The order effect is a cognitive bias that states that the order in which information is presented can significantly impact an individual’s perception and decision-making. By understanding how the order effect works, marketers and designers can create more effective campaigns that capture and hold consumer attention.
Here are some ways to leverage order effect in your marketing and design:
1. Make a Strong First Impression
One way to leverage the Order Effect is to prioritize the most important or compelling information at the beginning of a marketing message, such as in an advertisement. This is because the first few seconds of a marketing message are crucial for capturing the attention of the audience and making a strong first impression.
Example: Let’s say a software company is launching a new product that claims to have a revolutionary feature that sets it apart from its competitors. In this case, it would be most effective to lead with that feature and highlight it at the beginning of any marketing materials. For instance, the company could create a video advertisement that starts with a demonstration of the new feature and follows up with information on the other benefits of the product.
2. Ending with Impact
By presenting the most important information at the end, marketers can create a lasting impression and increase the likelihood that consumers will take the desired action. For example, a company advertising a new weight loss product may begin their commercial by discussing the benefits of the product, but then end the advertisement with a powerful call-to-action to encourage viewers to purchase the product.
This approach can also be used in content marketing, such as with blog posts or email campaigns, where the final sentence or paragraph can leave a lasting impression on the reader. In email marketing, this technique can be used to encourage subscribers to take action by placing the call-to-action button or link at the bottom of the email.
Example: A company promoting a new line of beauty products may create an advertisement that showcases the products’ benefits and ends with a CTA to visit their website and make a purchase. By presenting the CTA at the end of the ad, the viewer is more likely to remember it and take action, rather than getting distracted by other information presented earlier in the ad.
3. Double the Effectiveness
When creating a marketing message, leveraging both the Primacy Effect and Recency Effect can be an effective way to increase its impact. By presenting the most important information first and last, creators can ensure that the audience is more likely to remember it and take action.
For instance, in a product advertisement, a marketer could begin by presenting the key benefit of the product in a memorable and attention-grabbing way, and then follow it up with supporting information to reinforce that message. Then, the marketer could end with a strong call-to-action that motivates the audience to take the desired action.
Example: A good example of this approach would be a weight-loss supplement advertisement. The advertisement could begin by presenting the key benefit of the supplement – that it has helped many people lose weight – along with eye-catching “before and after” pictures of successful users. Then, the advertisement could provide more information about how the supplement works and its unique ingredients, to support the key benefit presented earlier. Finally, the advertisement could end with a strong call-to-action, such as a limited-time discount or a free trial offer, to encourage viewers to make a purchase.
4. Use Chronological Order
Using a chronological order in marketing can be an effective way to create a narrative that captures the audience’s attention and guides them through a journey or story. By following a logical sequence of events, creators can make their marketing message more compelling and engaging for the audience.
By using chronological order to tell a story or convey a journey, marketers can create a powerful emotional connection with their audience, making their message more memorable and compelling. This approach can be especially effective for brands that want to showcase their products or services as part of a larger narrative or lifestyle, as it helps to create a more immersive experience for the audience.
Example: A travel company could start the advertisement by presenting a person who is stressed out and in need of a break, and then show their journey as they explore new destinations, experience new cultures, and take part in exciting activities. The advertisement could end with the person feeling relaxed, refreshed, and rejuvenated, thanks to their travel experience.
5. Anchoring the price
Anchoring the price in marketing is a tactic where a higher-priced product or service is presented first, followed by a lower-priced option. This approach can create a psychological effect where the lower-priced option appears to be a better deal in comparison, even if it’s still relatively expensive.
Example: A real estate agent could show a high-end property first, with a premium price tag, before showing a more affordable property with fewer features. This makes the affordable property seem like a great deal in comparison to the high-end one, even if the price is still out of reach for some buyers.
6. Presentation order of information
Controlling the presentation order of information is an important aspect of marketing. By presenting information in a particular order, marketers can guide their audience towards a specific conclusion or perception of a product or service.
By controlling the presentation order of information, marketers can create a more persuasive and engaging message for their audience. By leading with the most important information and highlighting the benefits of a product or service before listing its features, marketers can create a more compelling case for their audience to take action.
Example: A luxury car brand, instead of listing the technical specifications of the car, the advertisement could start by presenting the lifestyle benefits of owning the car, such as the sense of exclusivity and prestige that comes with driving a high-end vehicle. This can create an emotional connection with the audience and make them more likely to consider purchasing the car.
7. Choice architecture
Choice architecture is a concept that involves the design of how options are presented to people to influence their decision-making process. By controlling the order in which options are presented, marketers can influence customers’ decisions.
Example: When a customer is shopping online, the e-commerce website may present products in a specific order based on factors such as popularity, price, or rating. By presenting the most popular or highly rated products first, the website can influence the customer’s decision and increase the chances of them making a purchase.
There are several cognitive biases that are similar to the Order Effect, including:
Primacy Effect: This bias occurs when people remember the first pieces of information presented better than the rest.
Anchoring Bias: This is the tendency to rely too heavily on the first piece of information encountered when making decisions.
Recency Bias: This is similar to the Order Effect, where people remember the most recent information presented better than the rest.
Confirmation Bias: This is the tendency to interpret new information as confirmation of existing beliefs or expectations.
“How to use the Primacy and Recency Effect to Boost Your Marketing” by Kayla Carmicheal, Hubspot, 2021. URL: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/primacy-recency-effect
“5 Cognitive Biases to Use in Your Marketing Strategy” by Yulia Khansvyarova, Neil Patel, 2019. URL: https://neilpatel.com/blog/cognitive-biases-marketing-strategy/
“Anchoring Bias: How to Use It to Improve Your Marketing” by Amanda Zantal-Wiener, Hubspot, 2019. URL: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/anchoring-bias
“How to Use Confirmation Bias in Marketing” by Ryan Scott, Ryan Scott LLC, 2021. URL: https://www.ryanscottllc.com/blog/how-to-use-confirmation-bias-in-marketing
“Design Psychology: The Order Effect” by Susan Weinschenk, Ph.D., The Nielsen Norman Group, 2011. URL: https://www.nngroup.com/articles/design-psychology-order-effect/
“The Power of the Order Effect in Marketing and Advertising” by Ashley Kimler, Heroic Search, 2019. URL: https://heroicsearch.com/the-power-of-the-order-effect-in-marketing-and-advertising/
“How to Use the Primacy Effect to Improve Your Content Marketing” by Emily Gaudette, Contently, 2017. URL: https://contently.com/2017/05/17/use-primacy-effect-content-marketing/
“The Recency Effect in Marketing: How to Leverage It to Boost Conversions” by Shane Barker, Shane Barker Consulting, 2020. URL: https://shanebarker.com/blog/recency-effect-in-marketing/
“Anchoring Bias in Marketing: How to Use It to Influence Customers” by Kevin Payne, Referral Rock, 2018. URL: https://referralrock.com/blog/anchoring-bias-marketing/
“Confirmation Bias in Design: How to Use It for Good” by Laura Busche, InVision, 2018. URL: https://www.invisionapp.com/inside-design/confirmation-bias-in-design/