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In today’s society, the average person sees around 5000 marketing messages per day. That’s 208 every hour. I’m exhausted just thinking about it. In a world full of so much noise, it’s more important than ever as marketers to find fresh ways to stay relevant and effective. If you’re feeling strapped for ideas, read on and I’ll quickly show you 5 ways that you can improve the effectiveness of your marketing…with science!


1. Emotion 

While we might think we’re in control when we’re shopping, a whopping 90% of purchasing decision is subconscious (Source: Nielsen).

What this tells us is that if we can connect on an emotional level with our audience, they’ll be much more likely to not only make a purchase but actually react positively towards your brand.

A particularly powerful example of this in action is Apple. Soon after Steve jobs returned to Apple in 1997 when the company was dangerously close to bankruptcy, Apple launched the “Think Different” campaign. It said nothing about the company or the products, it simply connected people with Apple on an emotional level and the rest is history. The company went on to win multiple awards for the campaign and is now the most valuable company in the world.

2. Deviation and Surprise

Our brains love patterns and predictability, so much so that it does it all the time! It’s a prediction machine. So what happens when that brain gets surprised?


A prediction error (Source: Carmen Simon, PhD). When surprised, the brain is forced to process this new information. As a result, we are much more likely engage with whatever surprised us. It’s why we love to watch sports, movies, dramatic TV shows, etc. We don’t know how what’s going to happen next and we love it.

3. Use Visuals

Warning: stats incoming.

Roughly 30% of neurons in the brain’s cortex are devoted to vision (Source: National Geographic). Compared with the 8% dedicated to touch, and merely 2% for hearing, our brains have enormous amount of visual horsepower. Because of this, we retain 55% more information when visuals are used than without.

That should already be enough to convince that visuals are a good thing, but just in case, here’s one more.


That’s right. The human brain processes visual an incredible 60,000 times faster than text (Source: Hubspot, 3M). Makes you wonder why we write anything at all. You can easily find images that are free to use by selecting “labeled for reuse with modification” when searching in Google.


Google image search

4. Simplicity

This one is simple (hah).

No, really, it is. The more simple and concise your message, the easier is it to process. The brain takes only 50ms to beginning making decisions and judgements about an advertisement. In the blink of an eye, people have already started to determine whether or not they trust you, your brand, your ad, or anything remotely related to you. So keep it simple. Some of the most powerful marketing in history has been just that. Just Do It. Think Different. Got Milk? Effective use of simplicity should be a no-brainer.

5. Color

We’ve already learned how quickly the brain processes visual information. And we know that a massive amount of brain power is used solely for images. Naturally then, effective use of color can mean the difference between instant brand recognition or being instantly forgotten.


Consistent use of color has been shown to increase brand recognition by 80% (Source: University of Loyola, MD). Look at your logo, your website, your advertising. Is there a consistent color scheme? Is it easy to recognize? Could a child remember your color if asked? It’s a quick, simple way to stand out and it can make all the difference.

Now go forth wielding science and make better marketing!


National Geographic
Carmen Simon, PhD
University of Loyola, Maryland

Ninja Tropic provides innovative graphic design, video editing, animation and 3D, for a very low cost.