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119 Neuromarketing for Homebuilders - Dan Russell

This week on The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast, Dan Russell of Vivid Labs joins Greg and Kevin to discuss neuromarketing and how it can help home builders inform creative marketing strategies and gain insights into their home buyers.

Dan says, “there is a time and a place for science in marketing. There's a time and a place for art in marketing as well. It is both.”

Neuromarketing is a science that Dan describes as, “at its core essence, the application of what we know about the human brain to existing marketing operations

Homes are high-value assets and neuromarketing can help builders know where to direct their digital marketing efforts to appeal to home buyers. Dan explains, “I would say in the world of what I call high ticket purchases, homes are probably the highest ticket unless you're buying a yacht or something crazy. A lot of times, there can be a little bit of confusion between where you should put your focus, digital marketing, out-of-home marketing, like billboards, one-on-one sales, all that stuff. I would stress to take as scientific of a perspective as you can and to not get pigeonholed by the tactics that worked 15, 20, and 25 years ago, or even five years ago.”

Listen to this week’s episode to learn more about neuromarketing and how it can help home builders improve and expand marketing approaches.  

About the Guest:

Dan Russell is the award-winning founder of marketing think tank Vivid Labs and is the author of Snake Oil, a modern-day handbook for business leaders trying to navigate the chaos of modern marketing. Over the past nine years, he's unlocked over $50 million in revenue for his clients by leveraging the science of marketing and why we buy. These days, he teaches those principles to entrepreneurs and executives through his private newsletter, the Goldpan Report, and his involvement in tech incubator Project 10K.


Greg Bray: [00:00:00] Hello everybody, and welcome to today's episode of The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine.

Dan Russell: And I'm Kevin Weitzel with OutHouse.

Greg Bray: And we are excited today to welcome to the show Dan Russell. Dan is the founder of Vivid Labs. Welcome, Dan. Thanks for joining us today.

Dan Russell: Thanks for having us, having me.

Greg Bray: Well Dan, for those who are listening, who haven't had a chance to meet you yet, why don't we start off and let you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about you.

Dan Russell: Sure. So, I started a company about eight years ago called Vivid Labs. It was, at the time, a marketing [00:01:00] agency. We specialized in a form of digital marketing called conversion rate optimization, and I specifically focused on a niche called neuromarketing, which is essentially the intersection of traditional direct response marketing that you would see in, you know, old magazines and Time Magazine. David Ogilvy sort of stuff, as well in modern digital marketing sales pages and brain science.

So, I got fascinated early on by how we make decisions, why we buy, why we make the decisions that we do, and so I began to incorporate that research into the split tests and optimizations that we were making to our client's sites to get more leads, to get more sales, to get more engagement on their websites or their ads.

So, we started running tests for years based on that research, and I started to develop what I called the neurotactic library, which was a collection of our own tried and true [00:02:00] marketing tactics that we tested. We would say, okay, well we know this particular effect takes place in the human brain in this particular situation. So, how can we replicate that in an ethical way, in a digital marketing context?

So, we did this for years and years, and eventually, I transitioned the business into a training model to teach other businesses how we do that, and then that eventually turned into a book and a newsletter, stuff like that. So, you know, the evolution of the business was very much in the trenches to helping people out of the trenches.

Kevin Weitzel: All without beakers. No test tubes. No beakers.

Dan Russell: Although, we had beakers at our trade shows like at our booths and stuff like that. The one mistake that I made, in retrospect, was that we had this very scientific setup, and then I found myself sponsoring a healthcare event and everybody thought that we were like a lab testing company. It backfired at least once.

Kevin Weitzel: Trust me, with a name like OutHouse, we know all about misconceptions of what people think you [00:03:00] actually do, so. Although we haven't figured out the whole Blue Tangerine thing yet.

Greg Bray: What we actually do?

Kevin Weitzel: Well, no, not what you do, but the Tangerine part, but this isn't about fruit.

Greg Bray: Yeah, it's not about me.

Kevin Weitzel: Yes. This is about Dan here.

Dan Russell: It's definitely noticeable and memorable. There's a neurotactic for you.

