Category: Economy

The Psychology of Finance – How to win clients and influence investors

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Waiting for your baggage at the airport is the worst. For a while Houston airport tried everything to reduce complaints about waiting times. They streamlined their offloading system, reducing the actual wait time considerably. However, they still received complaints. That is, until they moved the arrival gates further away from the incoming planes so passengers had to walk for longer before receiving their luggage. Complaints decreased significantly. This is because time spent waiting feels longer to us than time spent doing something, such as walking. This goes to show that psychological trickery is at the heart of your everyday experiences – more than you’d think.
So where does psychology come into finance?
Humans are highly sensitive to psychological biases. Various techniques are used in business (and Finance) to guide consumers to specific actions or opinions. As a consumer it’s important to be aware of these as you make financial decisions. For financial institutions, however, tapping into these cognitive biases may give you an advantage over your competitors.
What are cognitive biases?
Cognitive biases are a result of both attention economy and bounded rationality.
Attention economy is the view that human attention is a scarce commodity, especially in an age where we are being bombarded with information all the time. Leading from this, bounded rationality is a theory that we don’t have enough time to consider every decision, thus leading us to make decisions that aren’t always entirely rational. While we do consider all the viable alternatives when making big decisions, we have to make thousands of smaller decisions daily and would be exhausted if we used the same process for all decision-making. For example, you grab an apple out of your fridge because you’re hungry and an apple is a relatively healthy snack. You don’t spend a couple of minutes weighing out every option for snacks, and how hungry you truly are. You would waste so much time.
Because of this, humans use mental shortcuts called heuristics. They help us save time and mental energy because “easy” tasks can be handled automatically, like saying bless you when someone sneezes or driving to work without having to think about directions. Many of these heuristics can be used by financial institutions to help ‘nudge’ consumers towards certain decisions, like putting more money away into a retirement fund or choosing to bank with them over their competitors.
Common heuristics and how to make them work for you
There are hundreds of heuristics that cause people to make oversimplified decisions. Here are just a few that might be advantageous to know about:
The Availability heuristic is overestimating the importance of the information which is available to you. Consumers will often choose a bank that they know and have had recent exposure to over a lesser-known bank which may better suit their needs. Marketers have known this for a long time, which is why staying top-of-mind is often a priority. Financial service providers can also use this information to ensure that their branding is salient enough and their offerings appealing enough for consumers to remember them. If you’re a consumer looking to make a big financial decision, it’s important to keep this heuristic in mind and thoroughly research all your options, even the less obvious ones.
The Representativeness heuristic is when people make decisions based on past events or traits that are representative of or similar to the current situation. In finance, this often leads to consumers believing that a remarkable performance from a given firm in the past will ensure that same profit-generation in the future. This means that reputation is critical for financial institutions to build and maintain: celebrate and publicise your big achievements. Consumers can circumvent this trick through research into long-term trends and financial forecasts put forward by independant and knowledgeable industry experts. .
The Authority bias is the tendency to weigh the opinion of an authority figure more heavily. For example, Discovery Bank is using Castor Semenya, a South African icon, as their brand ambassador to represent the ideas of trustworthiness, credibility and the healthy lifestyle they reward. Similarly, telling consumers that top financial advisors endorse a particular bank and personally use it may cause the consumer to weigh the opinion of that bank more heavily, even if their research tells them not to. As a consumer, it’s important not to be swayed by flashy, big names and endorsements, as these are ultimately being paid for by the brand. The actual performance of a financial institution will give more relevant and useful information when making a decision than a charming smile or an impressive CV from an individual representing the brand.
Neuromarketing can help
Neuromarketing strategies and Neurodesign principles are often informed by the many heuristics customers use when they make decisions – both online and in-store/in-branch. It can help you nudge your customers in the right direction, be used to change their behavior and most importantly elevate their customer experience across each and every customer touchpoint. If you want your institution to be top of mind, and your track record is up to the task, then so are we.

