Why Whole Brain Marketing Works

Right now, many people in America are either out Christmas shopping, or deciding what gifts are best suited for friends and family, and choosing how to most closely match those items with what they decide to spend. 

You may be on the buying end.

Or, you may be hoping to be on the selling end.  If your wallet or purse is looking pretty empty, you may be hoping to sell a product and make enough profit that you can afford to buy something for someone else. 

How you make your buying decisions should parallel how you make your selling decisions…with a whole brain process.

As information about a product or service reaches our brain, each brain hemisphere, left and right, will handle the information in different ways.  One hemisphere, normally the dominant left, will want to “control.”  This is the hemisphere that analyzes, plans, abstracts, determines time frames, and “figures out” the logical, sequential, objective of whatever information it receives.

The other hemisphere, generally the right hemisphere, will intuitively compare the information to a whole raft of other concepts in your head — ideas about how the information feels, looks, smells, and “relates” to a whole set of filters that each of us use subconsciously that we aren’t even aware of…like whether the object under consideration looks like something Aunt Hilda (whom you didn’t like) gave you, orwhether it smells like the soap Grandma (whom you did like) kept in the bathroom. 

Right now, many marketers are targeting the left brain of their prospects only.  They are focused on relating to and catching the fear-based, logical-rational mind set that says “Just look at the price tag…nothing else matters.” 

The media, still living in the mind-set of “Bad news is the only News”  keeps reporting, and perpetuating the myth that today’s buyers have only narrow focus, and that is cost.

I’m not going to suggest that you, as a prospect, or you, as a marketer looking for prospect, should ignore cost. 

What I am suggesting, however, is that regardless of how much money each of us has to spend, once the decision has been made to spend anything, the next part of the process is actually more holistic than just how much money to spend.

This year, for example, I decided to spend around $10 on a present for my neighbor’s son.  He’s 10 years old, and when I visited the last time, I noticed him twirling a yo-yo.  I asked him a little about it, and he said a bit dejectedly, “Yeah, it’s OK, but the string’s not very good.”  So I thought a new yo-yo might be a cool gift.

As soon as I decided that I was going to get him a gift in a certain price range, and decided on the yo-yo, I started to think about, and catalogue not only why I thought it would be a cool gift, but all of the things that were going through my mind…like:

Memories of being 10, having a yoyo, and thinking I was pretty cool, because I could make it go up and down the string, I could send it forward, backward and do other “cool” tricks, and…while I was never the “best in class” by any means, I was a little more than adequate.  And this made me feel very cool…if only in my own mind.  

Therefore…if it was a “cool” thing for me…a workingyoyo would be cool for Tommy.    If his yoyo worked, and he liked it, I would be a very “cool” neighbor.  I would have created a certain amount of happiness, engendeared good will.  

 This, of course,  is an emotional, analogic connection, and an “assumption” based on both left and right-brain thinking.

If you were marketing yo-yos to me, you now know that I am not looking for the “$10 and Under” ads.  My “left-brain thinking” already did the analysis of the value of a gift for my neighbor’s son, as well as how much I was willing and able to spend. My “right-brain thinking” is also engaged — thinking about what it feels like…reminding me of the creative things I did with my yo-yo; thereby reaffirming my “connection” with the yo-yo; it’s connection with “cool” (it appears yo-yos are still …again?… very hot/cool), and… it’s ability to enhance social status. 

Whole brain marketing will appeal to the “left” brain, upright, sensible portion of me that wants to buy an inexpensive,  “useful” (yes, in this case, a socially-useful) object, as well as the “right”brain, flexible, playful, and fanciful portion of me that wants to buy something with which I can create loops and turns, and “magic tricks.”

Whole brain marketing works by “reaching out and touching” the prospect in a way that allows that “Aha” moment to occur…where the whole brain agrees that the product you are offering exactly fits both the left-brain “sensible” requirements” and the right-brain “playful” requirements.

Does your marketing…whether on-line or off-line… do this? 

 Be a little playful…and a little sensible… in reviewing your current marketing strategies.  Get outside input from both perspectives.

Then…decide.  Could you be more effective with Whole Brain Marketing?   Does your product have more to offer?  Who’s missing out…besides you?

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