Greg Bray: Yeah, there you go. Well, Dan, that was pretty professional, and Kevin likes to know a little more personal. So, give us one little thing maybe that most people don't know a lot about you.

Dan Russell: I am a huge physics nerd. I love everything that has to do with space, space technology. I'm a big follower of Space X and Elon Musk. I'm notorious with my wife for bringing up random facts and pop quizzes in the middle of a conversation that have nothing to do with the conversation that just fascinate me. Did you know? Stuff like that. So, most people don't know that about me, but no, when the conversation eventually broaches the topic of a science, I'm all in.

Kevin Weitzel: You let the nerd flag fly.

Dan Russell: Exactly.

Kevin Weitzel: That's the [00:04:00] way to do it. I'm right there with you.

Greg Bray: So Dan, before Vivid Labs just a little bit more about what you were doing kind of early in your career that pulled you in this direction.

Dan Russell: Yeah. I graduated from college and immediately joined up with a marketing technology startup, which was actually not the plan. I went through the whole recruitment and internship process in the investment banking world. So, that's where my formal training lies is finance, and I double majored in technology management. So, familiarity with apps and the development cycle.

Right, you know, around my senior year of college, I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur. So, I wanted to get some experience in the startup world. So, I got hooked up with this super early-stage marketing tech company in New Jersey and started working with them for about two years. And then while I was there, I started taking on some clients on the side to supplement my income, and then that started to snowball into the business. So, eventually, I parted [00:05:00] ways amicably with that company and then started doing things on my own. So, it was about two, probably two and a half years out of college I started my business.

Greg Bray: So, I know that you've recently published a book. Tell us a little bit more about what the focus of the book is and what kind of got you interested in actually publishing.

Dan Russell: The title of the book is Snake Oil and it's part cautionary tale part tactical playbook for entrepreneurs and executives who are struggling with the overwhelming world of digital marketing. I had been thinking about writing this book for several years after being in the marketing world.

As you two would probably be very familiar with there's a lot of confusion and a lot of sense of like, I should do this, and then you switch, like shiny object syndrome on the part of business owners and executives, and there's not so much of a focus on how to prioritize and how to cut through the BS in many cases to find the strategies and the people [00:06:00] that are going to actually be able to move the needle for you. So, that's really what the book is about is to help people who are sort of like lost in this world of marketing or feel like they're stuck on a hamster wheel trying to keep up with it all, and it's a bit of a breath of fresh air.

Greg Bray: It is one of the challenges with, especially digital marketing, is how quickly there are new shiny objects that just pop up.

Dan Russell: Oh, yeah.

Greg Bray: You know, we haven't even figured out the one from three years ago and now we're on to whatever else we need to do. It's definitely hard to keep up, hard to specialize, unless you've got the unlimited budget, and anyone listening with the unlimited budget, please call because we don't see that much. It's hard to know where to spend it. For sure. It's definitely a challenge.

Kevin Weitzel: You have a lot of parallels with, who I refer to and that's his actual stage name, is the amazing James Randy, who basically used to debunk your yeller with the whole ending spoon thing, but he was really big into physics and really wanted to look at it introspectively and from a 50,000, you know, altitude of how things function [00:07:00] and how we use, in our case digital assets or SEO, to manipulate our market. There's a giant compliment in there if you hadn't picked up on it yet.

Dan Russell: Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely, and I think that scientific perspective really helped me early on in the agency in helping differentiate ourselves from the market, but even on a day-to-day basis. Really why I wrote Snake Oil is that there is a time and a place for science in marketing. There's a time and a place for art in marketing as well. It is both. A very smart man at one point said science is never in the room when it should be. I found that the world of marketing, especially digital marketing is one of those worlds.

Greg Bray: So, does it count as science if we just throw a budget at something and hope something good happens and then kind of adapt from there? When you say science, is that what you mean?

Dan Russell: That's an interesting question, actually, because in some cases, yes. That's not an expected answer because it sounds like that's just chaos. In some cases when you're just getting started, for [00:08:00] example. I work with a lot of technology startups. I work with an incubator to help these seed-stage companies go to market, and when we're just getting started, we've got a little bit of research to go on, but when we're validating an idea and trying to launch something for the first time, it's new with a totally unique value proposition.

