3 Marketing Best Practices that are Painfully Obvious to Brain Scientists

In the constantly changing world of social media, marketing automation, and content, marketing best practices are often the one thing you can rely on. Especially if those best practices are solidly grounded in brain science.

Marketing best practices based on things like storytelling and loss aversion might seem new and exciting to some marketers. But brain scientists probably find “best practices” painfully obvious.

Here are 3 marketing best practices that have been known by brain scientists for decades:

1. Use Video to Grab Attention

Marketing experts stress the importance of video to grab attention. But why?

It turns out our conscious mind can only focus on 1 degree of visual information (see below). Everything else is somewhat blurry.

3 Marketing Best Practices that are Painfully Obvious to Brain Scientists

While you focus on the 1%, your unconscious sifts through countless bits of visual information to decide one thing: What is most important right now?

Anything with movement (video) naturally triggers the unconscious mind to pay attention. This is also why contrasting colors is often recommended to grab a prospective donor’s attention.

2. Use Storytelling to Drive Engagement

Very few would disagree that driving participation and engagement through storytelling is a proven best practice.

The key elements of storytelling (person, problem, payoff) act as a key to unlock emotion and action. In fact, research shows that storytelling actually unlocks chemicals in the brain related to anxiety and empathy.

Anxiety and empathy, coupled with a payoff, actually increase fundraising.

3. Give them FOMO

To stimulate event registration, marketers often recommend stressing exclusivity. Anytime there are limited seats, a deadline, or limited offer, you trigger FOMO (aka loss aversion).

In the deepest part of your brain, you are hardwired to avoid loss. In fact, emotions of losing are stronger than emotions of winning.

Highlighting a loss in your event marketing will convert more event registrants.

Instead of telling people what they’ll gain by attending your awesome event, tell them what they’ll lose if they don’t attend. “Don’t miss out”, “limited space”, you get the idea.

John Haydon