It’s really quite simple. In business you get what you want by persuading people to do what you want them to do. There’s nothing easier, right? We all know that persuasion is hard at the best of times, but in the online world it’s an even harder task.
There are several things that can help a business owner and her/his designer get what they want in terms of getting your user, your potential customer after all, to do what you want and help you grow your business.
In the online world getting what you want means knowing something about how the unconscious mind works. It comes down to an examination of free will.
In her recent book Webs Of Influence – The Psychology Of Online Persuasion, Nathalie Nahai outlines the most recent research in the psychology of human decision-making.
‘Our conscious experience of free will happens only after the neural events that caused it… put simply, your brain knows what you are going to do before you do.’
It turns out that most of our decision-making processes occur in parallel, without our conscious awareness.
Business owners, marketing professionals and interactive designers can learn a lot from a more than superficial study of the science of human psychological behaviour.
‘We are not rational beings, as classical economists would have you believe. In fact, the reality is that we are malleable, impressionable creatures, whose behaviours can be heavily influenced by our situations and surroundings, without us even being aware of it.’
Leaving aside the spiritual and philosophical implications of this view, it’s clear that business owners, marketing professionals and interactive designers can learn a lot from a more than superficial study of the science of human psychological behaviour.
It can tell us all a lot about how we can achieve what we want to achieve, and because we are essentially measuring online human behaviours, it gives us data that we can measure and act upon to fine-tune and re-target our approach.
‘Our emotions exert a great influence on our thoughts… beyond making us feel good or bad, emotions play a vital role in how we make decisions.
Emotions play a part as well as intellect when it comes to our on-line decision-making processes.
‘Our emotions exert a great influence on our thoughts… beyond making us feel good or bad, emotions play a vital role in how we make decisions.’
Here is where creativity, ideas and design intuition can play a major part in the online design process and help you to get want you want. Design and creativity, based on a solid grasp of recent psychological research, can help any online business get where it needs to go faster and more efficiently. This approach can integrate well with any off-line and related social media campaigns that you may want to run at the same time.
In the online world, creativity and good design thinking are not only scientific but also measurable in terns of the results and the targets they achieve.
If you know what your customers are trying to achieve, then it’s easier for you to help get them there.
So what do you want to achieve for yourself and for your business? And what approaches are you using to help get you there?
‘The ability to manufacture persuasion is a powerful one and its success hinges on the accuracy of your demographic data.’
In a later post I’ll go on to look at these demographic, social and cultural factors that help colour your approach to influencing your online customers. But to sum up, if you know what your customers are trying to achieve, then it’s easier for you to help get them there.
We know that our customers want us to help them achieve their goals through the intelligent use of technology, social media and design. We know that because we asked them. But what do your customers really want? Perhaps we can help you find out.