You have to start somewhere, and so throwing stuff at the wall, although, you know, they're educated guesses, the scientific term would be hypothesis, that is still part of the process. You try to get out of that stage as quickly as possible and read the data and get some information back to see what's working and what's not, and that's when it really becomes a more structured science.

Greg Bray: So, let's dive in a little more into the whole neuromarketing cause I think that's kind of unique and interesting and not something that most of us have spent a lot of time with. So, help define a little bit more what you mean by that term and how it fits into today's marketing environment.

Dan Russell: So, neuromarketing is, at its core essence, the application [00:09:00] of what we know about the human brain to existing marketing operations. There are a lot of sub-niches to that niche, which involve eye-tracking technology, skin conductivity analysis, even MRIs, functional MRIs.

They're entire neuromarketing agencies built around helping big companies like Sony and Apple and Patagonia and the large brands decide whether or not a Superbowl ad is going to work, or whether or not a new spokesperson or a mascot is going to work.

One of those sub-niches is the application of known research. Known research would be if you've ever read Dan Ariely or Influence by Robert Cialdini. These are more well-known books or Biology by Martin Lindstrom. These are books that use applied research to figure out how can we tweak our marketing in a way [00:10:00] that replicates the conditions of this experiment that's in this research report that says that the human brain, when prompted with this stimulus, or when put into this particular environment, will always react in the same way. So, it adds an element of predictability to the reactions and perceptions of your marketing.

An easy example of this would be anchoring. If you've ever gone to an Amazon product page, you see that there's usually an MSRP on that page. We just moved into this new house, so we're looking around for outdoor furniture for a patio. We can go on Amazon. We can look at some of these chairs and tables and there will be an MSRP. Let's say that the MSRP is $800 for this table. The Amazon price is going to be less than that every single time because the anchoring effect causes our brains to attribute that value to that product. When we see the real price, which is lower, we're automatically conditioned to believe that it's [00:11:00] a good deal.

So, that's a really well-known, what I call neurotactic, in the world of Amazon, but you see it all over the place in the form of countdown timers on digital marketing pages. That's a form of scarcity. In the form of authority and social proof, when we see testimonials on sales pages. So, you can craft a single webpage and have many, many elements that are actually triggering these mental heuristics or shortcuts for the brand to have a higher standing and higher level of trust in our minds.

Kevin Weitzel: Basically, get on this waiting list before this community sells out.

Dan Russell: Yeah, exactly. That's the urgency scarcity approach.

Kevin Weitzel: So, Dan, let me ask you this because this is one of my personal annoyances. I don't understand that the human condition is so suckered into the sale price. That it's this discount. I don't understand when I go into a Kohl's that everything is on sale.

Dan Russell: Yeah.

Kevin Weitzel: My girlfriend will be like, oh, [00:12:00] it's 50% off. I'm like, no, it's not. That's the price. It's not $20. It's $10. The new market value is $10. Why do so many people fall for, is it just the neuroscience behind the fact that we as humans go, I'm saving money. You're not. You're still spending money.

Dan Russell: I was just having this conversation the other day because I was in CVS. I posted this picture on my Instagram profile of a shelf in CVS and every single product had like a buy one, get one tag. It was just like a wall of yellow tags. The caption was something like, I think we've found the line to like where this is a little bit too much. Well, the reality is that they wouldn't be doing that if it didn't work.

Bed, Bath, and Beyond, for example. Like, if you ever go to a Bed, Bath, and Beyond you'll see people with these coupons that are like 30% off or something like that, that they get in the mail. They have the same strategy as Kohl's. There's two situations that I can come up with off the top of my head. There are people out there that only buy things that are on sale. That's for sure, and then there's the, you know, simple fact that they have [00:13:00] tested the heck out of these prices, and they're just adding on this discount as a way to get people in the door.

Greg Bray: So, I think it's interesting that you highlight this whole anchoring and discount view because I know that I've seen, Yeah. We like to save money. I like to feel like I'm saving money or getting a deal or something like that. I've never thought of that as neuromarketing though. So, are there other examples beyond that one that maybe we're just totally familiar with, but we don't really connect it with neuromarketing?

