There are so many people with professions in marketing, but nobody’s stopping to examine the psychology behind it. Why do people perform tasks the way they do? Why are they assigned to do certain projects and not others? Neuromarketers like Chris Dayley can answer all these questions and more, including how we can get people to do things without manipulating them outright. Chris talks about disruptive advertising and how neuromarketing and psychology-based analytics can help your business in the long run. Most people don’t even think about the psychology of the user when they’re building websites. Because of this, Chris started his conversion optimization agency Dayley Conversion in 2014, which he later merged with Disruptive Advertising where he currently works as VP of Site Testing and Optimization.
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Disruptive Advertising Through Neuromarketing Analytics With Chris Dayley
I have with me Chris Dayley. Chris is the digital marketing entrepreneur, speaker and neuromarketer who gets excited about helping businesses learn what their users want on their website using psychology-based testing and analytics. He started his conversion optimization agency, Dayley Conversion, in 2014 which he later merged with Disruptive Advertising where he works as VP of Site Testing and Optimization. Welcome, Chris.
Thank you so much for having me on the show, Terri.
There’s so many parts of you that just intrigued me. I’m like, “I have to find this out.” I know the audience will be interested too. First of all, how did you get into neuromarketing?
It was by accident. I stumbled into digital marketing in general. I was looking for a job while I was in college and got a sales job at an agency that was doing search engine optimization. I was fascinated by the digital marketing world in general so I applied for a job internally. I ended up getting a job doing search engine optimization. I spent a few years basically driving traffic to websites. That’s mostly what SEO is. I was working in- house for a company and we were just crushing it on the traffic. We were getting lots of people to our website. As we started digging into some of the analytics, we realized most of the people we’re getting to the site were not converting. They weren’t doing what we were hoping they would do on the site. As I started asking around the company I was at to figure out why was our traffic not converting, why were they not clicking on the things we wanted them to, nobody could help me answer those questions.
Psychology is all about understanding why people think the way that they do and what causes people to make the decisions that they do; those types of questions. It combines psychology with marketing. Marketing is about getting people to do stuff, getting people to buy stuff, getting people to fill out a form or sign up for your email newsletter, whatever it is. What I ended up stumbling upon was I needed to know why people weren’t converting. Nobody knew how to answer those questions for me. I discovered AB testing, which is what I do now. AB testing is forming some hypotheses about why you think people are behaving the way they are, and then running a test. You give half of the people one experience, half of the people the other experience, and you see what happens. It’s an interesting career path for me that I accidentally stumbled upon and I’ve been doing now for the last six years. I just love it. Every day is a new adventure and a new surprise for me. It’s so much fun.
I was so intrigued with the term neuromarketer because there are so many people marketing, and people aren’t stopping and looking at the psychology behind it. I love understanding why is it that people perform the way they perform, why are they called to action to do certain things and not to do others, and how do we get them to do things without manipulating and without being ugly and in their face?. I love this. It resonates with that concept that we have at heartrepreneur and doing business in a heartfelt way by understanding what people want and need and then providing that. This is just so cool.
Chris, I’m such a fan of split testing and I have a lot of clients that show up and a lot of listeners that haven’t done any split testing. They put up a website or they put up whatever it is they put up, and they just assume that thing is going to work and that’s going to be it. They don’t necessarily do the A and B testing. I’m curious, what do you see as maybe some of the typical problems that people have with their websites or some of the typical issues as they’re building a site?
[Tweet “Most people don’t even think about the psychology of the user when they’re building websites.”]
You hit the nail on the head. Most people don’t even think about the psychology of the user when they’re building websites. I’ll tell you the two things that most people do. Number one, when they’re building a new website, they will hire a design agency and just do whatever the design agency says is going to look good. They’ll say, “I have the UX expert that understands user experience and they’re going to design everything for me.”That’s great but no expert knows what’s going to resonate with your audience. I’ve been in this industry for more than six years and every single day by tests that we run for our clients, I’m surprised by what works. Sometimes best practices don’t work because sometimes the thing that worked for your competitor doesn’t work for you.