Your Brain on Money – Winning and Losing

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In a world full of skyscrapers, smartphones, and spirulina smoothies, it’s hard to remember that humans are animals. That is, until it comes to how we handle money. We’d like to think that we make well-informed, rational decisions but everyone who’s ever seen the inside of a casino knows otherwise. Much like our animal counterparts, we have some pretty strange habits when it comes to precious resources. Money is no exception.
Wanting and Winning
From back when we were barely more than primordial sludge, it was important for us to want to find things. These things included food, shelter, water and other resources critical to our survival. As humans evolved, so did the system in our brain that makes us want to find things. It’s at the point now where it’s highly sophisticated, but can still make us a little clueless around money.
Jaak Panksepp was the scientist who first coined the idea of the brain having a Seeking System. This is a dopamine circuit in our brains that, when activated, gives us a sense of search, invigoration, or the idea that something exciting is about to happen. Think about the last time you were in a new city and excited to find things to do. It might also be unsurprising that cocaine stimulates this circuit – hence the high-intensity productivity it induces.
Later, Kent Berridge teased out the distinction in this part of the brain – the distinction between wanting and liking. Wanting is essentially the seeking system outlined by Panksepp. Liking is the reward our brain gives us when we’ve found what we’re looking for. It uses brain-produced opioids to get us to pause in our searching behaviour and enjoy what we’ve found.
So what does this have to do with winning money? Well, when you think about our caveman ancestors, it makes sense that our brains would evolve so that searching was much more important than enjoying what we have. Otherwise we’d never get anything done. As scientist Brian Knutson has found in his research, this means that the anticipation of a reward is actually much more exciting to us than receiving the reward. As a result, we’re often searching for rewards, even if we don’t need them.
What’s more, our brains don’t even work well in choosing which rewards we should go after. The bigger the potential profit is, the more aroused our wanting system is. However, if the probability of gaining that reward decreases – for example, from 1/100 to 1/1000, our anticipation of that reward doesn’t decrease accordingly. This is because the more emotional part of our brain (the limbic system) is immediately excited by the prospect of a big payout, regardless of the stakes. It takes a little longer for the more logical part of our brain (the prefrontal cortex) to kick in and force us to think a decision through. As Neuroeconomics expert Jason Zweig puts it, “when possibility is in the room, probability goes out the window”
Losing
Pain is an important teacher. From a young age, it teaches us what is safe to eat or touch, and what to avoid (like a hot stove). We learn which actions to take in order to avoid pain. Loss is very similar. On a biological level, it makes sense that we don’t like to lose: throughout most of human history, a loss of resources or loss of standing in a social group could have cost us our lives. On a more modern level, we all know that losing feels awful, especially when we’re losing money. It’s not just emotional, either: losing money activates the same part of the brain that is activated when we feel physical pain.
As a result of this pain, we experience something called loss aversion. Loss aversion is when we preferentially tailor our actions to avoid losing as opposed to tailoring our actions towards a win. For example, we’ll jump to pay a credit card on time if a fine is threatened, but we won’t necessarily take advantage of all the special offers on that same credit card.
We also tend to make worse decisions if we feel that we don’t have enough money or that a massive loss is imminent. This is referred to as the scarcity mindset. We go into full fight or flight mode and start making desperate decisions to avoid further losses, even if they’re bad decisions. In fact, we can lose up to 14 IQ points when anticipating scarcity. The parts of our brain responsible for assessing our long-term options are much less engaged in this mindset, and we focus on what feels right in the present moment. For example, you might find yourself taking out a loan instead of digging into your savings. While this might feel better at the time because you’re not losing your “own” money, it ultimately results in a higher loss as you repay with interest.
The best lesson to learn from all of this is, if you’re making a risky financial decision or you’re blindsided by a large bill or fine, simply take a moment before deciding. Go for a walk, hit the gym, call your dad. Wait until the excitement or panic subsides and then assess your options. You’ll thank yourself in the long run as you start playing to win instead of playing not to lose.

