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Posts Tagged ‘Science’

Science Confirms Pics Are Worth 1,000 Words

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Science Confirms Pics Are Worth 1,000 Words was originally published on, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

dinosaur milk

This image on the front page of National Geographic today piqued my interest.

The image above is in a rotating banner along the front page of National Geographic today.

To think that little dino babies could have nursed on mama dino’s little teats! I’m a sucker for ancient reptiles, and am myself mom to a creature of prehistoric persuasion. So I wanted to know, were dinosaurs and mammals not so different after all?

Spoiler alert: NatGeo’s article goes on to pretty convincingly debunk this newly proposed lizard lactation theory. Now instead of a lesson on dinosaurs, NatGeo taught me something about persuasion and images. After seeing that image and the overlaid text suggesting a radical discovery, I was primed to believe — practically persuaded already!

As you may have guessed, there’s science behind this phenomenon.

The reptile connection in Deaf Turtles, Persuasive Pictures is a total coincidence, I swear! What you should pay attention to is neuroscience marketer Roger Dooley’s observations about how photos give statements credibility:

  • In one study, images didn’t even have to be relevant to the statements being made in order to have this effect.
  • Add to this, text along with an image magnifies this effect even more.
  • Use images carefully and thoughtfully. A powerful image can draw attention — and that can be good or bad.

Mind-hack marketers can take advantage of this psychological disposition. Pictures really are worth a thousand words, and even more so when words accompany pictures. Kinda explains a lot about Internet memes, doesn’t it?

grumpy cat says no


Bruce Clay Blog

Bad Science vs. Words that Work: Holiday News for Marketers

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Bad Science vs. Words that Work: Holiday News for Marketers was originally published on, home of expert search engine optimization tips.

Let’s take look at some recent headlines focused on the inner workings of the mind, and the need for proper analysis of data. There are some interesting things happening at the intersection of marketing and psychology.

Bad Words, Good Words


Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

Congress voted to extract the word “lunatic” from federal law books last week.

In the new Diagnostic Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) Asberger Syndrome is being replaced by Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Sensitivities run high, especially around heavily charged words. What words are you using, marketer? Copyblogger’s got the five most powerful words for persuasion listed for us and they are:

1. You
2. Free
3. Because
4. Instantly
5. New

Some great additions in the comments include:

  • save
  • check
  • how
  • why
  • try
  • value
  • hurry
  • limited

Now, context can’t be overlooked, as Sonia points out. This dovetails nicely into…

Bad Science

There’s an interesting discussion is happening over at TED. It seems the TEDx conferences — those local chapters of the brain-bending preso society — needed a reminder to fact check and vet speakers.

It offers some relief to me that even team TED falls to the trappings of bad science sometimes. The other day I got caught misreading data.

We have a client who conducted a focus group of customers and potential customers. In reviewing the reported values and priorities of participants, low cost solutions was consistently reported most important factor in choosing a provider.

When we told our client we’d be pushing the price point in content, new information was provided that changed the reading of the data. It turns out that low cost / high value was a unique cultural feature of the city; the preference for price didn’t represent the many other cities our client served.

Hammering price can send the wrong message when an audience is more focused on quality of service. Messaging geared for “tightwads” when the bulk of your audience is made of “average spenders” can mis-position your brand. Quick note: there’s lots in that link about conversion optimization through neuromarketing you’ll want to check out.

Right Word, Right Science

One more headline to illustrate what interesting things happen when the mind meets the marketplace. Psychology Today looks at how the senses play into purchase decisions. While many of those ideas don’t easily transfer from brick and mortar to the Web, some have critical applications both offline and on:

xmas tree ornament

Using color and placement to evoke positive feelings and nostalgia takes place offline as well as online.

Holiday music evokes nostalgia. Nostalgia elevates positive moods. People are more likely to convert when they’re feeling positive. Are there ways you can foster feelings of nostalgia for your customers?

The scent of pine sparks feelings of nostalgia. The scent of peppermint creates arousal and sparks engagement. The olfactory sense is overlooked online, but what other ways can you incorporate arousal and engagement in your brand’s online experience?

Retailers place pricier merchandise on the center of displays since that’s where buyer attention goes first. Just to the right of center is where attention goes second. Are you eye-tracking your visitors to optimize the path of attention on your landing pages?

Holidays are a time of heightened emotions. Take advantage of opportunities like this.

Bruce Clay Blog