Dan Russell: Yeah. Sure. I mean, outside of the most popular ones. Which if anybody here is interested in the more tried and true best practices read Robert Cialdini's, Influence, and he has a new book out in the last couple of years. There are not only things that we can be more aware of, but things that we're unconscious of. There's a whole specialty called olfactory marketing, which is the use of sense.

A good example here would be when you're selling a house. If you've ever heard the trick of having fresh baked cookies in the house if you're a [00:14:00] realtor. The idea there is that we attribute certain emotions to sense, right? So, when you walk into a mall and you pass an Auntie Anne's Pretzels or an Abercrombie and Fitch or a Subway, those smells are actually highly engineered to be associated with those brands. The smell of a new car, for example, comes out of an aerosol can. It's not anything in the chemicals of the seat.

In a more subtle sense, when they placed the smell of lemon in the air of a supermarket, this is a study that you can find, sales went up when they removed all the other variables. Same thing with music, when they played German music in the wine section of a supermarket, more German wines were sold. When they played French music in the same section on a different day, more French wine was sold.

So, there are these things that are happening in the backs of our minds that we're not aware of, not conscious of at all, and they're happening all the time. So, neuromarketing, in many ways, can be universally applied to [00:15:00] every instance of the marketing ecosystem. It's just that not every single instance has had research conducted on it.

Greg Bray: This is Greg from Blue Tangerine, and I just wanted to tell you how excited we are about our upcoming event, The Home Builder Digital Marketing Summit that’s coming up September 21st and 22nd in Phoenix, Arizona. Now, this is an event that you do not want to miss.

We're going to be talking about websites, SEO analytics, reports, how to use social media influencers more, how to improve your online reviews, how to really do everything you need to do to start selling homes online. Again, The Home Builder Digital Marketing Summit on September 21st and 22nd in Phoenix, Arizona. Go to buildermarketingsummit.com. Click register. Please be sure to join us at The Home Builder Digital Marketing Summit.


Greg Bray: Now you mentioned the word early on in your description of ethical application. It feels [00:16:00] like there's a little bit of potential for manipulation here. If we start getting in people's heads, so to speak. So, talk a little bit about ethical versus unethical applications of some of this.

Dan Russell: Sure. Well, I'll start out by saying that there's actually a code of ethics. Most people don't know this, but there's an organization called the Neuromarketing Science and Business Administration, and they have a code of ethics, a neuromarketing code of ethics that's published on their website.

So, when I started doing research, I read through this code of ethics and I made sure that if we ever published a neurotactic on our website and started telling people about it, it had to match up with this. And there were definitely neuro tactics that I've found that I just never let people see the light of day on it because it was just, it was evil and it took advantage of people, and it manipulated people too easily. And that's why people get freaked out because they want to be in control of their decisions.

You know, if you spend as much time as I do in this world like you start to realize, all the stimuli in our environment are manipulating our decisions, right? There is not one decision that we can make that's not [00:17:00] manipulated in some way by our memories, by the things that are around us, by things that people are telling us. Just by you standing next to a person, you can either have a higher or lower reputation based on the reputation of that person. So, these are all things that have very subtle effects on our decisions, but when it comes to marketing the attention on those effects, is one way to hold people accountable to that responsibility.

Another one is, for me, there was always a measure of like almost conservativism when it came to what we published and I always ask two questions, if this was used by somebody with the best intentions, would it be able to work. If this was used by somebody with the worst of intentions, would it be either overtly obvious that they are a slime ball and shouldn't be in business, or wouldn't work in the way that they expected it to work? It's a fine line for sure. Most of the time, 99 out of a hundred, I would say, people, apply these things responsibly.

Kevin Weitzel: So, [00:18:00] Penn Jillette, I love that he does this thing where he, part of his introduction as far as what he and, Teller do, is that he says, you know, there's cold readers out there. You know, the people that talk to dead people and discuss with the spirits. You know, and he says, they're just twisting and understanding how to manipulate your responses to give you the answers that you want to hear. He goes, it's sick and it's twisted. He goes, I'm going to do the same thing, but I'm telling you upfront, I'm a magician and I'm going to lie to you. So, there is a difference and he says he takes your ethical path and he does.

