For those of you who have been watching Amazon’s Mr Robot we all know humans are the most easily fallible to a hack attack.
The human brain, despite its many capabilities, has some really dubious flaws that can play tricks on what you see and think you know.
“Magic tricks work because humans have a hardwired process of attention and awareness that is hackable”.
Have you ever heard of “change blindness”?
“Studies show that you will not notice dramatic changes in a visual scene if they occur during a transient interruption—such as a magician”.
Was there anything strange about this basketball game? Something was there, but perhaps shouldn’t have been… watch closely again.
Let’s try another experiment:
Don’t stop to think about your answer.
Q. What colour is snow? What colour are clouds? What colour is whipped cream? What colour are polar bears? What do cows drink?
——– your answer please ———–
If you said cows drink milk, you were primed by the previous questions to choose something white (cows drink water).
You, sir or madam, have just been primed.
I can get everyone reading this blog post to see the same mental picture (don’t worry you wont be traumatised I promise 😉 ). Follow the below instructions:
Step 1: Think of a small number and then silently perform the following operations.
Step 2: Double the number.
Step 3: Add 8 to the result.
Step 4: Divide the result by 2.
Step 5: Subtract the original number.
Step 6: Now convert this number into a letter of the alphabet (1=A, 2=B, 3=C, 4=D, and so on).
Step 7: Think of the name of a country that starts with this letter. Got it?
Step 8: Now think of an animal whose name starts with the next letter.
Step 9: Finally, think of the colour of that animal.
—– pause for effect AKA the big reveal —–
“There must be a problem. There are no grey elephants in Denmark.”
The point of demonstrating all this is to prove that the human mind is actually extremely malleable and as such should be taken into consideration when you are designing your online conversion funnels and user journeys.
Priming can be done online for good or for evil, my young padawans! It can boost sales, conversions and customer retention if used appropriately.
How can you apply this knowledge to your business? Think about your different user journeys both online and off. Look at: your email journey, the sign-up process, how you onboard users, customer retention plans, what happens when a user leaves your service?
Hint: this can be done well or poorly, don’t leave a sour taste on departure but turn it into an “au revoir” (i.e a see you later or next time).
For more ideas about how magic can help your business definitely check out:
Sleights of Mind: What the neuroscience of magic reveals about our brains by Sandra Blakeslee, Stephen Macknik, Susana Martinez-Conde