specific, perceivably harmful salient objects. These can be sharp points, edges, angles, bright color contrasts and contour shapes in any visual scene that will signal danger to the subconscious. But once the salient objects attract the attention of the subconscious, the messages surrounding the objects can send a message of safety and reward. Untitled Road traffic signs are a good example of salient objects that strongly attract the visual system. They signal danger to the subconscious, which then determines safety and reward from the signs’ messages. The scanning technology software, called visual saliency detection, models these survival instincts, highlighting the salient objects in a visual that the biological visual system will be attracted to first. Basically, it shows via heat map what your audience will see in those critical first seconds. In this example, the darker red mapping first detected the bright color contrast and contour shape on the green pail and the plant’s edges and angles emerging from the pail. Untitled3 Untitled2

How perfect ads can be created with salient objects:

In this Miss Dior ad,scanning first detected in the darker red mapping what the consumer’s visual system would see first.  This was the sharp font contrasted against the arm on the Dior D and the M on the Miss. It then detected the edges, angles, and color contrast on the pink flower, followed by the Dior brand and product.

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The Miss Dior ad illustrates the effectiveness of visual saliency detection. Observing these results shows that the contrast could be a touch stronger on the name of the product, and the product itself almost doesn’t register at all. While the imagery that does register drastically supports the brand image and communicates safety, it will work better as a branding point rather than a direct response tool since the product itself is dulled.

How to use salient objects to increase your advertising and marketing visibility:

You can strategically integrate sharp points, edges, angles, color contrast, and contour shapes into your core messages with safety and reward. This will attract the visual system in the first seconds and trigger the reward and pleasure center of the subconscious. Scanning is effective on mobile, banner, print, and out-of-home ads, as well as websites, product packaging, in-store marketing, and even video (coming soon). It can also be applied to corporate internal marketing, brand communications, and PR.

Try it for free:

To learn more about how you can increase your ad visibility effectiveness in the first seconds, email one ad image and you will receive one FREE scientific scan that predicts if consumers are seeing your core messages in the first critical seconds.

Joe Cirillo, CEO of Visual Ad Scan Technology™ Vast™, is a marketing entrepreneur and author. He co-founded Visual Ad Scan Technology™Vast™ after conducting research with an evolutionary psychologist and a neuroscientist on how human behavior developed from early human experiences. This research revealed how decision-making is biologically influenced from survival instincts in the subconscious that controls why we buy.

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Archive for ‘Consumer Behavior’

April 16th, 2014

How to Use Consumer Psychology to Grow Your Sales and Revenues

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Timing is everything. The more personalized an ad experience is, the better. The privilege to recommend is based on trust. Emotional connections are always stronger than superficial ones.

Chances are, if you’ve been in the marketing world for any amount of time, you know all of these principles and more. You probably employ them, or at least assume their truth, in some way every single day.

But do you really understand why they work?

What is it about the human brain that relies on trust and emotion over hearsay and superficiality almost every time? And how does this effect differ from person to person? Most of these principles boil down not to basic marketing truth but to basic human psychology. And having an understanding of that consumer psychology is imperative to fully exercising those marketing principles.


In Dr. David Lewis’ new book The Brain Sell (Nicholas Brealey Publishing), you can take a dive into how consumer psychology impacts ad viewing, consideration, and purchasing, which reflects the things marketers are doing right (and wrong). And better yet, he does it all from the perspective of the digital marketing trend, bringing tried and true principles into the modern day, still holding their own.

How Frito Lay Leveraged Common Teenage Behaviors to Grow their Market Share

Perhaps one of the most interesting campaigns Dr. Lewis discusses is one created in 2008 by Frito Lay called Hotel 626. The game was a computer-based adventure where players had to fight to escape a haunted hotel, interacting with other players and the program via webcam, microphone, and mobile devices. It was, all in all, a terrifying experience available only at night, and the teenagers loved it.


The campaign was an effort to bring “back from the dead” two unpopular Doritos flavors, and it was wildly successful. First of all, they were able to hold the attention of the players for an average of 13 minutes, which is an eternity for food marketers.

Second of all, they were able to jumpstart their Twitter presence (the platform was still gaining popularity at the time). Of course, if you’ve read any of the previous blogs on the 60 Second Marketer, you know we’re all about ROI, so the important thing is whether or not the campaign generated sales revenue.