Dan Russell: Absolutely. It's a good point.

Greg Bray: Yeah. We're not advocating that marketers should be lying to people, right?

Kevin Weitzel: Nope.

Dan Russell: Marketers are, I think, the third least trusted profession in the world. There was a Gallup survey a few years ago that I think the bottom one was car salespeople, second to last was members of Congress, third was marketers. I think telemarketers were like the subcategory. That was the lowest.

Kevin Weitzel: That's gotta be the one. Telemarketers. You talking about ethics, those are slimy, slimy people.

Greg Bray: And you say that Dan but I did hear [00:19:00] Molly Carmichael, who's with Zonda, who's a thought leader in our industry, mention recently that new home salespeople and car salespeople were moving up past new home salespeople in some of the trust surveys. It was all about the transparency that's now online about automobiles that still a lot of builders are struggling to put some of the pricing transparencies and things out there and forcing folks into the sales office to get that.

Dan Russell: There are a lot more factors that go into buying a home and it's an appreciating asset rather than a depreciating asset. So, you have people paying attention to different elements of that hard asset that they're buying.

Greg Bray: So Dan, you already mentioned the baking the cookies, which I think has been around for a long time. That, or bread, right, but are there some of these other tactics that kind of jumped out at you, you know what? I think home building marketers specifically ought to pay attention to these couple. Anything that comes to mind there for homes versus other types of products?

Dan Russell: Sure. I think the first one, I'll say an [00:20:00] obvious fact and then dive into it. The most important element of your relationship as a home builder and home seller is your relationship with the buyer, and that relationship has to be based on trust. So, an element of trust that can be built up is to establish your past credibility. We've already talked about authority and social proof. Having proof that you have happy home buyers that have already transacted with you, either on your website, in your white papers, or whatever marketing assets that you have to prove that you know what you're doing and that after the purchase people have been overwhelmingly happy. That's one element.

Another element is risk reversal, which addresses a huge concern on the part of a home buyer, which is, is my roof gonna need replacement, you know, before 10 years from now? Is the basement going to leak? Is the the plumbing good? Is the electrical good. You know, in the case of new houses, a lot of those fears are alaid, but this is why we offer warranties on new homes and [00:21:00] stuff like that.

Well, another element that I would add-in is decommoditizing the house. I'm not sure how many of your listeners here are builders of big developments.

Kevin Weitzel: Dan, everybody listens to our podcast, every builder, and I'm not BS you whatsoever. Every builder on the planet.

Dan Russell: Well, so, for every builder listening who builds based on, you know you have a small number of blueprints that you use across a large swath of land and you just, you know, I hesitate to say copy and paste, you know, you use that same overall design. You just pepper them across. You're in many ways, commoditizing that home. If you have a whole neighborhood or a whole block or even, a couple of homes that are very similar to one another, and even if you compare it to other homes that are on the market, these customers, your home buyers are going to look for differentiators.

Now everybody's probably offering on new homes, a warranty. So, what else can you do? Well, there are a lot of things that you can do creatively to add to the value of that home [00:22:00] that would decommoditize it from everything else that's on the market. That can come in so many different flavors, the value adds that you can add on to the purchase of a home beyond the risk reversal warranty, and beyond the trust-based relationship that you have with the home buyer that would sweeten the deal and that would further build trust and show that home buyer that you have their best interests at heart and you want to make sure that they're getting the best deal possible.

Now, keep in mind, none of this has to do with price. There's a whole other conversation we can have around pricing. Obviously, there's the local market that you have to pay attention to, but all of this can happen independent of the price that you are charging. You might find that if you start implementing these things, you build up the trust, you offer a strong warranty, you have these value adds as part of your home to sweeten the deal, that you're ultimately able to charge a premium for your homes. There are home builders out there that do this.

One more final thing that I'll [00:23:00] add on is there's a lot of research around people's willingness to buy when the product that they're buying is in some way or another personalized and reflects their values or their preferences. More so than whether or not there's a pool in the backyard. It would be more like the fixtures or the appliances. If you find that a home buyer is a professional chef, you can say, you know what? We just put in a brand new stove in here, but we're going to swap it out for gas at no extra charge or something like that. Where you're able to customize it just a little bit so that they think, okay, this is mine. I'm willing to pay a premium for this because this is now my house, not just a house.