The Neuroscience of Brand Tribes and How to Build Them

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Do you find yourself automatically defending certain brands? Do you get annoyed if someone praises a brand you don’t like? Are you recommending a specific brand to anyone who will listen? If so, you might be in a brand tribe.
What’s Happening to Me?
Brand tribes are different from brand communities in the same way that living in a commune is different from living in a specific suburb. With brand tribes, you prefer a specific brand to the exclusion of its competitors, whereas a brand community is much looser: you may prefer a specific brand, but you’re not necessarily opposed to its competitors.
One of the key differences between communities and tribes may be in the release of Oxytocin. Oxytocin is often referred to as the love hormone, as it is responsible for bonding between a mother and child, and present during the formation of interpersonal bonds. Like anything involving the human brain, however, you’ll find it’sa bit more nuanced than that.
Although Oxytocin can make us more considerate of others and introduce feelings of strong connection, it’s been found that those effects only apply in our own in-group. An In-group is a group that you feel a part of. This could be your church community, supporters of your favourite sports team, or fans of your favourite band. Oxytocin helps us feel closer and more in-tune with our own in-group, and, with it, we’re more likely to make decisions that benefit the whole that group.
At the same time, though, Oxytocin also makes us feel animosity towards anyone outside of the in-group: the out-group. When confronted with members of an out-group, such as a rival sports team, we become more defensive, less likely to share resources and even more hostile.
So, when someone starts attacking Apple products but you’ve been an Apple fan for years, that’s someone in the out-group attacking your in-group, according to your brain. You are ready to defend your in-group and smack down this out-group loser. In reality, this probably just looks like a heated debate, but to your brain it’s oxytocin doing its job and, by the end of the encounter, it will leave you feeling even more bonded to Apple. Lucky them.
Why establish a brand tribe?
While you’re not looking to have people warring in the streets defending your brand, you would like to have your customers firmly in your court.
With eCommerce on the rise, it’s much easier for brands to compete for the same customers, uninhibited by location. You want to be able to differentiate your brand and have customers who are not only loyal to it, but ready to reject your competitors and even become brand advocates, converting their family and friends to your cause. Modern consumers also want to feel as though they have an authentic connection with a brand that is committed to things that they care about. Without being rooted in a real purpose that your customers can relate to, it’s easy for them to move between brands as the brands themselves don’t really stand for anything.
Gone are the days in which you could rely on products intrinsic components, such as the ingredients used and the quality thereof, to engender enough brand loyalty. Consumers’ evaluations of brands are now driven primarily by the extrinsic cues that these brands display rather than their intrinsic characteristics.
How do I build a brand tribe?
Having a great product and fun social media presence are not even half the battle when it comes to building a brand tribe, unfortunately. You want people to feel like they truly belong to your brand’s in-group.
The first step to that is to find out what your customers care about deeply. This isn’t just in terms of your product, but a wider cause, such as the environment or animal welfare. When thinking about your product and how your product impacts the world, ask whether it aligns with any of the concerns you identified in your customers.
From there, you can decide on a movement or cause for your brand. Make sure that your consumers can be involved in this cause easily. For example, the US sock company Bombas will donate a pair of socks to a child in need for every pair of socks purchased. Create opportunities for easy engagement with both the brand and the cause, too. This can mean a blog exploring the positive impacts of customers’ donations, or the stories of your customers as they embrace the movement you’re encouraging. This content should make the customer feel like they’re part of a broader movement that is making an impact on the world.
All of this serves to help your customers feel like they’re part of your brand’s in-group, which in turn makes them less likely to seek out similar feelings from your competitors.
At the end of the day
You believe in your brand. You want your customers to believe in it, too. Just remember that psychological trickery isn’t going to get you very far. Your product still needs to meet a need your customers have, your brand must stand out from the crowd, your website should be a breeze to navigate and your customer service a delightful interaction every time. If you put in the time and resources to obtain all those things, a brand tribe is not too far off.

What is Social Commerce and is it Living Up to the Hype?

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Imagine: you’re scrolling Instagram when you find a pair of Nike sneakers that you absolutely love. You decide to go look for them on the Nike website, only to be left frustrated and disappointed when you can’t easily track them down.
Now imagine the same scenario, but this time Nike’s Instagram has a ‘BUY’ button directly linked to the shoes that caught your eye. This fantasy is no longer in the realm of your imagination, but rather in the world of social commerce, which is making waves in the eCommerce industry.
What is social commerce?
Social commerce is defined as a subset of eCommerce that allows consumers to make online purchases directly through social media platforms, rather than being redirected to the company’s website. This reduces the number of steps in the conversion funnel, which means that businesses are less likely to lose customers along the way.
Examples of social commerce include the selling of products on Facebook and Instagram. Recommended products will pop up on the consumer’s news feed and allow them to click on a ‘shop now’ link, directing the consumer directly to a page to place their orders. There is, however, resistance from consumers to place orders through platforms like Facebook and Instagram, as they do not trust that the social media platforms will protect their financial information.
Some best practices of social commerce include building a brand community, authenticity, and using videos to heighten consumer engagement. Building a brand community makes consumers feel like the company has a vested interest in their goals and interests, which creates brand loyalty. Authenticity creates trust in the brand, which strengthens brand equity. YouTube is the second most used search engine after Google. Therefore, companies can capitalise on the use of YouTube videos as a way of drawing in consumers.
Why is social commerce a good idea?
The form of trade has become increasingly popular given the rise of social media use in recent years. Over 54% of millennialsuse social channels to research products before purchasing them and the average person spends roughly one and a half hours on social media every day. Given this routine engagement with social media, it makes sense for businesses to try sell their products on a platform where the consumers already are, rather than trying to attract them to their website. This technology allows businesses to make customers’ experience better, which in turn improves brand experience and facilitates the relationship between consumer and business.
Why social commerce growth is slow
People are using social media to research and discover products or services, but aren’t quite making the leap to clicking the ‘buy’ button online. A change in consumer behaviour is required and experts suggest that companies need to build relationships and networks with consumers before trying to sell their products through a medium the customer isn’t used to.
Considering that people don’t trust social media to keep their financial information safe or not misuse it, social media companies are working on establishing trust through building stronger networks. While building stronger networks cannot remove consumer scepticism entirely, it is likely to grow consumer trust over time. It’s therefore still worthwhile for companies to offer social commerce as another channel through which their products can be accessed. They shouldn’t rely on it solely, though.
How can Neuromarketing help strengthen your social commerce?
Building an effective network requires that the customers perceive the company’s efforts to be authentic, in order to signal that the company does value the consumers aspirations and values. Companies would naturally want to have a way of testing whether or not their messages are being received well by the audience, otherwise attempts at building a strong network will go to waste. Neuromarketing provides the ideal solution to this problem, as emotional responses to marketing attempts can be captured with Facing Coding and Galvanic skin response and can be used to create invaluable insights for the company.
User interface is another aspect of social commerce that can be optimized with the help of Neuromarketing, as Eye Tracking and Galvanic skin response technology can measure how easily the customer can navigate the portal for making purchases on the various social media platforms.
These diverse Neuromarketing tools provide a cutting-edge way of helping your company make the most of the social commerce trend!