The second thing that a lot of companies do is they’ll just go and find a competitor and copy them and they say, “They’re crushing it online. If we do what they’re doing, then we’ll crush it as well.”The thing is you don’t know if they’re crushing it because they have a really loyal audience, or if it’s because their website design works just for the people that they are marketing to, or maybe it’s the combination of their ad creative and their website that works really well. In terms of the biggest and most common mistakes I see, the first one is just not thinking about what the user actually wants. Digging in a little bit deeper than that is something that people can practically consider.
One of the most common areas of improvement I see across every website I’ve ever worked with is I call them distractions. We love to put things on websites that we think people want. No person throws a video on a website thinking, “They don’t really need this. They don’t want this. I’m just going to put it on there to take up some space.”Everything on a person’s website, usually there’s some reason why they think it should be on there. Usually, I use the statistic. Nine out of ten websites that we have worked with has at least one thing on the website that is hurting conversion rates. Meaning, maybe that video you have on there, even though people are watching it, maybe it’s not helping them convert because of whatever reason. It’s too much of a time investment or the content of the video is not compelling enough to go and buy your product or sign up. I say nine out of ten sites. I have not worked with a company yet where we have not found at least one thing that’s hurting conversion rates.
I recommend a test. If people are wanting to try split testing out, this is a great way to get into split testing. I call it an existence test. The idea behind an existence test is to identify things on your site that are either hurting or helping conversion rates. What you do is you get an AB testing tool that you can use a free tool like Google Optimize that you can use to set up a test. These tests are very easy to set up. All you do is set up on Google Optimize. You load up, let’s say your homepage, then you tell it you want to create a new version of your homepage. We’ll call it version A. In version A, and you literally do this inside of Google Optimize, you click on the video you want to remove and you click remove. It’s gone and now you have a new version of your homepage without your video. Maybe you create a version B, where you remove all of your content that talks about your company story.
Now you have a version A without your video you have version B without your content, you have the original version of your site, and then you can run your tests. What happens is if conversion rates go up, if you’re selling products and revenue goes up, when you removed your video, “That video was hurting our conversion rates. I’m glad we got rid of that.”If conversion rates go down, that’s also a good thing because you now know for sure that that video is actually helping your users. This is just a critical process that every business should be trying. It’s not super complex to identify what users actually want on your site and what they don’t want. Most people just don’t do it. I highly recommend people do these existence tests.
You just gave us some great information. I have found it interesting over the years and having so many websites and starting on the web. I don’t even know how many years ago but definitely the first sites I had, they looked really pretty a designer. It didn’t necessarily resonate with the audience. I was mentoring and consulting with dentists for a while. Every dentist that would start with me would say, “Here’s my website.” I would say, “It looks just like this dentist’s and that dentist’s.” “Yeah, the company that does it says this is the formula and I bought this template.”It was $15,000 and I was amazed. It was duplication of site after site and it wasn’t about what the user wanted. I love what you have to say. I find it really fascinating as you were talking about distraction.
One of my websites awhile ago had what I thought was just the coolest introductory video. I thought, “This is so neat.” We did a split test removing that video. We could not believe how many quality leads that were interested in doing something with us. The video was a distraction. I love what you shared. I would just encourage listeners to take advantage. Chris just gave you a free tool, which is Google Optimize. You can try out some new versions and see what’s working best and what’s not quite right yet. That is just valuable information. That’s awesome. Thank you so much. Another question that I have for you is I’ve owned many businesses over the years. I’ve sold a lot of businesses and I’ve also merged some businesses. I’m always curious when I meet another business owner who is also merged, how did that come to be, if I can be so nosy as to ask?