Kevin Weitzel: I can agree with 100% of what you said, and obviously you're the expert. When you're talking about the commoditization and the anti-commoditization, you know, it's no secret that Lennar and DR Horton, Lennar especially, I mean, they're almost most proud about it, but they've got a plan in their library that is unchanged for 25 years, 25 plus years. When you're talking about a 25 [00:24:00] wide 50 foot deep 1300 square foot starter home, lineup that same home by 24 builders, it's the same house. Very, very subtle differences, and that is truly commoditized. And then it comes down to the nationals can buy bigger hunks of land or better, you know, more advantageous pieces of land.

So, it really does come down to differentiating that we do have better finishes, or we do have these other floor plans or features you can choose from, but let me ask you this, what about people's preconceived notions or prejudices coming in? Because I have TTS syndrome. I will not buy from a guy that wears too tight a suit. You know, when they're wearing that overly fitted Eurotrash suit with a flood pants. Listening audience, buy pants that fit and the proper length. You don't have to show four inches of socks. It's the wrong size of pants. Anyway, my rants over, but what do we do about the people that have those preconceived notions?

Dan Russell: That's where the trust comes in. I mean, I think it has less to do with the suit and more to do with all of your previous experiences than people with tight suits.

Kevin Weitzel: I don't trust those guys with tight suits I won't buy from.

Dan Russell: I bet there's either somebody who told you at some point or [00:25:00] a personal experience that you had, where that belief was placed in your head, right? There's the reputation and there's also personal experience. So, you have to start adding in more elements of that trust to offset that prejudice and those walls that people have built up.

There's something called the context effect which states that if you are interacting with somebody, I'm going to paraphrase it here just to apply it. If you meet somebody in the same place, in the same, environment, under the same conditions, more than once, then they will be more comfortable and basically pick up where they left off more easily than if you meet them in a new place.

So, if you're probably meeting them in the house. You would meet them in the foyer. You would probably be wearing the same type of clothes rather than a completely different type of wardrobe. You could be wearing a suit, but the fact that you are picking up where you left off is a really important element of continuing that relationship.

The key here is like if we have TTS people in [00:26:00] the listening audience, which we might. There's somebody listening, saying, that's me. Okay. Alright, I get it. Alright, Kevin. Then, you could change your wardrobe. Sure, but I think the deeper belief here is that if you're meeting somebody to buy a home, then your guard is already up, and you're trying to figure out ways to not trust this person as much as you are figuring out ways to trust them. So, as the person in the suit, or as the seller, you got to have a couple of different things that you do in order to build that trust.

There was a story that I read in Cialdini's book where a salesperson, I forget what he was selling, but it was a door-to-door sales guy. He was the top performer at his company many years in a row. He was the killer in terms of, you know, sales numbers. Robert Cialdini, while he was writing this book, followed this guy around to figure out what he does, and he noticed that every time he walked into somebody's home, he would sit down at the kitchen table and he would say, oh, you know what? I forgot some of the important papers in my [00:27:00] car. I'm going to go out. Is it okay if I let myself in and meet you guys back here, and of course the people would say, sure, that's not a problem?

That action, however, of allowing somebody to enter your home without, you know, going to the door automatically builds trust. That was his tactic, and from that point forward, he had a deeper, more emotional connection with those people than any other door-to-door salesperson that had walked through that door prior. So, there are all these things that you can do to figure out how you can offset that prejudice.

Kevin Weitzel: He learned that tactic from vampires. Vampires, they to be invited into a home before they can go in.

Dan Russell: Oh, I didn't know that.

Greg Bray: Dan, you're learning more about Kevin and you probably ever wanted to know.

Kevin Weitzel: Alright. You know what? I'm actually going to apologize to our audience because I'm being extra weird today.

Greg Bray: But I do think e need to look into a copywriting, your new syndrome that you've created before, somebody gets it.

