The Unconscious Myths Of Digital Marketing

Unconscious Myths of Digital Marketing
Unconscious Myths of Digital Marketing
Unconscious Myths of Digital Marketing

The quest to change Digital Marketing continues with Douglas Van Praet’s “Unconscious Branding: How Neuroscience Can Empower (And Inspire) Marketing” and after an interesting, yet controversial, introduction, we’re getting more into the beef of Neuroscience and how unconscious/conscious consumer decisions affect brands, sales, and Digital Marketing.

“In each of us there is another whom we don’t know” – Carl Jung, Psychologist

Carl Jung coined the term “persona” and in fact, it’s origination is much different than what Marketers use today. How many times have you been in a Marketing meeting and the idea of a “persona” came up?

Let’s identify our user persona(s). For this user persona, we should follow these tactics. Who is our user persona?  

I’d bet it’s more than you can count. Persona was created to describe a “social mask” created by people to make an impression on others while keeping their true nature in tact. It was meant to shield your true, authentic inner-self from the public world. Ironically, we as Marketers, look to user personas to help define our Marketing strategies. That’s Myth #1 busted!

Instead, we should be focused on what the persona is hiding – one’s true self and its hidden intentions/emotions. This is the real opportunity for Digital Marketers. How do we bring this to life online through web, email, social, and advertising?

  • One way is to create qualitative studies to find the true meaning of the inner-self. Every company should be deploying some type of qualitative study in all Digital Marketing activities.
  • Observing humans first-hand will help you uncover true meanings that are hidden between the lines – this is what your Digital Marketing campaigns should be based off of, not a fake social mask.

Metaphorically, Unconscious Branding introduces an interesting concept for Digital Marketers:  think of the human mind as if it were an iceberg with the tip representing the conscious actions of consumers. The vast majority of consumers’ buyer behavior is unknown and hidden. The complete iceberg of conscious relationships mixed with deeper connections form brand loyalty. The true value of a brand is measured by the thoughts, emotions, and associations of it’s consumers. If this is the case, we as Digital Marketers have a long way to go before we truly understand consumers.

Case Study:  Crystal Pepsi

  • New colorless beverages were introduced to target the “rational” consumer who would rather NOT drink the artificial brown coloring –> by the way, burnt sugar could be cancerous
  • The rational consumers should have chose the product without the artificial brown stuff right?
  • Nope, our unconscious minds have an immediate connection to the traditional brown Pepsi based on memories of the brand
  • This was a Marketing fail and was not executed very well

Few myths busted and we’re beginning to understand that consumers use 2 parts of their brain to make decisions: unconscious and conscious. Today, most Digital Marketing professionals are focused on the conscious senses because it’s easier to control, but unlocking the powers of appealing to the unconscious mind could be even more fruitful.