Deep human understanding

Only when we understand what people really like, dislike and engage with, can we really talk to them as the people they are, not a convenient marketing hypothesis.

“What is it, to be human?” is a question that has fascinated thinkers of all shades for millennia. It’s also a question in which anyone who wishes to influence decisions taken by  to their fellows should have an interest and a basic understanding.

We have looked elsewhere at the main types of attention that we pay to the world and why that is, the left side of the brain brings a highly focussed but detached attention to things we already know to be important and ignores the unfamiliar. The right side bringing a much broader, uncommitted attention to what is new or unfamiliar. We also see how each side of the brain inhibits the less active one, meaning we pay one type of attention at a time.

Practically speaking?

From a practical point of view this has many implications.

If important new information is presented in a way that looks familiar, it will very likely be treated as already known, merely confirmatory. In order for it to be noticed and assimilated as new we need to appeal to the broader attention type. This can be done in many ways, the use of a new metaphor, engaging empathy, humour, presentation in a different way, are just a few examples. If you are a market leader though, this effect can work in your favour. Presenting familiar information in a familiar way constantly confirms the impression that we know this to be important and keep its processing on a routine, reinforcing basis.

We are visual beings

The use of imagery is important. We say a picture is worth a thousand words, but why?

Human beings have used imagery to make sense of the world for millennia. There are images in caves around the world dating back over 40,000 years demonstrating how important this has always been to us.

The way we process images is very different to words. Images are taken in and processed as a single thing, creating an impression which is then acted upon or not. Words are consumed and processed sequentially. The image may well be all that is consumed in an interaction. if there is nothing interesting that the right brain wishes to investigate further.We cannot afford to do the type of piecemeal analysis on images that we often do on message testing, as this type of analysis is not relevant to the way the image is processed by the audience. This processing  is nuanced and holistic and done without words. The piecemeal approach is done, during testing, by a part of the brain that is not involved in processing the image or the related impression in the first place.

Empathy is important to learning

People are important. This seems obvious, but even when making something as apparently mundane as an ‘Instructions for Use’ video, our basic nature plays a part.

If we believe that is another human being demonstrating correct usage, the area of our brain to do with the movement itself becomes active, but also those involved with empathy. We actually WANT to move in the same way. If it is an obvious animation, or we don’t believe that the other party is an actual person, this doesn’t happen.

There are countless examples of how this understanding can drive better experiences and so better results for both businesses and customers. We’d love to tell you more about how it can be harnessed for you.

Just contact us to find out more.