eCommerce in Southern Africa is Just Taking Off and Neuromarketing Can Help

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When prompted to think of hot spots for eCommerce, Sub-Saharan Africa probably isn’t your first thought. However, it is currently the perfect melting pot of conditions for eCommerce to make a huge impact. Here’s why, and how Neuromarketing can help you jump on board.
Current eCommerce Use
Internet user penetration in South Africa is currently predicted to reach 59.5% in 2020. Although smartphone penetration is currently less (approximately 30%) it is predicted to grow to 37.2% in the next few years.
Currently, the leading product category for online shopping in Sub-Saharan Africa is electronics and media, followed by furniture and appliances. 54% of South African shoppers prefer to pay cash on delivery, as many South Africans do not have access to credit. 52% also like to pay with a debit card.
Some of the bigger players across the African continent include eCommerce sites like TakeALot, Jumia and Kilimall, which act as giant virtual department stores with a huge range of products, many of which aren’t commonly sold in the brick and mortar stores that most Africans have access to.
Why is eCommerce an ideal option for African consumers?
Made up of several developing nations, Southern Africa has limited infrastructure, particularly in less urban areas. This means that a large portion of the population has, at best, limited access to conveniences like shopping malls or department stores. Thanks to internet penetration, the demand for more niche or luxury items is higher than what local stores can affordably supply. eCommerce, on the other hand, makes a wider variety of products available to virtually anyone with an internet connection.
eCommerce also requires a smaller initial investment to get started than a brick and mortar store would, while providing wider customer reach. This makes it an appealing option for many South African entrepreneurs, who have a great product or service but not enough resources to open a physical store.
As mobile penetration increases and internet becomes faster, eCommerce is something to which more and more South Africans will have access. This, coupled with the advances in technology that allow for more secure transactions, means that people may be less likely to hesitate in making purchases online.
What to take into account
If you’re thinking of starting an eCommerce venture in Africa, bear in mind that:
Formal addresses are not always the norm. In rural areas or informal settlements, it can be rare for street names and numbers to be demarcated. You need to ensure that your delivery is flexible, and you’re able to contact the buyer directly to arrange delivery. Sasha Poignonnec, co-CEO of Jumia, talks about how they use local liasons in smaller areas to coordinate the final delivery, as they understand how to navigate the area. Alternatively, eCommerce services can have pick-up points set up.
It’s also important to remember that Southern African consumers don’t have access to credit. It is therefore important to offer a wide variety of secure payment methods, such as Snapscan, cash on delivery, EFTs, etc.
How can Neuromarketing help?
A big mistake that people make is thinking that they can treat African markets like Western ones and enter with the same User interface design and UX strategies. African consumers have their own cultural nuances, aesthetic preferences and ways of visually navigating information – you owe it to them to ensure that your platform is optimised for them.
If you’d like to see how neuromarketing can help you first hand, why not join the Neural Sense team at the ECOM2020event at the CTICC in Cape Town on the 8-9 of April 2020. We’ll be demonstrating some of our neuroscience technologies at the exhibition and will also be presenting a keynote address on the role of neuromarketing to optimise user experiences. Here’s a hint: it’s all about emotion…

Should You Offer Cryptocurrency as an Online Payment Option?

