What would the first blog of the year be without a catchy, thought provoking quote? We dug this one up off of a recent Marketing Land article. We wanted to bring attention to the often forgot about behavioral effects messaging and images have on consumers.
The story starts in 1971 at the dawn of the information age. A well-known researcher Herbert A. Simon concluded that the more information that is available would leave something else lacking (i.e. attention of those reading it).
Creativity continues to be challenged as the lines of marketing, advertising and technology become blurrier, how do we move forward in making effective, long lasting material that creates a real imprint?
Simon said this long before laptops became fixtures on every table at every coffee shop in America, and obviously before man, woman, child, and infant had a cell phone in hand. In 2017, the strain between information and attention has gotten even more extreme.
If there was only a group of people that have spent decades studying these patterns. That would really help…
Luckily for us, behavioral scientists are those group of people. They have spent years and years tackling how people make decisions in an attention economy.
Peter Minnium, of marketingland.com, pin points 10 of these trends. We have chosen the Top 5 behavioral science drivers that will make you damn good at your job.
1. “Keep it Simple Stupid”
We have all heard the above saying, but can science really back this up? The answer is yes! Research shows that the human brain can hold only four pieces of information in working memory. No matter how much information you put on the screen, on average, only 4 pieces of that screen will stick. Creatives and Media people beware.
2. Make It Beautiful
In the creative game – looks do matter. Behavioral Sciences teach us that first impressions are based on aesthetics. Multiple studies have shown, the way in which a creative piece designed, even if the image appears for 1/10 of a second, will influence perceptions of value, usability, and trust. Color psychology and basic design principles are of the utmost importance to capture attention and leave a positive lasting impression in this cluttered ad ridden market.
3. Easy Doesn’t
Ads that are “too basic” are not memorable. Research shows that making material harder to process can improve long-term retention due to the brain working harder to conceptualize the piece. This is called increasing disfluency. To prove this theory, Princeton conducted a study exposing two groups to differently formatted information. Group One was exposed to a difficult to read font while Group Two read a simple, easy to read font. Recall tests were given to both groups immediately after exposure. The study found that the group exposed to harder to read font showed a higher ad recall than Group Two.
But wait! Sounds a little like a contradiction based on the first rule? Not really. Point is ads can’t be too simple like the thousands of “Best Product Ever” ad copy with a family smiling. Include a bit of complexity to help with attention and recall. Thank you Ivy League.
4. Trigger a Feeling
For years, behavioral scientists have proven that communications that trigger an emotion are a more effective creative strategy. An extensive study in 2012 showed that online content that evoked high arousal emotions had an increased chance of the ad going viral. Yet, pulling on the heartstrings may not be right for every campaign. So, get in touch with your feelings. If it feels right, your ads will be better for it.
5. Personalize Your Creative
Ever been exposed to one of those ads with your name in them? A little creepy…maybe, but it was memorable. A vast number of studies have shown that message personalization grabs the attention of most consumers. The advent of Dynamic Creative, which is the industries answer to personalization, is a perfect example of the technology behind today’s personalized ads. Using simple geographic cues like weather and time have shown to increase recall significantly. Yet, this route can be complicated and better used for a well thought out media and creative executions.
So why is a media company writing a blog about creative development? If you’ve been in this business long enough you’ve seen the strong connection between creative and media. Good creative with a bad media plan will tank. A good media plan with bad creative will fall on deaf ears. As media people, knowing what speaks to consumers is just as important as knowing how to reach them. What happens when creative and media work together? Great work happens. Here’s to creating great work in 2017.