Understanding the unconscious mind for successful marketing #BMANCSC

The psychology in marketing was what one of the factors that made me fall in love with marketing in the first place. It was the  combination of analytical/behavioral aspects and creativity that hooked me. I love it! Last week I attended a B2B marketing conference with BMA Carolinas. Here are some notes from Jeanette McMurtrys inspiring talk about Triggering the Unconscious Mind for Unthinkable ROI – Using Psychology to Drive Loyalty, Devotion and Evangelism. 

meaningofcolorsJeanette studies human psychology, what drives us, with the goal of understanding how to use the unconscious drivers in behavior and loyalty.

She says that 90% of all thoughts are unconscious, but still marketers aim for the conscious 10% in advertising and other marketing activities.

A study shows that the three top values that we make or decisions upon, differ a lot between the conscious and the unconscious mind.  Conscious values:

1. Helpfulness
2. Choosing own path
3. Meaning in life
Unconscious values
1. Maintaining security
2. Sexual fulfillment
3. Honoring tradition

The study was made in US, China and Brazil. The results for the total survey looks a bit different than for US (see below). I presume that shows how the society norms affects us in an unconscious way. I have seen since I moved to US, how very important security is considered in every day life. I would like to see the numbers and values for Sweden, who has a total different security net/healthcare system, where you don’t need to worry in the same way regarding your everyday decisions.

Conscious values:
1. Meaning in life
2. Choosing own path
3. Helpfulness
4. Environmentalism

5. Success

Unconscious values 

1.  Sexual fulfillment
2. Respect for tradition
3. Maintaining security
4. Environmentalism
5. Wealth


whowetrustThe unconscious mind also decide in what we trust. For purchasing decisions, we trust the recommendations from people we know the most. On the second place, we trust consumer opinions online.

What does not show in this picture, is the trust for authorities, that often exceeds the trust in our own personal values (70% vs 30% according to one survey) that is often used in advertising.

Pleasure and pain
We respond to pleasure and avoidance of pain, and we are more concerned about avoiding pain than getting a reward. For sales people this is old news, who has not heard of the “turn the knife” method,  if you know what the pain is the client is trying to avoid – you have a golden key to speed up the business process.The most important thing, is to speak to the client according to their affective system and not yours. If 90% of people see threats, while 10 % is more risk taking, you need to form the message according to that. You need to bring the customer from a state of survival – to a state of trust and then believing.

Jeanette spoke about our “survival DNA” and how the unconscious mind understands a situation 10 times faster than the conscious mind. Therefore it is super important that messages are clear and instant. As a marketer we need to help the audience draw the right conclusion, and have in mind that they will be unconsciously perceiving our ad or offer.
Of course then the challenge is to find out what unconscious values your market is driven by.

Five elements of human happiness. 

We see ourselves living a life in good, and making a difference in the world. Five drivers dictate our behavior in every aspect of our life:

  • Feel connected to others
  • Making a difference
  • Associate with and experience good
  • Reciprocity
  • Fareness, Justice

This also affect how we react to brands and campaigns. That is why the Dad’s sixth sense  made a sales boost of 40% and Jaguar “It feels good to be bad” mad the sales go down 30 %. Jeanette compared these areas to religious tenents that build loyalty, as vision, power to overcome, stories that inspire, symbols,  hope and evangelism. And companies who manage to build their brands around a movement instead of a product, standing for something, involving people, engaging in CSR.

Happy spending:
  • 50 % of consumers globally support CSR companies even it means paying more, and 50 % if the price is fairly equal
  • 75 % buy from brands with like values
  • 90 % (nearly) are likely to Trust and Purchase from a brans with CSR impact
  • 40 % globally “actually” made CSR purchases

Whats in it for B2B 

20151111_121524Jeanette show that emotions have even greater impact in B2B decisions than in B2C. One of the reasons is simply that it is more at stake. As an old sales person, I would also like to add the personal relation and trust in the individual, as a sales process go on for so much longer that in B2C.

10-40 % of B2C consumers are personally connected to a brand and 50 % + of B2B purchases are emotionally connected to vendors.

Here is some articles that I found from Jeanette and on the study:



Tweet or Like

About Pernilla

Digital PR Strategist with a passion for communications, carnival samba, travelling and outdoor adventures. Aiming to make every day colorful!

, ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply