I’ve used my August ’07 posts to share some techniques for helping prospects act now when they’re on your website, reading your marketing material, standing in front of your booth on the exhibition floor, whatever. This isn’t quite one of the blog arcs my BizMediaScience readers have come to enjoy because (I’m hoping) each post stands on its own.
So far we’ve covered
- How to prime the mind and brain to work together in Making Visitors Want It Now and
- How to use color to convince the mind and brain to act now rather than later in Priming the Conversion Pump with Color
A Brief Review
The Making Visitors Want It Now post explained some simple methods for priming visitors. Priming is a method of planting seeds in the mind that the brain will let flower when the time is right. The reason for priming is simple; how the mind and brain deal with time is very different. You can’t rely on the two of them to agree on what to do when, so you need to help them synchronize their efforts. This synchronization is called “priming”.
The Priming the Conversion Pump with Color post discussed that the brain assigns more importance to certain colors — black, white, red, yellow, green and blue. This is also discussed in the The Best Way to Use Color and Imagery to Improve Your Marketing podcast (I’m also posting the answers given in that podcast under Color Research on BizMediaScience).
I also wrote in Priming the Conversion Pump with Color that how the brain-mind deals with researching a purchase changes based on when they plan to make that purchase. The closer someone is timewise to making a purchase the more their brain is part of the decision making process. This is because the brain handles all of the “right now” processing and the bulk of the “almost now” or “real soon” processing. “Almost now” and “real soon” means (for most people) events taking place within a 24-48 hour window of “right now”.
Priming is one of the most useful arrows in the marketer’s quiver. This post explains how to prime prospects with images and move that future purchase into “right now”.
Bringing “Right Now” into Perspective
There are two images in this post, one is a view from our home in Nova Scotia and the other is your humble servant. Here’s the question; If you were looking at the vista or the bearded wonder live and in the flesh, which would be closer to you?
I’m betting that the majority of readers decided the guy with the beard was closer. The reason most people would say the second image was “closer” has to do with perspective, visual clues that tell us how far away something is when we look at it. Doesn’t matter if what we’re looking at is an image or the real thing, perspective tells all.
Here’s a funny thing about the brain that makes perspective a powerful visual metaphor for time. Remember that the brain devotes a lot of itself to “right now”? Right Now is the time concept the brain is good at. The space concept the brain is real good as is “right here”. The brain tends to mix time and distance. Things are either “right here, right now” or they’re not. The brain doesn’t understand “right now, far away” because the “far away” part tells the brain to say to the mind, “Hey, go imagine this for me”. Likewise, “in about six months, right here” is a call to imagination and therefore a mind-function, not a brain-function. This same methodology can be used to encourage moving an undesirable decision — going to a competitor — from “right now” to an unspecified future time.
Here’s an example from the automotive world: An image of a smiling target audience member staring out of the image at eye level (as if they’re facing and smiling at the prospect) standing directly in front of a car your selling. Behind the surrogate and the car (close enough to be seen, not close enough to see details) is another audience surrogate staring at a competitive vehicle. Their posture, etc., indicate confusion if not displeasure. This is a gestalt effect and that effect starts with perspective, therefore use perspective in images to move decisions from near term to right now.
The Closer It Is, The More Important It Is
An interesting aspect of this is something you can do for fun. Close your eyes and think of doing something “right here, right now”. Doesn’t matter what it is, chances are you’ll start breathing faster, your pulse will increase, your blood pressure will climb a little (unless you’ve had meditation training, of course). This is because the brain gives great survival value to whatever is close to us. Want to relax? Think of something off aways in time and space (for me, kite flying).
Use the brain-mind system’s concepts of time to move consumer action from future to now via perspective in images. Like color, the technique needs to be used wisely and well for positive results. Enjoy!
Please contact NextStage for information regarding presentations and trainings on this and other topics.
Links for this post:
- The First Sale is the Next Page
- Get the attention you’re already paying for
- Listening to and Seeing Searches
- Making Visitors Want It Now
- BizMediaScience Priming arc
- Usability Studies 101: Barriers to Entry
- Usability Studies 101: Defining Visitor Action
- Usability Studies 101: The First Sale
- IMedia Brand Summit on 9-12 Sept 07
- XChange on 20-21 Sept 07
- DC Emetrics Summit on 14-17 Oct ’07
- Society for New Communications Research Annual Research Symposium & Awards Gala on 5-6 Dec 07 in Boston.
Come on by and say hello.