Customer’s Mind – Who knows it best?

I am an intuitive person. Most of my life’s major decisions were based on intuition. 

Though I apply intuition at work too, I spend some extra time to validate my intuition with data. They translate into insights. That just helps me make more informed and consensual decisions. But with impulsive purchases, I don’t go through this cycle of the deliberate thinking process. 

Jessica Bowler’s quoted, “Humans are emotional; first, we buy because of the way we feel and then (misleadingly) justify the reason with logic.”

This is true with most of you and your customers too. 

Customers don’t always tell you why they made a purchase — not because they don’t tell the truth, but because they don’t know, why?!

Reading a customer’s mind remains the marketer’s responsibility. It is left to them to somehow know what the consumer thinks and wants. 

Neuromarketing has been able to read purchase patterns

Impulsive purchase decisions are mostly felt to be intuitive.

Intuitive or not, the thought process and determinants of a purchase decision are sometimes apparent and conscious, while at other times they are hidden and subconscious.

Neuromarketing takes the aid of some tools and mechanisms in neuroscience to tap the subconscious mind of a consumer. The insights from such research empowers a marketer to make better decisions that will help in pruning channel costs, employing resources only for aspects that lead to a sale, and discovering purchase patterns.

With neuromarketing, attribution to the money spent on subjective matters like branding will no longer be wild guesses. Inputs need not be based on sentiment and superficial scoring tools. 

Though with digital media, big data, and better attribution tools, marketers are able to study online consumer behavior better, neuromarketing has been able to help with insights about a customer in the offline realm too. 

I’m referring to sectors like retail, politics, and other murky marshlands that look like a distant dream to an attribution obsessed marketer. Here are some interesting stories.

  • In a retail store, using brain signals researchers were able to predict which option the consumers would choose seven seconds before they consciously made their decision.
  • Our brain apparently is looking for something simple, and it’s happiest when it finds what it’s looking for. Visual clutter really does matter. Don’t frustrate the brain while organizing shelves.
  • There was another experiment that measured heart rate, breathing, how much they sweat and motion responses – as well as what they focused on using eye-tracking technology. Using the results, researchers could predict box office hits.

An Honest Opinion

By now, you would have guessed that neuromarketing as a research process requires you to spend a great amount of your marketing budget into it. Until now, neuromarketing agencies have some of the larger business behemoths on their client list. For these large companies, neuromarketing is a good solution to save a few millions of dollars. 

It is expensive (though relative), hence, when should you deploy?

It is best to add neuromarketing to your marketing mix when you have figured out the cost formula and its relationship with revenues across all channels and when you are trying to optimize cost and time by perfecting the purchase process.

– Nischala Agnihotri

On the brighter side, the good news for startups is that, with micro-mini budgets, they can simply apply published neuromarketing insights to their marketing work. Although, this may involve customization and further experimentation. 

I will soon be addressing the next most obvious question — How to use neuromarketing for your business?

Sources and References:

What should you expect out of a good content writer?

Step-2 in my recommended content development process is to set the right expectations. While the writer could share their expectations, here is what you should be asking for.

First, let’s understand what a content writer is capable of delivering. This helps us understand if your writer is under-delivering or doing an awesome job.

Here’s what a Content Writer can deliver:

The list of ‘can-s’ would be longer than ‘should-s’.

Sound research: Writers do a basic amount of online research which includes an overview of your business, industry, competition, and current trends. This gives them a grip to transform your ideas into objective-oriented transcripts.

Why do I call them transcripts? Because they are not ideating for you. You need to provide the core idea to a writer. And, the writer puts them into the right words.

Structure: What should your content asset begin and end with? And, everything in-between. That’s what makes up the structure of a content asset. Good writers also focus on every detail of a sentence structure. This includes grammar, vocabulary, voice, and tone, audience grasp, and whole intent of the asset. Each sentence repeats the brand intent and promise for a different purpose, audience, or rather a use case.

This means good content creators also work on anchors, triggers, validations, persuasion deltas, call-to-actions within a message. These elements would be seamlessly embedded into the message without making it apparent for your audience.

Outline recommendations with edited versions: Feels too obvious? If a writer is looking for outline recommendations, that means they are new to the business and need help. Nothing wrong with that. You can hire new writers and tune them to your needs. But, if you don’t have time for that, then look for experienced writers, who can recommend outlines for web pages, blogs, whitepapers, case studies, proposals, solution briefs, technical documents, and so on. This is part of Content UX.

Stay patient to get all edited versions and the final output to augment your marketing.

Great content writers add more value by recommending topics and titles for future topics. They align their output with your marketing objective and customer needs.

– Nischala Agnihotri

Question to your writer: Some hiring help.

Which type of content are you most comfortable with?

Website content, long-form copy, short-form copy, video scripts, storyboards, ad copywriter, end-to-end marketing bundled content, or any other specific type?

Preferred answer with a note.

I am most comfortable with ______________________________.

All content writers cannot do everything. And, if the writer says, “I can do it all’. Look for another 🙂

– Nischala Agnihotri

For a detailed checklist that tells you what you need from a content writer, during the content development process, download the free e-book ‘Make most out of your content writer’

Your Freelance Content Writer disappointed you? Content Development Process to help you.

Your previous content writing project sucked? Do you blame your writer? If you want to find a true solution and honest answers, read on.

I want to help people create great content and communicate at their best to run businesses.

TLDR. Download this visually transcripted e-book that explains ‘How you can make most out of your Content Writer?‘.

Most content writing projects fail with a remote freelance writer because they lack some or all of what I experienced earlier:

  • Mutual clarity
  • Consensual expectations
  • A written plan
  • Trust issues
  • Goal-setting
  • Mutual involvement until the end
  • Respect for the writers.

To summarize, most entrepreneurs, marketers, or content managers skip a 5-step process that can do wonders for their content development process.

A 5-step content development process

Good writers expect a fair exchange of ideas. So, it is best you give all the information necessary for the writer to think like you.

Step #1: Introduce Yourself: Obvious. Yet, the most ignored step. Tell the writer everything about your company, product, industry, competitors, your inspiration, vision, and all the work that happened until now.

Step #2: Share your expectations: And, this includes deadlines, word limit, target audience keywords, vision, outcome, marketing objectives, and in the first place, ‘why are you hiring a writer?’…

Step #3: Plan ahead: Duh uh! Discuss the scope of your project. Preferably, on a monthly basis with a weekly deliverable. Talk through the design, development, UX, and other dependencies. This includes web pages, whitepapers and blog outlines, email cadences, positioning statement, persona groundwork, and more.

Step #4: Now Write!: Here is when you need to let the writer ideate using your inputs. This is a silent phase. But, the most steamed one for a writer. Great writers run their research, deploy writing frameworks, paste your needs on a target board, build thought flows, iterate plots, and do a lot of editing before you get to see the first draft.

Step #5: Publish-proof:  All this was about content for digital assets. For digital content, it is imperative to ensure that the final content is publish-proof. Scrub your links, images, create retro-fit sketches, test CTAs, in-line forms, pop-ups, email flows, formatting, and everything that makes your content feel perfect for the final user.

I’ve provided a list of checklists that you could use during most conversations with a content writer to get the job done and make your content projects a success. Download the FREE e-book with the collaborative process and checklists that will help you get the best output out of a writing project.