CXL’s Digital Psychology and Persuasion Minidegree review [part-5]

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Hi, I am feeling so happy and accomplished. Yesterday, completed a big part of this whole minidegree and got my first certificate from CXL on Applied Nueromarketing. And the best part is not this certificate, its the knowledge that I was able to gain in the process.

You can learn everything online, today almost all information is available on internet, but the application of that knowledge is not easily available. Its very hard to find the applied concepts on any topic. Many practical sources are still doing their best, but learning directly from industry leaders is not something you can compare with anything else.

This experience based knowledge is what makes all the difference. And what made me love this whole process of learning, is the personal experiences on applicability of the principals and experiments that these experts done themselves or relies on, they are sharing that practical knowledge. For me its a kind of personal mentorship by industry leaders in neuromarketing. Another reason to feel blessed. :)

So, today I wanted to cover many topics but I am going to stick with only 1 topic that is Our Brain: Dual Processing & Marketing. I am going to cover the functionality of our brain, its emotional and rational sides. And finally how we can use our marketing efforts intuitively so they return us better results. Also, I am going to suggest a fair warning on using this dual processing system in our favor. So, lets start without loosing another second.

Photo by Paola Aguilar on Unsplash

Our Brain

The most popular opinion in psychology is the two parts of our brain, not in physical aspect but in functional aspect. We know it as Right brain — Left brain split. Right brain famous for emotional functioning while left is more logical. In other words we can say that our right brain is unconscious and the left one is conscious.

The reality is little different and complicated. Even though the left and right side of our brain like logical and emotional activities respectively. But, still they are more flexible in terms of processing information based on its type. Like, in some studies its concluded that, when a part of brain gets damaged because of some accident. Our brain tend to move load of functions that damaged part is responsible for, onto other parts, with time.

Which simply means our brain is really very flexible in terms of its working and its smart enough to manage its resources efficiently. Not only it manages all its functions efficiently, it also manages unexpected situations cleverly.

Apart from this, these left-right parts of our brain are actually dependent on each other for processing information. That’s right, they tend to work very closely with each other for giving us a whole picture of what is going on. For example, the left side processes small details of things you see, the right processes the overall shape. Know more about why its not about left or right and more about our brain as a 1 whole system that works in totality here.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Dual Processing System

Now, if I talk about the dual functionality of our brain as Daniel Kahneman presented in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow. Our brain do have a dual system processing, one works with the emotional aspects while the other take care of the logical data. The the information that we process, 99% of that is actually processed by our emotional system which is infact the unconscious system.

This means that everyday we take most of our decisions unconsciously, and surprisingly enough we don’t have any realization about this. This unconscious system is denoted as system 1 and the conscious system is demoted as system 2 by Khaneman.

Further, the system 1 is attributed as

  • Fast: Its really quick in giving response. Some instinctive responses are as quick as within 0.02 ms.
  • Effortless: We don’t require any cognitive load white system 1 is at work.
  • Automatic: System 1 works autonomously, without any kind of supervision.
  • Uncontrolled: We can’t control decisions and responses of system 1.
  • Parallel: It works in parallel with system 2.
  • High Capacity: It works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It doesn’t require any working memory, that’s why its capacity is technically unlimited.
  • Associative: It is highly associative in nature, means it can relate and make connections between the unrelated things. That’s how it contributes to our learning process.
  • Independent of Cognitive ability: It doesn't require any cognitive ability, means no mental processing is needed.

While System 2 is attributed as

  • Slow: Its slow because it first need to analyze the data and come to a conclusion. But, this is not the only factor that makes system 2 slow.
  • Effortful: It requires a lot of efforts to perform any processing. In fact, its very volatile, means it cant hold much information for longer period of time. When we use system 2 for longer period, we starts feeling tired because it requires so much of our energy.
  • Manual: It need supervision, without manually driving it we cant use it. We need to focus on the task for system 2 to work efficiently.
  • Controlled: It is in our full control. We can manipulate information in system 2 as per our preference.
  • Serial: It works in serial order, it can only focus on one task at a time. We can use system 2 for multiple tasks, but only one task at a time.
  • Limited Capacity: It requires huge amount of working memory, and because our working memory is limited and used up quickly, system 2 can’t go beyond that limit.
  • Rule Based: System 2 is highly rational and rule based. It works based on a set of rules and can’t work outside of those rules.
  • Dependent on Cognitive ability: It requires lots of mental efforts to work correctly. As I said earlier, when we use system 2 of our brain for longer period, we starts feeling tired.

So, the default system of our brain we heavily rely on is system 1, which is unconscious in nature and help us in taking most of our decisions as well as it helps us with managing vital tasks of our body, like breathing, maintaining heart beat, temperature, etc.

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Now, the good news. Our potential clients / users / website visitors / or simply leads are also human and they also possess this dual processing system. That means they also use system 1 heavily for decision making, which is a boon as a marketer.

We don’t realize this and mostly try to pitch our product / service as rationally as we can. What we try to do is, we put our best in trying to please system 2 which is rational, helps us in thinking, also is conscious. But, unfortunately we as a marketer fails to realize that our decisions are emotional, we only use logic to justify our emotional decisions.

“95% of our purchase decisions take place unconsciously” — Gerald Zaltman (Harvard Business School professor)

But, tailoring our marketing efforts for only emotional system is also not very intuitive. Because even though we decide unconsciously, but still we execute our decisions rationally. This means now as a marketer we need to focus on both rational as well as emotional side of our thinking.

In simple words, this means that we need to entertain a customer or a lead on both emotional and rational levels. For best outcome this is the ideal solution as we emotionally connect our target with our marketing efforts, so when they feel a emotional connection, we immediately deliver some rational facts that compliment their thinking process.

This not only will help them in connecting with our product or service, but also help them in executing their emotional choices with rational efforts, but this time with least cognitive load because we are already feeding them what they need at every stage of purchasing. Which basically means we are helping them in removing every obstacle or doubt in the path of their purchase, so they can reach where we want them to. Check this video(below) which is based on Dan Heath’s elephant-rider analogy.

And at the last I want to only add a fair warning, that not every marketing effort needs to focus on both systems. For example, if we talk about marketing some perfume, its purely a rational case. We can’t emotionally attract or connect a customer with such a product. So, we need to realize what product or service we are having at hand, before jumping into carving our marketing efforts.

That’s a way of merging dual processing system into marketing efforts for better return and customer loyalty development.

Photo by Johan Godínez on Unsplash

So, that’s it for today. Actually, originally i wanted to cover multiple topics today, but I analyzed my previous posts and found that covering multiple topics is not an effective way, instead I should cover 1 or at max 2 topics for controlling the scope of these posts as well as making it meaningful for the readers. That’s why today I stick with only one topic but I think this is better than the previous pattern.

So, thanks again, for reading it till end. Have a great day.



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A marketer who can code. I like writing mostly about web dev, marketing, psychology and reviewing courses & tools. My opinions are my own w/o any affiliation.