There are five major buying motives: physical, psychological, rational, emotional, product, and patronage. Out of these five targeting a subconscious buyer is most challenging and important.
As, most of the decisions and actions done by humans happen at a subconscious level. A marketer thus has a severe need to dig into and enter a human’s subconscious.
The biggest challenge for the marketing professionals today, is the consumer. There are so many brands in the market, it is hard to figure out ways to reach out to the buyer or to ensure that a buyer reacts to an offer in the way that brands want them to. The going seems to be tough. However, it is not really so. Big and successful brands know, either literally or subconsciously, that when they are targeting the proverbial ‘eyeballs’ of their consumer, what they are actually doing, is trying to find a door into his subconscious mind.
In nearly a century and a half of those like Sigmund Freud revolutionizing human consciousness by diagnosing the workings of the human mind, psychology has scaled great heights. Like the Id, Ego and Superego of Freud, almost everyone knows that the motivations and drives of a human are much more subconscious, than they are conscious.
Thousands of research undertaken to study the workings of the human mind have proven beyond doubt that the human mind processes most of what it gets through its five senses, at a very subconscious level. It’s like breathing, most of the time you are not even aware that you are breathing but the body, controlled by the mind, is doing its work. Like the operation of human organs or the various muscles in the human body most of the work that our brains are busy doing, is happening way below our conscious awareness. Hence, the example of the tip of the iceberg holds true when we talk about how the mind functions.
In his book ‘Strangers to Ourselves: Discovering the Adaptive Unconscious’, author Timothy Wilson states that our senses are absorbing over 11,000,000 bits of information every second through our sense organs, mostly through the eyes. Our conscious brain can process only 40 bits of information from that with the rest being processed subconsciously. The most immediate issue for a marketing and advertising professional at first is wondering how to enter those 40 bits of information and secondly, how to occupy large part of the other wasted bits of information that the person is taking in subconsciously to make, what can be termed as, ‘a subconscious cognitive package’ that will be most effective in delivering a brand message.
It thus pays advertising, marketing and branding professionals to keep an eye out on the world of neuroscience and psychology. Even its most basic and well known findings can have a profound impact on business. Consider some example.
Since the brain is a very expensive organ to maintain taking up 3% of the body’s weight but eating up 20% of its resources, the simplicity of a message and thus its processing is important for the brain meaning that simpler an ads, more chances it has of breaking clutter. Secondly, the human brain is extremely emotional i.e. the more emotional a message, the greater is the chance that it would be remembered.
In life it is said that what you don’t know, can’t hurt you. In marketing and advertising however, what you don’t’ know can actually destroy you. The need is thus to know everything possible about a consumer and it pays to spend sufficient time and energy on the human mind.