Neuromarketing is usually very heady stuff that leaves the uninitiated scratching their brains (all puns intended, sorry). It's the type of thing that can be reduced to layman's terms, but diving into the real nitty-gritty takes years of study.
Luckily, Joseph Carrabis, NeuroMarketer-in-Residence at Critical Mass, offered a few quick hints into the science of the brain at his ad:tech session, "Reading Customers' Minds."
The biggest tip Carrabis offered was to break through the brain’s cognitive filters. Humans are conditioned to ignore information they deem irrelevant, and our brains unconsciously tune this information out (this is how banner blindness works). So if you want to get consumers to do something they normally wouldn't -- say, buy a product or service -- you need to beat these filters and provide information that is not expected.
Take JCPenny.com, for example. The splash page on the site right now is a red word bubble with white and blue lettering. It pops out -- but only to consumers in certain regions. The text might appeal to a mother looking to save on clothes in Kansas, but probably not New York City, according to Carrabis.
"Environment dictates how we respond to colors," he said. "New York City is awash with colors -- it has to be to break through the cognitive filters." When you get to rural areas, it's easier to make a message pop with color.
"If you’re marketing to an are with a low natural color palate density, give them colors not in their natural environment," Carrabis said.