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Human psychology

Things people believe in

People often choose to believe in things that are just not true.

The Great Wall is the only human made object viewable from space. All Vikings helmets had horns. Vaccines cause Autism. 5G causes causes cancer. You get the idea.

Here are 11 things that a lot of us in marketing believe, but shouldn’t.

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Grabbing Attention

We live in a world of short attention spans. Attention span is the amount of time that a person can concentrate on a task without becoming distracted.

That task could be learning about your product, figuring out if your service is right for them, etc. In other words, it’s kind of important. You need to learn how to grab attention—and hold it—for your website visitors.

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Neuromarketing Ethics: How Far Is Too Far?

As the marketing industry developed, researchers dove deeper into buying behavior and buyers’ minds. One early researcher was Edward Bernays—Sigmund Freud’s nephew—who coined the term “public relations.”

Bernays believed that people could be influenced via crowd psychology and psychoanalysis. His “Torches of Freedom” campaign in the 1920s promoted smoking among women as a symbol of liberation, opening a new market to cigarette companies.

Decades later, in 2002, Dutch marketing professor Ale Smidts coined the term “neuromarketing.” Neuromarketing maps neural activity to consumer behavior to help marketers craft more valuable, science-based campaigns. 

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Want to Know a Secret? Your Customers Do.

The carefully evasive proposal included intriguing tidbits: Jeff Bezos laughed when Mr. Kamen assembled an It for him [. . .] The proposal also included proclamations from tech-world celebrities like Steve Jobs, Apple’s founder, that the device might change urban life and could be as significant as the development of the personal computer.

The New York Times, January 2001

Dean Kamen’s code name for the project was “Ginger.” That was all most people knew. But few could wait to learn more. Deprived of source material, journalists wrote articles about articles. Finally, in December 2001, came the big reveal: Ginger was the Segway. 

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Psychology of crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is painful.

With standard conversions, people receive value immediately. They buy your product. Then they receive your product. Done and done.

That’s not crowdfunding. With crowdfunding, the end product doesn’t even exist. You need to convince people to give you money for something that they won’t receive for months (and possibly longer).

Sure, you can use perks and rewards to entice people. But the majority of donations come from people’s generosity. How to get more funding? What are crowdfunding best practices?

I scoured the academic research on crowdfunding, philanthropy, and helping behavior to understand when and why people donate money (and how you can use those principles for a successful crowdfunding campaign).

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