The Science of Effective Marketing

Daniel Burrus, founder and CEO of Burrus Research, wrote—and has since updated—an article in 2013 for HuffPost called “There Is a Science and an Art to Every Profession.”  Within his article, Burrus makes the case that it’s important to develop and improve in both facets of your profession.

When it comes to professions that utilize both science and art on a regular basis, marketing is surely near the top of the list.

Perhaps that’s always been the case, but it’s especially true in 2018.

What’s so special about 2018? Well, not that much more or less than any other year; it just happens to be the one we’re presently in.

And our present is dominated by the internet, right?

(Love it or hate it, the internet isn’t going away at this point.)

As we’ve noted elsewhere on our website, online marketing efforts are essential for your company’s success in a day and age when everyone uses the worldwide web—as all the cool kids call it—to research products and services.

Listing it out, that means you need:

 An awesome website that contains valuable information and is easily found—and ranked highly—by search engines 

Targeted email campaigns to stay relevant in customers’ minds

A social media presence that cultivates brand loyalty

Online ad campaigns to turn strangers into site visitors (who then become sales leads and ultimately customers)

Pressing ahead, it’s probably pretty easy to think about how your website uses both science and art to be the ultimate marketing tool for your business.

After all, a ton of technical work goes into building and maintaining it, along with the data tracking necessary to analyze performance. And if that’s the “science,” then your site’s content, graphics, and videography elements are the “art.”

Naturally, we have team members who are dedicated to these respective realms.

But the fact of the matter is this:

There is science in the art, and vice versa.

A great example of this—one a writer who happens to sometimes write blog posts for a marketing agency would know a thing or two about—is the way psychology and neuroscience come into play when creating effective content.

Since the goal of marketing is to influence consumer behavior, it is incredibly useful to understand human motivations and behavior patterns.

And that means any marketing writer worth his or her weight is familiar with Robert Cialdini, PhD, and his groundbreaking work Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. (Or he or she at least understands the general principles Cialdini highlights in it.)

Beyond persuasion, understanding the science behind writing also plays a massive role in simply making sure that content is clear and easy to read – which is somewhat important for the user experience.

Of course, there are many other scientific considerations when creating content,
such as:

Pressing ahead, it’s probably pretty easy to think about how your website uses both science and art to be the ultimate marketing tool for your business.

After all, a ton of technical work goes into building and maintaining it, along with the data tracking necessary to analyze performance. And if that’s the “science,” then your site’s content, graphics, and videography elements are the “art.”

Naturally, we have team members who are dedicated to these respective realms.

But the fact of the matter is this:

There is science in the art, and vice versa.

A great example of this—one a writer who happens to sometimes write blog posts for a marketing agency would know a thing or two about—is the way psychology and neuroscience come into play when creating effective content.

Since the goal of marketing is to influence consumer behavior, it is incredibly useful to understand human motivations and behavior patterns.

And that means any marketing writer worth his or her weight is familiar with Robert Cialdini, PhD, and his groundbreaking work Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. (Or he or she at least understands the general principles Cialdini highlights in it.)

Beyond persuasion, understanding the science behind writing also plays a massive role in simply making sure that content is clear and easy to read – which is somewhat important for the user experience.

Of course, there are many other scientific considerations when creating content,
such as:

The Asch Paradigm

In the 1950s, Solomon Asch conducted studies as to whether individuals would yield to or defy a majority group that is clearly wrong. Humans might think we’d stand up and provide a correct answer—even if everyone else is saying that an obviously incorrect one is right—but studies prove otherwise.

Confirmation Bias

We tend to seek out information to support
what we “know.”

Implicit egotism

Even the most selfless of us
still maintain a certain degree of self-centeredness, an unconscious preference for things we associate
with ourselves.

Processing Fluency

The faster and more easily we process information, the more positively we will likely evaluate that information.

Misattribution

Also playing a role with processing fluency, we tend to associate those positive feelings with the stimulus, but they actually come from us feeling good about ourselves for quickly processing information.

Mere Exposure Effect

The more often we’re exposed to a stimulus, the more appealing we find it. This is another psychological phenomenon linked to processing fluency, since we are better able to process information—including visual cues and stimuli—with
each exposure.

Cognitive Dissonance

We feel a state of discomfort when our behavior contradicts our attitude. A great example of this is the unsettling feeling we get from nervous laughter.

Social Similarities

Put simply, we are all influenced by people who we view as similar to ourselves.

The Asch Paradigm

In the 1950s, Solomon Asch conducted studies as to whether individuals would yield to or defy a majority group that is clearly wrong. Humans might think we’d stand up and provide a correct answer—even if everyone else is saying that an obviously incorrect one is right—but studies prove otherwise.

Confirmation Bias

We tend to seek out information to support
what we “know.”

Implicit egotism

Even the most selfless of us
still maintain a certain degree of self-centeredness, an unconscious preference for things we associate
with ourselves.