Boy, did it ever. The campaign cost less than $1 million, pocket change to a huge conglomerate like Frito Lay, and inspired sales of more than 2 million bags of the relaunched flavors within just three weeks. The campaign won the Cyber Lion that year, and the company recreated the game as Asylum 626 the following Halloween (which was exactly as horrifying as it sounds, though also very successful).


Some of the coolest aspects of this campaign were the technologies involved. In the re-created version, Asylum 626, the webcam actually employed head-tracking capabilities, requiring players to physically dodge attacks. In both versions, players could ask for help via a live Twitter stream, and their friends could help rescue them by banging on their keyboards. They were even shown pictures of multiple Facebook friends and asked to choose who would live.

But perhaps even cooler than the technology is the psychology behind the phenomenon. Until that point, Frito Lay had been putting a lot of effort into marketing to moms. But they realized at some point that it wasn’t working, and they decided to turn their attention to their actual consumers: teenagers. To do that, they needed to endure one of the hardest tasks in psychology: to understand the minds of volatile teenagers.


Actually, what they found was both simple and accurate. Teenagers don’t yet have fully matured prefrontal cortexes, meaning they are not as capable of making mature decisions and are especially vulnerable to fear-related stimuli.

Basically, it means that the easiest way to get a teenager to eat a high-fat snack is to scare him into doing it while rewarding him simultaneously. By forcing the teens to make decisions under high-stress situations, the campaign created a connection between high-stress situations and the desire for certain flavors of chips.

Manipulative? Maybe. Genius? Definitely.

Every marketing decision should be made with psychology in mind, because every purchasing decision is.

Hotel 626 is just one fascinating example of the case studies found in The Brain Sell. Click here to find the book on Amazon, and don’t forget to consider the psychology of your consumers the next time you evaluate your marketing strategy.

About the Author: Samantha Gale is a social media and content marketing specialist working for 60 Second Communications, a full-service marketing agency working with brands around the globe.

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Archive for ‘Consumer Behavior’

January 29th, 2014

What are the Secret Consumer Shopping Habits? [INFOGRAPHIC]


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Our friends at Blue Chip Marketing have presented some intriguing details about shopping apps and their usage. Here are a few key points from the infographic (below):

  • 56% of people in the U.S. own a smartphone and 35% own a tablet
  • 30% of the digitally savvy people own both a tablet & smartphone
  • 2 out of 5 digitally savvy people in the U.S. have a store app
  • 55% use a shopping app once a week or more often
  • 4 out of 10 males have a store app and 4.5 out of 10 women have a store app
  • 44% of 18-34 year olds, 46% of 35-54 year olds, and 34% of 55+ year olds have a store app
  • 25% of the store app owners use it for coupons as to 24% use it for big box stores
  • The top reason for getting store apps is to get coupons (53%) followed by seeing sales/circulars
  • The store apps have influenced 40% of the people’s store choice, 56% people’s product choice and 47% of people’s brand choice
  • 72% of the people use the store apps to Pre-Shop
  • 74% of primary shoppers sometimes/always use a shopping list
  • 4 out of 5 items in the average shopping cart are from the shopping list
  • 58% of typical shoppers are “totally comfortable” with mobile ads
  • 58% felt mobile ads introduced them to something new or introduced a new brand
  • 40% of shoppers will add a new product to the shopping list based on a new recipe/meal
  • 34% of shoppers will add a new product to the shopping list based on a friend’s recommendation

Are you ready for more? Here is the full infographic:

Image- Inforgraphic about shopping apps

Click here

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Archive for ‘Consumer Behavior’

June 12th, 2013

One Essential Thing to do Before Launching Your Next Campaign

Consumer Behavior

Many years ago, I was working on an assignment for Mitsubishi mobile phones (yes, Mitsubishi makes mobile phones). Their engineers had just finished designing a mobile device with tons of bells and whistles and the entire company was excited about the launch of the new phone.

The problem was that research indicated the consumer wasn’t as excited about the phones as the company was. We had done extensive studies indicating that, even though the engineers were extremely upbeat about all the new bells and whistles, the consumer wasn’t.

What the consumer wanted, as Steve Jobs has proven time and time again, was simplicity and ease of use.

You Can Imagine How Disappointed the Mitsubishi Engineers Were. They had devoted two years to the development of the new phone and to have my company come in and say they’d gotten it wrong was a big disappointment.