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Cryptocurrency has been rising in popularity over the last couple of years, especially in South Africa. Recent research has shown that 34% of South Africans have some knowledge of cryptocurrency, and, of those, most are keen to get involved in some way.
But is this technology mature enough for you to consider accepting cryptocurrency as payment on your eCommerce platform? We’ll cover what it is, what the situation is like in South Africa, and the benefits and risks of accepting it.
What is Cryptocurrency?
At its heart, cryptocurrency focuses on removing the middleman (ie. financial institutions) from financial transaction. It is currency, traded on software platforms.
It is supported by Blockchain technology, which is essentially a way of ensuring that any false transactions are recognised and rejected, adding security to the currency. Imagine thousands of copies of a single leger across a big network of computers. This leger is regularly updated throughout the network. If an entry seems false on one leger, the others can be compared for consensus, rendering a false transaction null and void.
Cryptocurrency in South Africa
Although South Africansare interested in cryptocurrency and trading it, there is a significant knowledge gapbetween knowing what cryptocurrency is and having enough knowledge to feel confident enough to take the leap to trading it. Scam artists havetaken advantage of this gap and stolen millions of Rands from those who didn’t understand the technology.
The South African Reserve Bank does have a dedicated programme for research in fintech (which includes cryptocurrency) but they currently do not guarantee cryptocurrencies. This means that there is no protection for those participating in trading, and no legal recourse should their money be stolen somehow.
The most popular platforms for trading cryptocurrencies in South Africa are Luno and iceCUBED, and the most popular investment platform is Bitfund. Several South African companies are using cryptocurrency, including Bankymoon, a blockchain enabled electricity meter, and Centbee, a mobile bitcoin wallet that allows merchants to accept bitcoin.
What are the benefits of accepting cryptocurrency?
The most obvious benefit of accepting cryptocurrency is that you’re making your site more inclusive to potential customers. It’s generally good practice to offer a wide range of payment options, and, particularly if your customers tend to be tech-savvy, it could be worthwhile to ensure they don’t leave simply because their preferred payment method isn’t available.
Cryptocurrency transactions occur almost immediately and currencies like Bitcoin do not allow reversals or changebacks. This reduces the risk of the customer reversing the charge once you have already shipped the product. This also speeds up your cash flow.
The transaction fees for cryptocurrency also tend to be much lower than traditional bank fees. With Bitcoin, the amount you pay in transaction fees is determined by how quickly you want to receive your money, so the fees can be even lower if you don’t mind waiting a bit.
What are the risks associated with accepting cryptocurrency?
One of the first things you learn about cryptocurrency is that the market is volatile. The value can shift significantly within a couple of hours, potentially losing you money. Moreover, in spite of the virtues of blockchain technology being extolled everywhere, cryptocurrency isn’t always secure. One savvy hacker could clear your wallet in a matter of minutes, and you would have no legal recourse in South Africa.
It’s therefore recommended that, if you do offer cryptocurrency payment options, you ensure that the currency you earn is converted back into local currency for safe, stable storage with a trusted financial services provider.
As cryptocurrency gains popularity, it may have to change in order to satisfy government scrutiny or regulating bodies. These changes may be in direct conflict with the original intention of cryptocurrency – money trading without third party interference. It’s important to keep this in mind and stay informed as cryptocurrency grows, especially if you want to incorporate it into your platform.
Conclusion
Cryptocurrency is exciting new technology that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. However, it may well look very different within the next decade. As with any move in your business, make sure that you carefully research your options before taking the leap.

