Um, Actually, YES, It IS Rocket Science

Marketing is the strategic use of visual elements like colour, font styles, and imagery combined with copy/text to communicate a clear and consistent message. The perfect combination of these ingredients will succeed not only in delivering a clear message – it will stimulate a response or reaction in the person on the receiving end.

This is why we stress the importance of any marketing material having a call to action asking the receiver to do something: “buy that”, “read this”, “download here”, “watch now”, “call us”, and so on.

There are many instances in which a great marketing campaign and its effectiveness are a direct result of psychology in collaboration with great design. However, more often than not, sole credit for a great campaign and its success is attributed to the creative. Still, as “marketeers” we know that there is much more to it and this is how we break it down.

There are four key psychology elements that come into play when creating a marketing campaign. Similarly, there are four design elements that are directly related to these elements. Their relationship is interdependent and complimentary in nature.

1. Perception & Visual Imagery

These days it is said that the average person is exposed to approximately 5,000 or more advertising messages each day. Which of those advertisements are remembered and recalled upon when it comes time to make a purchase is largely dependent upon a variety of factors.

a) Is it appealing? – Does the ad demand one’s attention?

b) Is it intriguing? – Does it instigate curiosity?

c) Is it catchy? – Does it use colour or bold design to grab one’s attention?

d) Does it stimulate one, a few, or all of the five senses? – Touch, taste, smell, vision, hearing?

2. Memory & Retention

Did you know that the human mind is like a computer and recalls or retains information in strings? Cognitive psychology refers to this action as chunking. There are many theories on how this works but what’s most important is that the human brain, just like a computer, has a maximum capacity for memory and recall. Chunking or grouping things into sets of 3, 5, or 7 makes it much more likely that the information will be retained. Did you ever wonder why the ten digits in phone numbers (123-456-7890) are grouped into three? Well, now you know!

Still, there are a variety of factors at play when it comes to memory and retention when it comes to marketing.

a) Is it legible? Is there an information overload or is the message legible and clearly displayed?

b) Is the typography capped at two fonts? How many different fonts are being used as display and text font?

c) Is the information grouped and balanced on the page? Is the spacing or leading between the text and even graphics balanced?

d) Is the message prioritized? Is what catches the eye first the most important part of the message?

3. Emotion – Colour

There is a lot of psychology research and reports showing a direct relationship between colours and the emotion they trigger within the receiver. For example, did you know that red doesn’t just represent romance and passion but that it also is known to trigger one’s appetite? How about blue? It’s usually a representation of calmness and tranquility but did you know that it also elicits feelings of trust, dependability, and strength?

a) Is the image properly paired with desired emotional response?

b) Does the colour correctly reflect the desired emotion?

c) Is the colour palette being used proper based on colour wheel theory?

d) Do the text colours compliment the background graphics and colours used?

4. Motivation – Calls to Action

The biggest and most inaccurate assumption made is that people don’t need to be told what to do. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! If there is a desired action you want a target market or receiver to take after seeing an ad, then it must be accompanied by a clear call to action. If the expectation is that people do something after seeing it like call, visit a store, visit the website, or do anything, then this has to be clearly requested within the design and copy.

To expect that one will take any initiative on their own volition to do anything is completely unrealistic. What seems obvious is not always obvious. Great example of this is during election time when it might seem like an obvious action to vote, that was what every campaign pushed for the most.

Because we are “marketeers” we always tend see things in 2D and heavily consider both the psychology and design elements mentioned. Everything we do is deliberate and strategic and that’s the difference you’ll notice right away when working with a firm like ours. These principles aren’t important to everyone, but to those that appreciate strategic marketing they are of the utmost importance.

Great design combined with psychology in order to deliver a clear and effective message is slowly becoming the new norm. But at Karrots Inc. we have the expectation that anything we create observes the basic principles of psychology and laws of design. We actually see ourselves as “marketeers” because the formula we use to create impactful brands and effective marketing campaigns day in and day out is: Great Marketing = Psychology (Science) + Design (Art). So at Karrots Inc. it’s not so much what we do, but it’s who we are and that is not easily duplicated.