Processing Fluency

The faster and more easily we process information, the more positively we will likely evaluate that information.

Misattribution

Also playing a role with processing fluency, we tend to associate those positive feelings with the stimulus, but they actually come from us feeling good about ourselves for quickly processing information.

Mere Exposure Effect

The more often we’re exposed to a stimulus, the more appealing we find it. This is another psychological phenomenon linked to processing fluency, since
we are better able to process information—including visual cues and stimuli—with
each exposure.

Cognitive Dissonance

We feel a state of discomfort when our behavior contradicts our attitude. A great example of this is the unsettling feeling we get from nervous laughter.

Social Similarities

Put simply, we are all influenced by people who we view as similar to ourselves.

Now, that certainly isn’t a comprehensive list by any stretch of imagination. Further, we could spend a lot of time delving deeper into each one and going into greater detail as to how writers can use them when creating marketing content.

Instead, let’s move on – after illustrating this in a different context:

Those psychological and neuroscientific theories and considerations—along with some others like selective attention and heuristic processing—can also be used when crafting visual elements and creating videos.

So why does this all work?

Well, it really comes down to two key factors: human evolution and our biologic structure.

Certain psychological factors developed to protect us from danger (selective attention), find food (heuristic processing), or belong to a tribe (social similarities). And even though we don’t need selective attention to alert us to nearby lions anymore, it’s still hardwired into our brains.

Regarding biological structure, you can typically have greater success appealing to someone with why you do something (which is emotional) rather than what you offer (which is logical) for the simple reason that the part of the brain responsible for our feelings—the limbic region—is the same part responsible for decision-making.

(If you’re interested in that particular phenomenon, you may want to check out Simon Sinek’s “How great leaders inspire action” TED Talk or his book Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.)

That all being said, here’s a basic truth:

Most of us “creatives” aren’t giving it too much thought.

Basically, we don’t really need to. Most of the “science” behind our respective arts come natural to us.

In the event you’re thinking about creating your own marketing content, however, you will probably want to seriously research the hows and whys of it all. And then you will obviously need to take the lessons you learn and consistently apply them to your marketing efforts.

Sure, you’re certainly free to do that if you wish, but maybe it’s easier to just hire someone else to handle it all for you?

It would save you more time and effort than you’d realize.

On top of that, you could have a team of dedicated professionals working for you who are skilled, experienced, and take pride in helping business owners and leaders like yourself grow their business through proven marketing strategies.

Now, that certainly isn’t a comprehensive list by any stretch of imagination. Further, we could spend a lot of time delving deeper into each one and going into greater detail as to how writers can use them when creating marketing content.

Instead, let’s move on – after illustrating this in a different context:

Those psychological and neuroscientific theories and considerations—along with some others like selective attention and heuristic processing—can also be used when crafting visual elements and creating videos.

So why does this all work?

Well, it really comes down to two key factors: human evolution and our biologic structure.

Certain psychological factors developed to protect us from danger (selective attention), find food (heuristic processing), or belong to a tribe (social similarities). And even though we don’t need selective attention to alert us to nearby lions anymore, it’s still hardwired into our brains.

Regarding biological structure, you can typically have greater success appealing to someone with why you do something (which is emotional) rather than what you offer (which is logical) for the simple reason that the part of the brain responsible for our feelings—the limbic region—is the same part responsible for decision-making.

(If you’re interested in that particular phenomenon, you may want to check out Simon Sinek’s “How great leaders inspire action” TED Talk or his book Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.)

That all being said, here’s a basic truth:

Most of us “creatives” aren’t giving it too much thought.

Basically, we don’t really need to. Most of the “science” behind our respective arts come natural to us.

In the event you’re thinking about creating your own marketing content, however, you will probably want to seriously research the hows and whys of it all. And then you will obviously need to take the lessons you learn and consistently apply them to your marketing efforts.

Sure, you’re certainly free to do that if you wish, but maybe it’s easier to just hire someone else to handle it all for you?

It would save you more time and effort than you’d realize.

On top of that, you could have a team of dedicated professionals working for you who are skilled, experienced, and take pride in helping business owners and leaders like yourself grow their business through proven marketing strategies.

CP Solutions is a marketing agency full of artistic scientists and scientific artists, and we’d love to learn about you and your business. If you’re interested in finding out what we can for you, check out our services page and samples of work we’ve done for other intelligent businesses.

If you like what you see, please feel free to give us a no-obligations call at (833) 622-0907 and let’s find out what we can do for you!

Science of Marketing

CP Solutions is a marketing agency full of artistic scientists and scientific artists, and we’d love to learn about you and your business. If you’re interested in finding out what we can for you, check out our services page and samples of work we’ve done for other intelligent businesses.

If you like what you see, please feel free to give us a no-obligations call at (833) 622-0907 and let’s find out what we can do for you!

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