07 Apr Ways of learning and engaging – left and right brain in product or service promotion
Do you ever wonder about what is the best way to communicate your marketing messages to your target audience? What is the best way of designing your message so that it gets the attention of your target audience, and is remembered?
The answer is that it kind of depends. One very interesting learning theory is this idea that we have two hemispheres of our brains. One may be dominant in some people. Your left brain is more logical and responds well to verbal cues, language and information. However, your right brain is more creative, visual and seeks novelty and new stimuli.
There is an easy way to distinguish between your use of your two hemispheres. For example, today, I started the day writing product descriptions, and I was feeling particular fluent with these today. I was not worried about the details, but more about getting my ideas across. I did this in a written or verbal way.
After lunch, I started to create product images in Photoshop. I was thinking in a more visual way. This was easier for me, and I had no problem with the transition from verbal to visual. However, then I had to SWITCH BACK to writing product descriptions, and this was hard. Switching to the other hemisphere of my brain felt like hard work.
I am relatively balanced with left and right brain. I use both in equal measures, according to psychological tests. Which is your dominant side? Try this test. Are you more left brain oriented or right brain brain oriented?
Communications with respect to the brain hemispheres
When you think about how to design messages to your ideal customers, one good way of framing your thinking is the media that you wish to advertise in. Television media is a very VISUAL media. It speaks to the right hand hemisphere of people’s brains.
Advertising in this medium should be visual, with not too much written information. People passively take in this information and if they store it in their memory, or if it is learnt then they will retrieve it later, when thinking about a product in this category. If they have a need for a product in that category, they will pay more attention to the advertising. If it is adequately processed, it will be stored in long term memory.
Advertising in print media, however, is a much more left brained endeavour. People are engaging the left hand side of their brains when they are reading print material. In this case, it would be advisable to provide written information about the attributes and advantages of your product, in print media.
Incidentally, a good rule of thumb is to endeavour to place images to the left of the text in web or print design. If you follow this guideline, the right hand side of the brain will process the visual image in the picture and this will be a much more harmonious experience for your user.
Digital media and brain hemispheres
It begs a very interesting question: what hemisphere of your brain does a website speak to? Often it depends on the product, and whether the consumer is seeking information about a particular product category. Or if they are browsing on social media.
Instagram is a very visual medium. However, some people write extensive captions on Instagram. It is definitely a site for a more right brained audience. A visual medium. Visual advertising works well on Instagram.
Twitter is a text based social medium. It has integrated some visual elements to its features, but the power is in 140 characters of text and links. It is traditionally a more left brained medium.
Facebook favours visual and video content. It suggests short, visual posts, and for this reason, I think that people are using the right hemispheres of their brains when they are using Facebook. Long text posts, even with photos are not as well liked as short, visual or video posts.
Designing websites for left and right brain hemispheres
Of course, some of your target audience are going to be more right brained and some are going to be more left brained, but the focus of a website should be determined by the product that the website is planning to sell.
Higher involvement products such as health insurance, cars, holidays, websites, etc require more information, and more verbal discussion of attributes and advantages. Whereas lower involvement products such as a soft drink, a packet of crisps or a t-shirt are lower risk and lower involvement. These kinds of products favour visual treatments, and visual websites with light messages and treatments such as nice music, a light joke and other light visual elements.
It can be very useful to really analyse your product or service and determine what kind of learning people will use when they have a need for this product. This can help you to determine what kinds of advertising is best in what kinds of media for your product.