Human evolution

Any marketing specialist – online or offline – will tell you that marketing is all about human nature. In fact, it’s mostly about our “primitive” nature, as prescribed by what psychologists refer to as “the lizard brain”, and then about the “limbic brain”.

The basic premise is this:

The “lizard brain” is apparently the oldest part of the brain – and it deals with survival instincts such as fear and aggression.

In addition to that, the “limbic brain” revolves around emotions and bonding to other people.

By appealing to the characteristics of these two, you can basically sell (almost) anything to anyone…

The lizard brain is all about avoiding pain, and seeking pleasure. The limbic brain handles the emotions connected to it (and a few other emotions).

Fact: By far the most buying decisions are made based on emotion – and then we try and use logic to justify the decision to make the purchase.

Just look at successful television and around you – all of them are focused on some basic emotion we either want to feel, or which we want to avoid feeling. We do want to be successful, drive a nice car, look great, and go on vacation – because those things take us towards pleasure, and invoke positive emotions.

On the other hand, we don’t want dirty dishes, blocked drains, accidents, or to lose our jobs – because that takes us towards pain.

Once again – the lizard brain is kicking in, trying to avoid pain, and find pleasure.

Once you understand the basics – and it’s really simple – about basic human nature, you will be able to write more effective blog posts, autoresponder emails, and even sales copy (if you ever decide to go that route).

Fact: The urge to avoid pain is stronger than the urge to seek out pleasure. Besides being emotional, it’s instinctive. It’s part of our primal nature.

As such, it’s easier to get through to your target audience by helping them to avoid pain, than it is to move them towards pleasure. Just think about it – if you had to choose between:

1. Making five times your salary at work (better lifestyle, great benefits, nicer vacations), or

2. To be able to quit your job and be financially independent (avoid the pain of potential retrenchment, daily commuting, a bad boss and rude colleagues…) –

Which one would you choose?

For someone to move towards pleasure, it often requires getting out of their comfort zone (even if just to purchase an expensive item).

For someone to move away from pain, all that’s needed is a reminder of the pain, and they’ll automatically try to avoid it.

Courtesy of the lizard brain.

Have you ever noted…

In most product launches, there is a special offer running for a limited time? Or in some cases, you may have noted the entire offer only runs for a limited time.

The vendors are bargaining on you trying to avoid the pain of losing out on a great offer.

On the other end of the spectrum, when it comes to seeking out pleasure, there is also the basic human need to connect with, and have the “approval” of others around them. Just look at the success of online dating sites, German luxury cars, and exotic vacations. It can be used as a powerful sales tool as well – although not quite as powerful as the basic avoidance of pain.

So – how do you put this knowledge to good use?

When you want to product content for your blog, or write an ebook (free or paid), or create a video…

Find the problems first. Find out which pains the people in your target market are trying to avoid. In internet marketing, for instance, people want to avoid doing a lot of work for nothing. They want to avoid a lack of results. They want to avoid having their social accounts shut down. They want to avoid losing customers or optins.

In the health niche, people want to avoid illness, and they want to avoid battling with medical conditions. In the self improvement niche, people want to avoid failure. In the beauty and fashion niches, people want to avoid making mistakes that could compromize their appearance. In the travel niche, people want to avoid complications during travel.

So – as you can see – in most niches, you can create content that cuts both ways (pleasure and pain).

But when you help someone to avoid pain, you inevitably help them to move towards pleasure – and that’s a very powerful tool.

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