How Augmented Reality is Changing E-Commerce for the Better

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Shopping online is great. Who doesn’t love the convenience of being able to buy almost anything they need and having it delivered to their home at the click of a button? At your fingertips is a wider variety of any kind of item you care to think of than you’d find in most shopping malls, sometimes at a fraction of the price.
e-Commerce has its pitfalls, however. Humans are naturally risk-averse and, particularly with expensive purchases such as furniture and cosmetics, we are hesitant to spend money on something we can’t touch or try. There are several ways to overcome this, such as a compelling returns policy, short trial periods before committing, and offering lots of free samples.
Or you could try Augmented Reality.
What is Augmented Reality?
Not to be confused with virtual reality (VR), which is an entirely new digital “world” and reality that one can explore using a VR headset. Augmented reality is an adaptation of our own world where the objects that reside in the real world are enhanced by computer-generated perceptual information, sometimes across multiple sensory modalities (visual, auditory, haptic, somatosensory and even olfactory). Think of the popular Pokemon Go, where players could run around their own schools, offices and parks and capture the digital Pokemon that their phone screens showed as if they were really in those real-world environments. To see augmented reality, one only needs their mobile device, tablet or laptop. This gives it greater accessibility than VR.
A Local Example
Painting your home is a big risk. Not only could you end up spending money on a paint colour that clashes with everything you own, but there’s the added cost of having to cover up that mistake.
The Dulux app removes this anxiety by offering augmented reality on your phone. Just point your camera at the wall you want to paint, select the paint colour you’re interested in, and see, in real time, what that colour would look like on your wall. You can toggle between several shades and hues and, when you’re happy, you can easily access the paint colour ID code to get it mixed at your nearest Dulux outlet.
Why Should I Use Augmented Reality?
As the above example illustrates, augmented reality is a great way for your shoppers to visualise your products and remove a lot of the anxiety and risk around making the final purchase. IKEA illustrates this well with an augmented reality versionof their catalogue. It allows you to see what the furniture would look like in your home and, more importantly, whether the dimensions would fit. This is in many ways superior to an in-store experience because customers can see the furniture in their homes before they even buy it.
Augmented reality is also a useful way of improving the shopping experience, both online and in-store. A great example of this is make up companies such as Sephora and L’Oreal, who offer customers the option of trying on make up in augmented reality. Customers can upload a photo of themselves and, using the app, see what different shades of make up look like on them. Not only does this let customers test the products from anywhere in the world, it is also a much more hygienic, hassle free alternative to trying on samples in-store.
In a world where everything is becoming more personalised, augmented reality can be a great help too. The Olay Skin Advisor app adds personalisation with augmented reality. It allows its customers to upload a selfie of themselves. The app then analyses their skin texture and tone, which allows it to offer a personalised skincare programme for that customer’s specific needs.
What are the Limits of Augmented Reality?
Firstly, the cost of developing and implementing a high-quality augmented reality app can be quite high, since it requires much more sophisticated programming than a standard app.
Second, touch is still an important part of the shopping experience and it’s hard to replicate that in augmented reality: few things are an adequate substitute for actually holding an item in your hands.
Finally, while augmented reality can improve the customer experience in a lot of ways, it isn’t a substitute for high-quality products, great customer service and smart UI and UX design. Those are all things that you should focus your budget on first, with augmented reality as an exciting extra to enhance the customer experience.
How does Neuromarketing Come into This?
If you’ve spent the money on developing an augmented reality app, you’ll want to know that it offers a seamless and engaging customer experience the whole way through. While standard app testing might reveal a few bugs or sticking points, neuromarketing can help you understand the customer experience on a more implicit, emotional level
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You can gain actionable insights for the design and optimisation of your augmented reality user experience using consumer neuroscience. Galvanic skin response and facial coding will show you the level of emotional arousal your customers feel as they navigate the app, as well as the nature of those emotions. Eye tracking can show you how customers visually navigate the AR experiences, whether they miss any important features, or if they find the design and layout confusing. All in all, these neuromarketing tools can help you optimise the experience and ensure that it’s emotionally engaging, memorable and delivers on your business objectives.

Why Marketing Automation is one of the Best Ways to Build Customer Relationships

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A marketer’s worst enemy: trapped doing repetitive tasks that prevent you from focusing on the bigger picture and the long-term marketing strategy of your business.
This is why Marketing Automation is so sought after: increasingly accessible, this technique saves valuable hours and quickly improves your brand’s online user experience and customer relationship while saving you your most valuable resource: time.
What is Marketing Automation?
Marketing automationrefers broadly to the automation of digital marketing campaigns triggered by a set of predefined conditions and according to the user’s information and/or behaviour. Examples include the automatic sending of emails, sms, contact segmentation, lead scoring or lead nurturing.
Automation is carried out through the execution of preconceived scenarios based on the user’s behaviour. For example, sending a welcome email when a new user has subscribed to your newsletter list or a reminder email when an online shopper has abandoned their shopping cart.
How is it Different from E-mail Marketing?
Email marketing consists of sending an email to a list of contacts (one to many). It generally serves a rather broad purpose, such as announcements of promotions, new products, or the sending of news content via a newsletter.
In a classic emailing campaign, the content is not necessarily targeted and does not respond to a specific action on the part of the user.
In contrast, emailing with marketing automation allows you to send automatic and targeted emails (one to one), triggered by the specific actions of your customers. These messages are timelier and individually calibrated for each user according to their progress in the customer journey.
However, marketing automation is not just about sending emails: you can also use it to automatically add your contacts to specific mailing lists based on their actions, assign them a score in your database, and many other ways to refine and define your relationship with your most engaged users.
How does it work?
The first step to automate a task is setting up a workflow.
Each scenario begins with an entry point. For example, the registration of a new contact on your site or the addition of a product to the shopping cart.
Once one of your contacts enters a scenario that you have pre-programmed, the automation takes place either linearly or according to implication connectors (” if / then “) that separate the automatic actions into two branches that can themselves branch in turn.
Each workflow is composed of different scenarios according to a very simple question: does this contact satisfy condition x? If the answer is yes, the contact takes the corresponding branch of the scenario. If not, the other branch of the scenario is activated.
The conditions that will trigger the execution of a scenario can be of two types:
Identity: these conditions use the information collected in your user database. For example, using your contacts’ birthdates to send them an email on their birthday.
Behaviour: corresponding to a certain type of behaviour or an action (a specific action on your site or opening an email). For example, sending an invitation for a private sale to customers who have purchased at least x products in the last y months.
Depending on the result of each condition (yes or no), you can trigger different actions for each contact:
Send them an automatic message,Add them to a new email list,Give them points for your lead scoring and customer profile categorizations
You can also add timings and deadlines of your choice. For example, if you schedule a series of welcome emails, you can specify that your contact will immediately receive a first email, then a second follow-up email a week later, and so on.
A small example:

