Microsoft recently shared an infographic that visualizes the psychology of marketing and the neuroscience that drives a target audience’s decision making.

It’s a bit counter-intuitive, but it’s not rational arguments that make up most of our decision-making according to studies cited from Kissmetrics, Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, and Huffington Post. Rather, we make emotional decisions first and then use our intellect to justify it. You’ll note in the infographic that campaigns that elicited an emotional response performed 9% better and yield more profits.

On the list of emotional triggers that are the most effective? Happiness, belonging, and trust rank high, which leads us to believe that focusing on your audience as a tribe with a shared purpose has a lot of benefits.

Next in the lineup: leadership, trend-setting, and instant gratification are positively oriented emotional triggers that make the list. It seems that helping speaking to your audience in a manner that recognizes their intelligence, sets them up as though-leaders and trend setters, and gives them an instant outlet to express their intelligence to others is a great way to capitalize on the psychology in marketing.

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The key, it seems, is really understanding your core audience at a subconscious level, and knowing what drives that initial emotional decision-making. Then you can capitalize on core emotional triggers that will drive action and grow sales.

But how do you get to know your customer so well? Brian Balfour, VP at Hubspot, recommends 1-on-1 conversations with customers, emails, and surveys to get at the underlying emotions that drive their decision making. Ask them about their problems and stresses so that you can develop products that help them and market those products in a way that will elicit action.

Think about how you can galvanize your audience around a key mission and help them solve their problems in your next campaign. Appeal to their hearts as well as their minds and you’re likely to make a few friend and gain some customers in the process.

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