Marketing is an art form that requires the understanding of customer behaviour and human psychology.
Enter Heuristics. Heuristics are simple, efficient mental shortcuts that people use to forms decisions and make judgements.
The official definition for Heuristic is “Any approach to problem solving, learning, or discovery that employs a practical method not guaranteed to be optimal or perfect, but sufficient for the immediate goals.”
Heuristics are mental shortcuts that people use to reduce the cognitive load on their brain. Examples include using an educated guess, common sense or a rule of thumb.
The following heuristics can be implemented in some shape or form in your marketing and advertising campaigns:
If you’re familiar with the film “the secret” then you know that you create your own reality. In summary, you can manifest what you desire in this world by thinking and acting in a certain way.
The affect heuristic involves how we feel and think about things. You see externally what you feel internally. If you’re feeling positive you will look at the beautiful skyscrapers and be in awe of the achievements of humanity. Conversely, if you’re in a bad mood, you will focus on the negatives and pain a bleak picture based on your negative thinking and emotions. This is why people have completely different reactions to the same thing. We’re all living in our heads, and our lives are a projection of our consciousness.
So if you want to help put your visitors in a positive mood, offer something uplifting before showing your product or service. This could be an inspiring story, a funny image or some form of good news.
Before asking for a donation, you could insert a funny picture that lightens the mood and increases your visitors agreeability with your mission statement. If your visitor is in a good mood, they will frame donating money to your cause as a positive action, along with their association to your charities mission.
In our lives we are taught not to assume anything, yet we do it all the time because we need to. Our brains are designed to make quick decisions, not to hang around and ponder assumptions for hours on end. The availability heuristic tells us to use the information that is readily available, in short, our assumptions about things!
This relates to your marketing when it comes to first impressions and social proof. If you want to impress your site visitors and have them make their assumptions based on your companies’ achievements, then you want to place your past successes and endorsements above the fold on your landing page.
Our brain assumes that companies that have had past success will continue to do so in the future. This is how the availability heuristic leads people to make quick decisions based on the most recent information that is available.