It’s Friday night and my brain is fried. After a long week, I sometimes feel like not only is my body moving more slowly, but also my brain. Perhaps it’s the cold medicine that’s making me feel like I’m in a fog or maybe my brain’s amygdala is just taking over as my prefrontal cortex takes a nap.
For those of you who think I’ve just gone off the deep end, don’t fear. Let me explain where I’m going with this. If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know by now that I typically stick to the topic of marketing or website design so why am I talking about my amygdala? Or for that matter, what is my amygdala? The amygdala is the small, almond-sized part of the brain that is responsible for triggering the fight or flight response. Frankly, the amygdala is pretty dumb. Seriously, this part of the brain isn’t real sharp. It’s mainly responsible for making split decisions but that’s about it. When you’re engaged in an emotional conversation, you’re not using the amygdala. Or when you’re reading a highly technical paper on the latest discoveries in DNA research, you’re not using your amygdala. But, when you’re in the middle of a car accident and you’re reaching out in slow motion to hold your child back, that’s when the amygdala is firing on all cylinders.
So what’s this have to do with my typical marketing blogs? Well, since the amygdala is responsible for making decisions, it’s also the part of the brain that has to be engaged in order to get your prospect to say “yes” or “no” when they’re making a buying decision. Here’s the trouble. Remember how the amygdala isn’t the smartest part of the brain? Well, if your marketing message is overly complicated, then it’s likely that the smarter prefrontal cortex may full-well understand the complexities of your product, but the amygdala which is responsible for making the buying decision is lost. If the amygdala is lost or confused, the brain is likely to spit out a “no” or “think it over” response rather than a “yes.”
So what’s the answer? Duh. I’m sure even your amygdala knows where I’m going with this… simplify your message. Keep it simple, stupid. Dumb it down so even the dumbest parts of your prospect’s brain gets it. I don’t say this to insult the intelligence of your customers. It’s just human nature. I tell people that even Einstein had a dumb amygdala. While you may have a 160 I.Q., your amygdala is really only capable of thinking at about a 7-year-old level.
Think of it like this, if your marketing copy in your brochure or your website or your 30-second pitch are easily understood by a 7-year old, then you’re golden. Otherwise, you may be over thinking it and losing your audience at the most critical moment—when they’re about to decide whether or not to buy from you.
Hope that helps.