Neuromarketing in the digital world: what you need to know

Neuromarketing is, for lack of better terms, manipulation of the most primal responses your customer has to your advertisement.

Have you heard of sales psychology? Neuromarketing is pretty much sales psychology, just expanded and broken down to a science.

Neuromarketing works. And that is the harsh truth. The human brain is surprisingly predictable, and with everything that is predictable, a study behind it has found a way to take advantage of it and maximise your profits.

Colour theory is one of the most acknowledged forms of neuromarketing. However, it would be unwise to limit neuromarketing to just colours. Therefore, here are lesser-known ways to make big bucks out of neuromarketing.

The human brain is surprisingly predictable, and with everything that is predictable, a study behind it has found a way to take advantage of it and maximise your profits.

Neuromarketing techniques

1. Optimising visuals means more conversion!

Visual optimisation, also known as natural eye gaze flow, is perhaps the single most important aspect of a website.

You need to understand that it is only natural that your website’s visitors will be watching parts of an ad or a website NOT in the order that makes the most sense, but in the order that grabs their attention first.

Before we can implement this neuromarketing strategy in our campaign, let’s first understand what eye flow actually is.

The example above conveys this simple neuromarketing tip only using text, but images and videos follow a very similar pattern. The human brain will:

  1. Watch images first. This is even more likely if the image presented on a website or an ad is supposed to invoke a strong, primal emotion like hunger or greed.
    This is also true with videos. Studies have shown that having video thumbnails even improves search results scores, according to this article by Moz. 
  2. They will then look at the biggest part of a text. This is the headline, and every copywriter will tell you that it’s the single most important part of every piece of copy.
  3. They will now look at price tags or large buttons, such as “FREE!” and “NO STRINGS ATTACHED!”.
  4. The reading flow will likely then happen in an F shape: The reader’s eye will read whatever you have placed on the screen, provided that they have been captivated by your headline, and they may often dart their eye at the end of the screen while also reading line per line.

So, is this something we can put into practice, or is this all just meaningless fluffer? Well, eye-gaze optimisation is actually an asset and one of the services offered by a UX team. 

For example, placing a call to action at the end of an article is guaranteed to improve results, should your CTA be placed at the top of the screen.

But this isn’t the only thing you can improve using eye-gazing.

A) Is your website cluttered and prevents natural eye flow? If so, change that.

B) Your images are just placeholders. Let’s be honest. A picture of a dog wearing pants is probably more interesting to the reader than your everyday, corporate placeholder photo of a team group.

See? Which one immediately caught your eye more?

Neuromarketing is simple: If something isn’t driving your message forward, then it’s visual clutter. Remove it and improve your conversion rates thanks to the newfound engagement increases.

Tip: Websites and ads work similarly, when it comes to eye flow. As a rule of thumb, mastering eye gaze is the secret to increased user engagement.

2. Making choices is good… until it isn’t!

Let’s pretend your website is an ice cream shop, and your customer walked in craving a delicious chocolate ice cream. 

Now, you may be offering chocolate, and your customer will obviously buy it.

Your user may also love the fact that they can choose between chocolate, Nutella and hazelnut flavoured ice creams – there is definitely a lot they can get out of your shop! 

However, when they come back the day after, you are no longer offering chocolate ice cream, but instead, you now try to convince your customer to choose between Nutella, hazelnut, Kinder Egg, Tiramisu, dark cookie, muffin, dark, milk choc, cocoa, Ferrero Rocher, Wispa and so forth…

So he just stands there, for an hour straight, because there is way too much to choose from. After all, he can only get one ice cream, and there is simply so much to choose from that he can’t possibly pick one and only one. 

So he just leaves, empty-handed, or goes to a different ice cream shop where he knows he will get exactly what he came for.

Your ads and your websites work a bit like this fictional ice cream shop. Offering thirty different services won’t do you any good – it just freezes the customer and makes them unable to pick just one thing. 

Just think about how many times you bought something, then thought that “you should have just gotten the other thing instead!”.

Now, replace the ice cream with highly expensive services that you may invoice your customers for tens of thousands, and you are left with a deeply bitter client basis that will leave you for someone who knows exactly what they want.

Tip: Making choices, even the most trivial ones, can be overwhelming. Make sure that you limit your offerings to a handful of highly-desirable picks.

3. Anchoring

Wouldn’t it be awesome to always stay on top of every trend? You’d be able to know exactly what is popular and what everyone is getting all the time.

Well… I am afraid that you can’t control the world’s market. But you can control the popularity of the products you are buying using a neuromarketing secret called anchoring.

We are guilty of using anchoring ourselves, here at topflight. Here we go:

Can you see that “Popular” tag on top of the business option of our web management service?

Well, that isn’t generated automatically by counting the sales. It’s actually a smartly placed banner that encourages you to purchase the business option instead of the personal one because “popular” gives you the impression that everyone is going for it, so you should too.

Just look at how many times you have seen offers such as “Buy three for only £3”, or a £100 product with a £10 discount that is actually worth £90, to begin with.

Numbers and words can be used to manipulate your audience to buy a specific product in place of another. 

This video will help you understand the ins and outs of anchoring effects.

Tip: The price of something depends on its demand. However, anchoring will help you manipulate the demand, eventually helping you increase the price tag and your profits.

4. Punish your buyers!

Luckily, marketing does not involve any physical violence. But you can hurt your buyers nonetheless and actually be rewarded for it!

Videogames are a great example of neuromarketing and how it can be implemented to earn more. 

Videogames punish you with all sorts of things: Enemies that you are ill-equipped for, lengthy upgrade times, difficult encounters and, of course, inevitable death screens.

But when you eventually accomplish your goals within the game, you actually receive a dopamine rush: Upgrading your character, defeating that difficult boss and even interacting with other players create an environment that encourages you to play and spend more.

This isn’t just something that video game companies do: Apple products are notorious because they only work on Apple.

By purchasing iTunes, for example, you’d get a great music streaming service that works poorly, should you not have a mac or an iPhone to support this service.

“But hold on”, you probably said, “I don’t have the same fanbase Apple gets to have!”

Well, you don’t need to be a mega-corporation that pushes out new phones faster than light to profit off neuromarketing.

Start off by creating a service that works only with your products. A great service indeed. Do you sell TVs? Then your mind-control remotes only work with your TVs. Do you sell pens? Then the paper you sell is 4 times as strong as normal paper, but only accepts your ink brand.

It’s a challenge to implement, of course, but by punishing your buyers, you are forcing them into brand loyalty. Badass marketing!

Tip: Encourage your buyers to buy your products by adding bonuses and features that are unique to your brand


Neuromarketing isn’t the secret to a successful business. As ugly as it is to say, neuromarketing is nothing more than glorified customer manipulation that only works if you have the products to support your claims.

Think of neuromarketing as just the icing on the cake of a great marketing strategy. 

As delicious as icing can be, you need a cake that your customers can crave.

Start off with marketing campaigns, SEO services or even Pay Per Click ads.

Fortunately, here at topflight we can offer you the exact service you’ll need, and by calling us you can get a free consultation with one of our experts that will be able to pinpoint the exact thing you need for a thriving business.

So, what are you waiting for? Contact us today!