What You See Is NOT All There Is

What You See Is NOT All There Is

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By: Shea Posey, Senior Account Executive and Jake McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer

As humans, we all fall victim from time to time to the Veruca Salt “I Want It Now” mindset. Who can blame us? Even without technology making it so that almost anything we want is right at our fingertips with little to no waiting, the need for instant gratification is literally something we’re born with. When given the option between getting something now and getting something more or better later, we often choose to take the something now.

That mentality, known as Hyperbolic Discounting, shows up in marketing, too, especially in economic downturns and times of uncertainty. When budgets get pinched, marketers usually shift those advertising dollars to lower-funnel activities as opposed to higher-funnel, brand-building efforts. Why? It has to do with the way marketers themselves process information in ways that are not always helpful.

As mentioned in 5 Cognitive Biases CMOs Should Watch For When Making Decisions, marketers tend to go with the instant data that’s right in front of them that typically comes from short-term sales activation. Author and Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman gave this concept the acronym WYSIATI, meaning “What you see is all there is.” Marketers that get sucked into the WYSIATI frame of mind have an over-reliance on all the immediate data that comes with lower-funnel media, often neglecting upper-funnel brand and awareness activities that take a lot longer to measure.

So, what’s wrong with that? Well, nothing…unless you want to see more long-term growth and profit. Studies have proven that playing the brand-building long game pays off higher dividends over time. Brand building works on an emotional level to create long-term memories and associations that continue to influence purchase decisions long after the advertising runs.

Source: Binet & Field, 2013

This was highlighted several years ago when eBay accidentally had their Google Ad Words turned off for a few days. It turns out nothing happened to their sales, confirming that the effect of the long-term brand building they had been doing had replaced that activity. If that was only discovered by accident, it begs the question: what have we, as marketers, not noticed because we have been so overly focused on the immediate data that’s right in front of us?

At Intermark, we ask questions like that every day to help us develop customized psychology-based brand strategies and memorable creative for our clients. To discuss how we can help you turn psychological insights into great creative advertising, give us a call at 833-579-1905 or email us at [email protected].