Make sure your messages and medium stimulate the right part of your prospect’s brain
Three ideas for improving demand gen approach for loosening your prospects’ “status quo”
Brain research proves that humans make decisions to “change” or “do something different” that are more adaptive than rational. This has major consequences for the way you develop messages and deliver them in your demand generation programs. Unfortunately, you may be mistakenly messaging for “information” vs. messaging for a “decision.”
Stimulate the Old Brain
People use their neocortex (new brain) to analyze information. But, they actually make decisions using the limbic system (old brain), which is designed to make the fast, instinctual choices that ensure survival. As it turns out, people (and prospects) tend to move away from pain faster than they move toward gain.
Many consumer marketers have figured this out. But, in B2B, marketers tend to be driven by what your product is and what it does – features and benefits. But, last time I checked, a B2B prospect has the same brain as every other human. So, your messages and media choices need to change — potentially dramatically — to improve your demand gen performance.
The old brain craves visual imagery that shows contrast and emotional messaging that provokes its survival instinct. Here are the three biggest old brain-driven changes you need to consider to improve your demand gen programs:
#1: Video is the Best Medium
The old brain craves visual imagery over written words because there is no language capacity in the old brain. To activate your prospects’ old brains you need to transform your traditional written word messages into visual vignettes to deliver your early stage, status quo-busting messages. The only job of your email copy is to drive your prospect to watch the video.
Aside: In the next two points, I will model this recommendation by introducing you to two common messaging mistakes that you can fix to make sure your demand generation programs stimulate the old brain – leveraging brief, emotional copy and a short video.
#2: Context Creates Urgency
Recent research shows that your prospects believe almost 90% of marketing messages fail to create commercial impact. In other words, your value propositions don’t cause prospects to want to do anything different. If you want to create more demand, you need to put your solution into an urgent context that gets your suspects to reconsider their status quo. Show them the threats, challenges, and missed opportunities that make their status quo “unsafe,” and put their desired outcomes at risk.
#3: Contrast Creates Value
Your prospect’s old brain needs to see clear contrast to make a decision. A lack of perceived contrast between your solution and the status quo means the customer will not see enough value to change. They’ll think they can solve the problems with their existing solution. You must help them visualize the pains caused by their current situation, the gaps in their current approach, and show how the gaps won’t solve the pain and won’t allow them to realize the significant gain promised by your better approach.
Your Distinct Point of View
What this article is suggesting is that you need to replace traditional approaches to creating value propositions with a new message and medium for creating and delivering a distinct point of view. If you want to go even deeper into this topic check out www.corporatevisions.com where I provide more detailed content on how you can create more provocative content.
By Tim Riesterer, co-author of “Customer Message Management” and “Conversations that Win the Complex Sale” and Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Corporate Visions