Online financial marketing works – we know this because financial providers spend millions on it each year. The question is; do you fall for financial marketing?
Brands use neuroscience to study the effect of various messages on different areas of your brain – inducing activity in the emotional area of your brain, for example, generally means they have been successful.
We conducted an experiment into online financial marketing involving more than 3,300 people. Our experiment showed that marketers capitalise on the attractiveness of imagery and colours, as well as the human tendencies to think short term, follow the herd and procrastinate.
Tricks of the marketers’ trade
In one of our examples we found that describing a 25% discount on car insurance as ‘12 months for the price of 9’ made it more attractive. Placing an image of a happy couple next to an advert for a savings product did the same. In both cases the underlying product remained the same – only the marketing was changed.
This should come as no surprise. Marketers have relied on human psychology to sell us products since the 1920s, when Sigmund Freud’s nephew Edward Bernays used his uncle’s insights to revolutionise marketing techniques.
And while these marketing tactics aren’t confined to financial products, they’re certainly very common in this field. So when it comes to your wallet, it pays to read between the lines.
Test your savvy
Of course, most of us like to think we’re unaffected by such tactics. That’s why we’ve created an online test based on our experiment to let you pit your savviness against financial marketing.
We’re also on the lookout for the worst in opaque verbiage, florid piffle, and pleonastic poppycock for a future project in which we’ll help you better understand financial lingo. So make sure to share the worst financial jargon you’ve seen below.