What Are the Steps to Effective Marketing Automation?
To start Marketing Automation, you need specialized software. There are several on the market, such as Marketo, Hubspot and Webmecanik, with more or less the same digital campaign management features.
1. Attract and identify leads
You may seek to attract new visitors to your site, through social networks, a blog, SEO or any combination of advertising techniques.
Once visitors are on your site, you will capture their attention through Calls To Action, resource downloads, newsletter subscriptions or forms, which will allow you to track leads and retrieve their information, such as their name, e-mail, company and location.
This will then allow you to study their behaviours and better understand them and their needs. You can then create your buyer personas, which are profiles of your ideal customer segments. It is then possible to identify, thanks to the data collected, the specific interests of the contacts, their habits, their needs, their behaviours, and adapt your actions to make them as relevant and effective as possible.
2.Qualify and feed the leads
Once the leads are identified, what do we do with them?
Scoring makes it possible to assign a predefined number of points to each lead action (visit a page of the site, download a white paper or subscribe to a newsletter for example). The more points the lead gets, the more qualified it is considered. With scoring, you can quickly detect the hottest leads and therefore those most likely to become loyal customers or brand advocates.
After classifying them by maturity, you will segment them. Depending on their points or interests, leads will be classified into contact segments. Segmentation makes it possible to adapt your communication strategy to each target group and send specific email flows to each segment.
Once the leads are classified and segmented, the time comes for nurturing these leads. You will be able to “feed” leads with content tailored to their interests or needs, until they are “mature”, i. e. until they are ready for conversion. For this, you will be able to use different digital platforms such as e-mail, sms or web notifications.
3. Build customer loyalty
Marketing Automation is mainly used to recruit new prospects, but that’s not all it’s for. It also allows you to maintain your relationship with active customers, thanks to regular contact, for example through emailing, newsletters, events or your social networks.
How to build your algorithmic paths with neuromarketing?
How Can Neuromarketing Help?
The most important thing for automation marketing is above all an intelligent construction of the different paths. This is where neuromarketing can be very useful. You will need to understand how your customers make decisions and experience the various touchpoints through which you communicate with them. Neuromarketing tools are ideal for this as they can identify what is/isn’t working so that your marketing automation strategies can be optimized.
Who Can Benefit from Marketing Automation?
Any business looking to expand the number and lifespan of their customers can simplify their lives with marketing automation. However, it will be even more profitable if you already have a certain marketing maturity and know your conversion tunnel.
You should adopt marketing automation if:
You already generate a lot of leads: marketing automation is particularly powerful to transform your leads into customers, thanks to lead nurturing and lead scoring.You want to improve the effectiveness of your digital marketing strategies: thanks to the segmentation and dynamic management of your contact lists, you can significantly improve the engagement generated by your campaigns.You want to improve your customer relationship: by triggering the sending of communication on specific actions, automation marketing allows you to address each of your contacts individually when they are most receptive, open and willing to engage with your brand.

