I am back again with my 6th review of CXL’s minidegree in Digital Psychology and Persuasion. In this post, I would be covering the course Cognitive Biases.
Here’s what you can expect from this post,
1. A short explanation of cognitive bias
2. Types of cognitive biases that are affecting the conversion rate
3. Ways to overcome and use those common biases in online marketing
4. My opinion on the mini course cognitive biases
Disclaimer: Since this course has an exhaustive list of knowledge only a few of the key areas will be covered and I will provide a review based on the entire course at the end of the post.
Information overload. Sounds familiar? Well, this is what we are experiencing every day in our lives. Especially in this digital era, we are bombarded with a lot of information in the forms of social media, ads, and even Google search results. This information overload often causes us a decision paralysis due to the ample of ‘choices’ that are presented to us daily.
That is why our brain creates its own system to filter out all these noises easily. It should be noted that the system@cognitive bias is not created randomly. To be exact, it was created by observing our actions that create a predictable pattern.
To give you more context, let’s look at the bandwagon bias. Imagine right now you’re at the shopping mall trying to buy a jacket that comes in 7 different colors. Now you’re stuck with the color choice as every color seems to fit you perfectly. Suddenly you saw an ad where the model is wearing the same jacket in navy blue and another customer grabbing the jacket in navy blue for herself. Now, what would you do? Of course, you would buy that jacket in navy blue. You are subconsciously convinced that navy blue is the best option as others are also choosing that color.
Do you ever notice that logic is most often neglected in favor of more emotionally powerful arguments? If rationality takes a backseat to recent events which cause a powerful perceived impact, there’s a good chance the availability heuristic may be at play.
According to Wikipedia, availability heuristic, also known as availability bias; is a mental shortcut that relies on immediate examples that come to a given person’s mind when evaluating a specific topic, concept, method or decision. That is why statistics don’t really change the mind as it is hard to remember and people are generally bad with statistics. Hence, it is not memorable for them as they can’t fully apply the given statistics to see its impact which will change their mind.
These are the reasons why marketers are encouraged to use vivid stories and personal examples, not probabilities to persuade. If you have trouble digesting that, just remember according to the availability heuristic bias as long as something is easier to remember it is more important for the brain.
As a side note, statistics still can also be used in marketing with a little twist. Instead of trying to directly woo the customers with statistics, use it to justify their beliefs and actions. This method is simply a manipulation of confirmation bias that we all have.
According to common bias theory, we always look for and trust information that agrees with our existing beliefs. As humans, we are far more reluctant regarding changes as we are hardwired to trust the information that is confirming our existing thoughts.
That is why marketers are warned not to try to change minds. Hence, the most practical option would be to use the same information that they resonate with. To put things in perspective, let’s try to sell some gold coins as shown in those TV advertorials. In order for you to gain a little bit of success, you have to project the gold coins as a safe investment for the average customers.
Of course, you can’t change their mind that investing in the gold coins is much safer than investing in the bank. However, you could utilize their common knowledge of excessive money printing is bad. This is where you will send a subtle message that your gold coins are worth investing by showing the images of money being printed. Of course, the government may not have been printing money at the moment, will the audience care to about it? Most probably no.
Now that I have covered a fraction of what I have learned from this course, it’s time for the verdict. Have this course had achieved its aim in teaching the course learners on how to apply various biases that influence purchase behaviors all the time into in copywriting, design, pricing structure, and user research best practices for better conversion rate?
Yes. It has absolutely checked all the boxes it has provided. Let me sum up the knowledge I had gained from this particular course Cognitive Biases of the minidegree Digital Psychology and Persuasion in a list below.
1. Cognitive bias is a system that is created by the brain to filter out unnecessary information.
2. Cognitive bias is made based on a predictable pattern
3. We, humans, are always subjected to these biases even when we don’t think so. (It’s an automated response)
4. Statistics don’t really change the mind
5. Statistics can justify beliefs and actions (confirmation bias)
6. Use vivid stories and personal examples not probabilities to persuade
7. According to the availability heuristic bias, if something is easier to remember it is marked as more important by the brain
8. Confirmation bias holds some power over most of the decision-making processes that are made.
9. People tend to decide first emotionally and then will find reasons to justify their decisions in most of the cases.
So is this course worth your time? Absolutely yes! It is a must for not only marketers, copywriters but business owners also. If you’re looking for a course that will close the gap of you not converting online, then this mini degree is a must for your success.
By the way, don’t forget to check out my 7th review of this minidegree next week.