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Updated: Nov 4, 2021

Human beings are stimulus junkies and it’s a fact a large percentage of successful marketers take advantage of. It’s down to how our brains are wired to function. The brain is a highly efficient system and like most efficient systems, it tends to want to cut down the amount of work required to perform certain tasks. This allows for the brain to form certain habits that can occur subconsciously and will not require active, conscious input from the brain.

Borrowing from a concept learned from The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, Human beings react to specific Cues, follow a certain Routine which then produces a desired Reward, this is called The Habit Loop.

From this, marketers have been able to make use of this process to successfully market products to a teeming population used to Mass Consumerism. Most people believe they make rational decisions but their decision making is driven by the urge to satisfy an Emotional need rather than a Logical need.

What is Neuromarketing ?

In this age, marketing has become more of a science than art. Most methods involved in marketing that previously required little or no scientific input now actively makes use of a multitude of scientific processes. With the addition of these scientific processes, the creation of new fields in marketing is steadily on the rise. Neuromarketing is one of the new fields and it involves the application of Neuroscience research to Marketing methods.

Neuromarketing includes the direct use of brain imaging, scanning, or other brain activity measurement technology to measure a subject’s response to specific products, packaging, advertising, or other marketing elements. In some cases, the brain responses measured by these techniques may not be consciously perceived by the subject; hence, this data may be more revealing than self-reporting on surveys, in focus groups, etc.

Neuromarketing will tell the marketer what the consumer reacts to (The Cue), whether it was the color of the packaging, the sound the box makes when shaken, or the idea that they will have something their co-consumers do not. Also it informs us of how routines are formed and when to give rewards to achieve the highest possible level of satisfaction.

The Fogg Behaviour Model and Cialdini's 7 Principles of Persuasion are among the school of thought that provides a guide for observing and understanding human behavior. In my previous article I write more on how to apply The Fogg Behaviour model and Cialdini’s 7 Principles of Persuasion in optimizing your digital asset for Conversions. Click here to read it.

One of the most prominent figures in Neuromarketing is Roger Dooley and you can find out more about him and what he does here. Roger came up with a concept called The Persuasion Slide and we will briefly explain it here.

The Persuasion Slide

The Persuasion Slide by Roger Dooley
The Persuasion Slide by Roger Dooley

As seen in the image above, Roger likens the journey of a customer visiting a site to a child going down a slide.


The most important element being Gravity, is what makes playground slide work, and in this persuasion model it represents the customer’s needs, wants, and desires = customers motivation

The more motivated a customer is, the more likely He/She will go down the slide.


This represents the trigger for the desired action. The push that sends the customer gong down the slide. The nudge can take many forms — an email, a big “Buy Now!” button, a call to action, or a sign in a retail store.

To be effective, the nudge has to be seen (or otherwise detected) by the customer and should begin the motivation process.


The Angle of the slide represents the motivators you provide. If this motivation isn’t strong enough, the customer will begin to slide and then stop. There are two types of motivation: Conscious and Non-conscious.

  • Conscious Motivators - These appeal to the rational decision-making part of your customer’s brain. These are important in many situations, and also help customers justify an emotional purchase in rational terms, examples: features, benefits, price, discounts and sales, and so on

  • Non-conscious Motivators - The elements of your offer that appeal to the customer’s emotions or how his/her brain works. Cialdini’s six big persuasion factors (liking, reciprocity, authority, etc.), appeals to our “mating” instinct as described by Geoffrey Miller, BJ Fogg’s behavior model and grid, all fall in this category.

A good slide uses both conscious and non-conscious motivators to create a steep angle.


Friction is the enemy of an effective slide. This represents the difficulty of performing a desired action. In this model, friction represents difficulty, both real and perceived.

  • Real difficulty includes categories of obstacles such as: long forms, confusing user interface, awkward payment procedures, and so on.

  • Perceived difficulty is much more insidious: a step to completing the process may be easy enough, but it may seem more difficult in our mind due to bad design.

Building Your Persuasion Slide

Here’s a simple set of steps to build your slide:

  1. Align your offer with the customer's interest, not yours (Gravity.)

  2. Get the customer's attention with a nudge. The nudge should start the motivation process to get the customer moving down the slide.

  3. Create a steeper slide with conscious motivators - features and benefits, sales and discounts, free gifts, etc., are just a few commonly used approaches.

  4. Increase the slide's angle with select non-conscious motivators — emotional appeals, mating triggers, Cialdini’s six principles, and a host of other techniques. One or two may be enough.

  5. Reduce the friction eliminating difficulty in every part of the process. Making forms shorter and ordering simple increase conversions. Ensure there is no customer confusion at any point. Finally, eliminate things that look difficult for our brains to do, too --- hard to read text, long instructions.

Hack To Neuromarketing.

  • Never believe A/B testing case studies -- they only show a part the truth. Without absolute numbers its untrustworthy.

  • Something that you can't see can't change the behavior of your users. Test stuff that has the power to fundamentally change the behavior of your users.

  • Statistical significance is not validity -- don't stop the test once you reach 95% statistical. Make sure you have enough sample size and long enough test duration.

  • Your website is a salesperson, understand the biases that you can use, List of cognitive biases

  • Growth System = Goals + Ability + Culture

Watch this video to understand more about the roles Reason and Emotion play in decision making and hopefully it will help you understand how to best serve your customers the content they require and make it easier for them to perform desired actions.

This was fun! I hope you leaned something today.

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