Ultimately, instead of positioning the phone as one that had a bunch of new features, we changed the positioning to ease-of-use. In other words, we analyzed what the customers told us and, by focusing on a few simple items on the phone, were able to deliver what they wanted — a new phone that was easy to get started with and that had some additional features that would come in handy down the line after you learned how to use it.

All this leads to an important point — it doesn’t matter what the engineers or the CEO or the stock holders want. The only thing that really matters is what your consumer wants.

To illustrate this point, I’d like to draw your attention to the YouTube video below. It highlights the differences between men and women. It also illustrates the importance of listening to the needs of your customer and delivering to them what they want, not what you want.

Enjoy the video. You’ll get a chuckle from it and (hopefully) will learn a thing or two about talking to your target market.

Jamie Turner is the CEO of social media and mobile marketing firm 60 Second Communications and is the Founder of the 60 Second Marketer.  He is the co-author of “How to Make Money with Social Media” and “Go Mobile” and is a popular marketing speaker at events, trade shows and corporations around the globe.

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Archive for ‘Consumer Behavior’

May 9th, 2012

10 Essential Tips You Can Use to Convert More of Your Visitors into Customers

Online business is all about conversion. Naturally, if your conversion rate is low, it makes no difference how high you’re ranked on Google. Ultimately, your success or failure will be determined by your conversion rate, which means you should focus as much energy on converting your traffic as you do on getting the traffic to your site in the first place.

Here are some simple techniques that can help you improve your conversion rate.

1. Build trust through quick response
You may have your email address and your phone number listed on your website, but how quickly do you respond to an inquiry from a potential customer? People desire a quick response from a real person. A simple prerecorded voice on the telephone is the surest way to put off a potential buyer. An auto generated email response may be quick, but it lacks the human touch. Try to follow-up in person as quickly as you can.

2. Make contact information easy to access
Sometimes your contact information is tucked away in a remote corner of your website. You should make it easy for visitors to see your contact information. Make the phone number and the email address standout on the first page itself. If possible, have a toll free number on your website. This may be expensive, but it will prove a worthwhile investment in the long-run.

3. People hate hidden charges
Don’t surprise people with add-on or hidden charges. If you have international shipping, then you should display clearly the charges a customer will have to pay for delivery. This helps to build trust and confidence which, in turn, helps improve conversion.

A successful e-commerce site is about more than just driving traffic. It’s also about converting that traffic into customers.

4. Make your pages easy to read
Make sure your information easy-to-read and error-free. Sloppy work does not inspire confidence. If you display that you are sloppy with your website, you cannot expect people to buy from your website.

5. Include an “about us” page

If you don’t have an “about us” page, then you are never going to improve your rate of conversion. You need to inform people all about who you are and what your company does. If possible, give a brief description and history about your online business since this helps to build trust.

6. Make your website visually appealing
If your website does not have a visual appeal, then your conversion rate is always going to be poor. The first page should always have a few images and, if possible, at least one video. Current data suggests that adding a short video introduction to your website can improve your conversion rate significantly.

7. Offer a freebie
Another great tool for raising the conversion rate is to offer a freebie on the website. If you can offer a free downloadable product such an eBook then you can raise your rate of conversion considerably. Some websites offer free utility software or other premiums. No matter what you offer, research indicates that freebies often pay for themselves by improving conversion rates.

8. Make your website accessible on mobile phones
Gartner predicts that by 2013 the number one way people will access the internet will be via a mobile device. Given that, it’s important that you’ve optimized your website to be mobile-ready. (For tips on how to do this, read “How to Build a Mobile Website” on the 60 Second Marketer blog.)

9. Make certain all links are live and working properly
When was the last time you checked the links on your site? It’s important to have live links that work well on your site. Links that are dead will kill your conversion rate. As time consuming as this may be, it’s worth having someone go through each page of your site to test all the links.

10. Drive your visitors to action
When a visitor lands on your page, he or she should feel compelled to take action. Make certain that you use words and phrases that call a visitor to read on and explore the website further. This will improve the rate of conversion as well. (For more on this topic, read “The 14 Most Powerful and Effective Words in Marketing” on the 60 Second Marketer blog.)

These are just some of the ways you can improve their rate of conversion and become successful on the web. Do you have any tips of your own? If so, share them in the comments section below.

Sam Mauzy is a marketer and blogger who has learned much of what he knows by trial and error while improving his own site’s average conversion rate and sharing his knowledge and tips in marketing forums.

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