Why Responsive Web Design is Essential to your Business

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Remember around six years ago when you just got your first smartphone and started trying to browse the internet on it, only to find a nightmare of websites that you had to zoom in on so you could read the content on your tiny screen? It was a nightmare and made mobile browsing the equivalent of eating junk food for dinner: you’re not proud of it and you barely enjoyed it, but it was the only option in a pinch.
Many websites initially addressed this issue by creating an additional mobi site which users would be automatically directed to if they were browsing on mobile. However, this was not only complicated by the later introduction of the tablet, but it also meant having to manage several different websites for the same company.
In the meantime, the number of smartphone users is increasing rapidly every year. A cumbersome mobile experience on your site is more than enough to send potential customers off to your competitors. Responsive web design is the way forward – and it’s so easy you can’t afford not to do it.
What is responsive web design?
A website is considered responsive when it adapts automatically to the size the device you’re using – a desktop computer, laptop, tablet or phone. This allows the same website to be used across all platforms rather than having to develop a different website for each. The site will also adapt for smaller screens by making the text larger so one need not zoom, making buttons easier to tap and ensuring that no horizontal scrolling is required.
Responsive web design uses several techniques to be able to do this:
First, Media Queries. These allow sites to adapt not only to a device class (desktop, mobile or tablet) but also understand the dimensions of the specific device accessing the website. This provides a much more tailored experience for each user, rather than having to find the lowest common denominator of different device classes and leaving room for error.
Second, fluid grids. These are flexible grids created using CSS. Their columns automatically rearrange to fit into the correct screen size. This allows for consistent content, look and feel across all devices and means that designers only need to create one website design.
Finally, flexible visuals are media that can change their dimensions in proportion with the dimensions of the device, so they are never too big or small for the screen they’re on.
Why Responsive Web Design is Important for Business
First impressions matter. If someone navigates to your site on their smartphone or tablet and they see your information is going to be hard to read or your products hard to find, they’ll simply go elsewhere. The feeling is that your brand doesn’t care enough to make your offering presentable. You’re more likely to get conversions if your site is as clean, presentable, and easy to navigate as possible on all devices.
Of course, having separate sites for separate devices, as we mentioned above, solves this problem to an extent. This is where Google comes in, however.
In 2015, Google changed its algorithm to favour sites with responsive web design. This was partially with user experience in mind, but also because it is easier for Google to track data on websites if they have a single website for all devices. Having responsive web design on your site therefore improves your SEO and makes it easier for potential customers to find you.
Finally, having a single site for all devices makes your website easier to administer. Instead of having to maintain and update several different sites, you need only worry about one. This also makes the design process quicker – a single design for all devices is easier to update and optimise than three separate layouts.
How Do I Make Sure My Website is Responsive and How Can Neuromarketing Help?
These days, responsive web design is standard practice. Most site building apps and places that offer templates already include it in their coding. If you’re working with a designer, they’ll understand exactly what you mean. Just make sure to ask for it.
If you’re unsure whether your site is responsive, you can use this to check!
If you’re looking to optimise your user experience across all devices, neuromarketing can help. You can gain actionable insights for the design and optimisation of your website user experience using consumer neuroscience. Biometric technologies allow you to determine what grabs and maintains attention, measure your users’ emotional response, and create the optimal cognitive flow and engagement throughout the user journey. Our consumer behaviour research provides insights that can be implemented immediately into your user interface and site navigation, so that the resulting user experience is emotionally engaging and optimised to achieve your business objectives.

Slide to the Left, Slide to the Right – Why You Should be Using Sliders

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Picture this: You’re bidding online for a rare Star Wars collectible that reminds you of your childhood and, before you know it, you’ve spent your life savings on a Death Star paperweight that isn’t even that good at weighing down paper. Good luck explaining this one to your significant other – maybe you can blame it on the slider?
Text boxes and sliders are often used interchangeably when asking customers -or cash donors- to specify an amount of money they would like to offer through an online bidding or donor platform. But recent research from Oxford University has shown that platform owners aren’t doing themselves any favours by using the tiresome text box.
They found that, when a slider is used, people are more likely to bid higher for an item or donate more money to a cause than if they had been prompted to simply enter values into a text box.
How Do Sliders Do This?
This phenomenon, the researchers posit, is most likely due to an “end-point assimilation effect” where, when presented with a starting and end point on a scale, people tend to choose values closer to the end point. For example, if you’re bidding on a painting then R5000 might seem reasonable until you see the bid at the end of the slider is set at R15 000. Then you might think you’re betting too low as this now becomes a point of comparison, so you slide the slider a bit closer to the middle, or even past the middle.
It is made clear that the mere presence of a set end-point isn’t the only thing that makes sliders more effective – they remained more effective even when text boxes were presented alongside a set maximum. Something about the visual effect and movement of a sliding scale changes what we consider to be relatively high, medium and low values. The researchers point out that people might also enjoy the momentum of moving a slider and as a result move it further – a benefit we don’t see with text boxes.
When and How Should I Use Sliders?
Sliders are ideal when you’re asking customers questions such as “what is your budget?”, “what is your bid?”, and “how much would you like to donate?”. Really, any question where customers are specifying or volunteering an amount of money.
The slider’s minimum amount should not be zero – it should be the lowest value you are willing to accept. That way, even if the customer bids relatively low, it’s still more than what you absolutely need. Similarly, the maximum shouldn’t be too outrageously high. You want your customers to form a short-hand in their minds for what constitutes a relatively low, medium and high amount of money, where the “medium” is slightly more than what they perhaps initially valued the item at.
This isn’t a fix-all: your item or charity still need to be deemed valuable by the customer, and that’s on the rest of your digital marketing.
What does this teach us about consumers?
Every single point of interaction with your consumer, and the way in which your information is being presented or framed during that interaction, will all have an impact on their behaviour. Subtle behavioural nudges, like our slider example above, can have a major influence on a consumer’s willingness to purchase your product or service. You therefore really need to consider each and every touchpoint as an opportunity to influence behavioural intent.