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EPISODE 288 63 mins

A Deep Understanding of the Primal and Conscious Brain

About the guests

Tim Ash

Kunle Campbell

Tim Ash is an acknowledged authority on evolutionary psychology and digital marketing. He is a sought-after international keynote speaker, and the bestselling author of Unleash Your Primal Brain and Landing Page Optimization. Tim has been mentioned by Forbes as a Top-10 Online Marketing Expert, and by Entrepreneur Magazine as an Online Marketing Influencer To Watch.

On today’s episode, Kunle is joined by Tim Ash, CEO of SiteTuners. Tim is an authority on Evolutionary Psychology and Digital Marketing. He is a highly sought after speaker, consultant and author of the best-selling book “Unleash Your Primal Brain”.


There are tons of marketing tools and resources available today. Despite having access to such techniques, blueprints and methodologies, not all marketing is successful. The one that almost all successful marketers would agree on is that marketing starts with your customer. The better you know your customer, the better your chances of bagging more conversions.


That being said it is easy to forget that all customers are, well, human. There are certain behaviours and patterns hardwired in all of us. This is what drives our perceptions, decisions and actions. Knowing a bit more about why we make the decisions we make can help marketers really “get in our heads” and drive success.


In this episode, Kunle and Tim talk about how evolutionary psychology explains a lot about our purchase decisions. You will get to hear about decision making, creating memories, brand recall, and building communities. The concepts mentioned in this episode pervade all facets of life and business.


Here is a summary of some of the most important points made,

    • The rational brain does not drive (purchase) decisions
    • The brain is an ignoring machine, it takes something vivid to grab attention
    • Building mass-market brands is very difficult
    • Businesses should focus on micro-segments and getting to know them intimately
    • Website should be deliberate and have minimum distractions
    • Changing the behaviour of 25% of a group is a tipping point that changes the entire group’s behaviour
    • Focusing your messaging on the “downside” can be more effective
    • Social proof is a key driver of adopting new behaviours

Covered Topics:

On today’s interview Kunle and Tim discuss,

  • Inspiration for the book
  • The Big Lie
  • Primal Brain vs Conscious Brain
  • Creating Lasting Memories
  • Brand Recall
  • Grabbing Attention
  • Building Communities
  • The Tipping Point for changing behaviours


  • 12:50 – Meet Tim
    • Started SiteTuners – digital marketing agency
    • Written 2 books on landing page optimization
    • Author of Unleash Your Primal brain
  • 15:15 – Inspiration for the book:
    • Deliberately dramatic and full of anecdotes
    • No footnotes and citations
    • Evolutionary psychology is the thread that explains human behaviour
    • Describes basic human nature
  • 17:45 – The Big Lie:
    • Decisions in life are not really governed by the rational part of the brain
    • Emotions drive decisions and actions
  • 19:30 – Observing and measuring emotions
  • 20:30 – The different levels of the Brain
  • 24:30 – The Primal Brain vs Conscious Brain
    • Primal brain is always on
    • Conscious brain is dependent on multiple factors
  • 26:10 – Memory:
    • The brain is an ignoring machine
    • “There is no such thing as an accurate memory”
    • Only something salient and vivid forms long term memory
  • 30:30 – Brand Recall
    • Starts with our social nature and tribal allegiances
    • You have to stand for something
    • For a brand to be strong, it has to specialise and resonate with a small group of people
    • Brand message doesn’t land if you are trying to talk to everyone
  • 34:25 – Triggers to grabbing attention:
    • In the public sphere, the more stronger/obnoxious the message is, the better
    • On a website, you have to be deliberate and not cluttered with distractions
    • “When you get them to your website, stop distracting them”
  • 36:30 – Why humans are hypersocial
    • We are cooperative and conformist
    • Animals adapt to their surroundings, but human thrive on shared knowledge
  • 39:15 – The Relational Sphere and Transactional Sphere
  • 41:30 – What drives us to evangelise our culture:
    • Human culture is driven by “Are you with us or against us”
    • Strong need to spread our beliefs and values
  • 43:25 – Possession and minimalism:
    • Anything that gives us a sense of ownership and control makes us want to buy more
  • 50:50 – Leading and Following
  • 52:25 – Tips for building communities:
    • Mass-market brands are very hard to build
    • Go for intimate knowledge of micro-segments
    • Speak the language of your market
    • If 25% of your circle adopts something, the whole group might get influenced
  • 56:30 – Hitting the 25% tipping point
    • Badges or signs for people to show they believe in something
    • Social proof
  • 59:25 – Final words
    • Biggest challenge for marketers is to change “Status Quo” in the brain
    • Focusing on downside is a very effective motivator


  • Emotions drive decisions and actions
  • Businesses should focus on micro-segments and getting to know them intimately
  • Website should be deliberate and have minimum distractions
  • Changing the behaviour of 25% of a group is a tipping point that changes the entire group’s behaviour
  • Focusing your messaging on the “downside” can be more effective

Links & Resources

Tweetable Quotes:

“The Brain is an ignoring machine.”

Facebook Group • Continue the Conversation

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About the host:

Kunle Campbell

An ecommerce advisor to ambitious, agile online retailers and funded ecommerce startups seeking exponentially sales growth through scalable customer acquisition, retention, conversion optimisation, product/market fit optimisation and customer referrals.

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