Make It Easy, Then Make It Easier

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By: Dr. David Bridwell, People Scientist and Jake McKenzie, Chief Executive Officer

The importance of understanding the customer perspective has been around a long time in marketing. In fact, some of the biggest figures in marketing were the most prominent voices promoting the perspective of the customer. Wroe Alderson, regarded as the father of modern marketing, said the following:

“Every phase of marketing can be understood as human behavior within the framework of some operating system. Survival and growth are implicit goals of every behavior system, including most particularly those that operate in the marketplace.”

It doesn’t get more customer-centric than that. And his devotion to the perspective of the customer likely resulted in his success as a marketer. 

But we can take customer-centricity even further today in the 21st century. Not only can we draw on psychological research on biases and heuristics that people use to navigate the world, we can also leverage the past few decades of advancements in neuroscience and our understanding of the brain. We have a much clearer understanding of customer motivation, memory, and perception. 

We don’t have time to dive into all the key insights from psychology and neuroscience here (sign up for our next webinar for more). But we can take the time to highlight one behavioral insight that’s particularly important–consumers aren’t actively attending to your product or advertisement unless it aligns with their personal motivations in the moment that they see the ad or product. 

People generally aren’t conscious of the majority of information that contributes to their perceptions and the decisions that they make. This means that your advertisement or product must be as easy to process as possible. For more on why you need to make your advertisements and products easy to process (and then even easier), consider the following:

  • At the grocery store, people follow a “racetrack” path around the store and they avoid going down isles unless they have to (see Larson, Bradlow & Fader, 2005). If your product is on the middle aisle at the supermarket, then the majority will only see a pixel of your brand color (or product shape) through their peripheral vision.  
  • Consumers typically spend between 12 and 17 seconds considering products when they’re actively looking at a product category in store (Romaniuk, 2018). 
  • With online supermarket shopping, 42% of items were added to the shopping cart within 10 seconds of consideration (Anesbury et. al. 2016).

Remember, our brain quickly pieces together our perceptions from limited information. Your product or advertisement needs to be easy to process in order to stand out. If customer’s can’t find you or understand your message then it’s a huge loss for your business. For the customer, they’ll be slightly inconvenienced as they add your competitor’s product to their grocery cart.

At Intermark Group, we leverage psychology and the behavioral sciences, including memory science, to help make sure that advertisements have the most impact. We work with you at all levels of the campaign, from strategy, creative, production, and media, and more. Feel free to give us a call at 833-578-1314 or email us at [email protected] to discuss how we can help with your marketing challenges. In addition, sign up for our newsletter to stay in touch with the latest insights in marketing psychology.