It’s another accidental story. I met the owner of Disruptive Advertising three months after I had started my company. I came in actually to pitch to him. I said, “Your clients need this.” Disruptive Advertising was doing PPC management, so managing Google AdWords, Facebook ads, those types of things. I said, “You’re driving traffic to websites, you need to be converting the traffic on my website. This is an obvious, this is a no brainer up sell for your clients. Let me do this.” The owner of Disruptive countered and said, “Why don’t you just come over here to Disruptive?” I said, “No, I’ve just started my business.” When you first start a business, you’ve just got the entrepreneurial bug. It’s like, “I have no idea where this can go. The sky is the limit at this point.”Frankly at that point, I didn’t know what I even wanted to do with the company.
I just saw this huge opportunity and took advantage of it. Disruptive went off and tried to start an AB testing division on their own, which didn’t work out that great. I went on and continued to build my business. After I got about a year and a half into my business, I started realizing I want to build a company. This is more than just a lifestyle business, which I wasn’t sure at the beginning if I wanted this to just be a lifestyle business or if I wanted to actually build a company. As I started to go through some of those initial steps of hiring people and training people and trying to scale, I realized that there was a lot of a lot of challenges that were going to take awhile for me to overcome, learning how to train up a sales team that could sell this better than I could, or at least as well as I could.
There’s a lot of potential hurdles in the future. As I started to encounter some of those things, I actually re-engaged in a conversation with the owner of Disruptive. Him and I had ran into each other at networking events here in Utah where I live. He said, “Let’s round back up. I’d love to hear how you’re doing.” We reengaged in our conversation and he asked, “What are you trying to do?” I shared with him I’m trying to build a company. He shared with me that they had tried to start this AB testing division and it hadn’t worked out very well. Our interests were just aligned at that point. He needed help with what I had been successful with. I needed help with what he had been successful with. Disruptive was much larger than my company was at that point. We started talking and it was a very difficult decision-making process for my wife and I.
There are obviously a lot of tradeoffs when you merge because you’re no longer the sole visionary, “I can do whatever I want just because I say so.” There’s also a lot of benefits. There’s a ton of benefits that come from having another person that you can collaborate with, a partner that is working just as hard in the business as you are, a partner that has different strengths than you do that can help you to grow personally. I saw so many positives from this merger that over a couple of week period that we took to iron out all the legal stuff and all that, it just became a really good decision. I’ve been over here at Disruptive for about two years and it’s been a fantastic two years. I do not regret my decision at all.
[Tweet “There are obviously a lot of tradeoffs when you merge because you’re no longer the sole visionary.”]
I want to thank you for sharing that. I felt like it was important because I’m certain that there are lots of listeners who are entrepreneurs who are just like me when I started my businesses like, “I’m going to go this alone. I got this.” Sometimes it just makes sense, so I appreciate you sharing that. Chris, how can people connect with you?
If people are interested in starting AB testing and maybe want a little bit more information about some of the schools I was mentioning, I have a starter guide that I love people to check out and download. It’s at DisruptiveAdvertising.com/Guide. There is a checkbox in there. If people would like to talk to me and have me take a look at their website, they can check that box. Otherwise, if you just want to download the guide, you don’t need to worry about checking the box and we won’t harass you. I’d love for people to check out our guide. It’s incredibly valuable. I actually use all of this content in the guide to train my new employees. We’ve put a lot of time into that thing.
Thank you for being so generous in sharing that. It’s been fantastic having you here. I know you’re fighting off a cold and I appreciate you being with us here at Heartrepreneur Radio.
Thank you so much for having me. It was a pleasure.
For the listeners, make sure you do subscribe to the podcast. You might have missed this episode with Chris Dayley and this information for your websites was valuable. I’m going to get the guide as well. It’s going to be something that can help. You should also take Chris up on an offer maybe to chat with him about your website as well. Finally, if you dig the show, we love your reviews, we love your five stars and, we love you being a heartrepreneur and sharing the show and passing it forward. Thank you again for tuning in here at Heartrepreneur Radio.
About Chris Dayley
Chris envisions a world where every business tests their ideas, where touching a computer screen doesn’t leave a fingerprint, and where lightsabers are real. When he’s not fixing his hair you will most likely find him pushing the boundaries of A/B testing and disrupting the website design space.