Kevin Weitzel: Greg, I'm telling you right now, I'm not even gonna mention their name, but there's a particular home builder that I think almost exclusively hires TTS sales [00:28:00] men. Not their women, their women dress professional, but their men all wear too tight of suits with the flood pants, and I question every day, how are they even selling homes cause who trust these people? I don't get it.

Dan Russell: Well, they've got a formula. They know that the suit works for a certain type of person. In the same way that, you know, building the same sort of starter home, you know, works for the same sort of person. Look at Ikea, they sell the same couch a hundred thousand times, and there's nothing personalized about it. Actually, there's a whole neuromarketing study on Ikea that I can share, but I don't want to bore you guys.

The point is, you can have a formula that breaks some of these rules, and that's okay. That's just what makes business business. It's just important to know that there are alternatives out there, and if you break too many rules, then you're going to have a much harder time selling.

Kevin Weitzel: Well, actually, now that you mentioned the whole Ikea thing, could our modular builders learn something from the Ikea method?

Dan Russell: I'll share, in a nutshell, the Ikea story. There's a whole marketing research, [00:29:00] psychology research study done on Ikea furniture and they found that when people built their own furniture and assembled their own furniture, they valued it more highly than what somebody would value, whatever they built fully assembled.

If Kevin, you bought a couch fully assembled, it was delivered to your living room, and I bought the same couch, identical couch at Ikea, and I brought it home and I built it myself, I wouldn't be willing to part with it at the price that you would be willing to part with it. I would want to charge a premium because I valued it more highly.

Kevin Weitzel: The reason my office still has its office bookshelves from Ikea because I built those puppies and they're not going anywhere.

Dan Russell: Yes. There's a part of you in that piece of furniture, and so if you're talking about modular homes, the question that I would ask is, what about the manufacturing or installation process could be in some ways personalized? Even down to like, you know, the paint color on the exterior of the building, or the fixtures [00:30:00] that are being used. If you can have some element of customization that is incorporated into that process, which may be that is already the case, how can you go deeper with it? And if it's not the case, what can you customize? Even after the fact. Once it's built and delivered, like after the fact, what can you do to customize the home in the same way we were talking about the gas range with the chef?

Greg Bray: Well, Dan, this is cool stuff and I appreciate so much how you've shared with us today. For those who are interested in learning more about neuromarketing, what are some places that you recommend they go to learn a little bit more about this topic?

So, I have a full write-up of all these neurotactics in my book. So, snakeoilbook.com is probably the best place to go. Teamvivid.com, we have a partial library of them published. So, you can always check that out as well.

Kevin Weitzel: And how about some coaching? You do any coaching like one-on-one with marketers that so shall seek you out?

Dan Russell: I do. It's all on a individual basis. My schedule is pretty full these days, but I do have a handful of consulting [00:31:00] arrangements, probably about a half dozen at a time. Keep it manageable.

Kevin Weitzel: And full transparency, that was not a plug. That was just a pure question.

Dan Russell: I appreciate it.

Kevin Weitzel: Yep.

Greg Bray: Well, Dan, do you have any last words of advice for our audience today before we kind of wrap up?

Dan Russell: Sure. I would say in the world of what I call high ticket purchases, homes are probably the highest ticket unless you're buying a yacht or something crazy. A lot of times, there can be a little bit of confusion between where you should put your focus, digital marketing, out-of-home marketing, like billboards, one-on-one sales, all that stuff. I would stress to take as scientific of a perspective as you can and to not get pigeonholed by the tactics that worked 15, 20 and 25 years ago, or even five years ago. Start to run some tests and really cast a wide net, and figure out what other marketing channels could work, what other sales could work for you because you may find that, which [00:32:00] I have, especially with high ticket purchases, that there are buyers in places that you probably never thought to look. So, always keep an open mind as far as where you can find those people.

Greg Bray: Awesome. Great advice and I guess just one more time for people to connect it was snakeoilbook.com. Did I get that right? And teamvivid.com.

Dan Russell: Yep.

Greg Bray: All right. Well, Dan again, thank you so much for sharing with us today, and thank you everybody for listening to The Home Builder Digital Marketing Podcast. I'm Greg Bray with Blue Tangerine,

Kevin Weitzel: And I'm Kevin Weitzel with OutHouse. Thank you.

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