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Selective Perception

What is it?

Not to be confused with cognitive dissonance, selective perception is basically a fancy way of saying that we tune out what our brain deems irrelevant to our needs.


  • An elderly man will flip right past a magazine ad for makeup, while his granddaughter may tear out the same ad and hang it on the wall of her bedroom.
  • An athlete may take note of an ad for a new “grab-n-go” high protein snack while his friend glances right past it.

In marketing we can leverage selective perception by featuring user generated content & key phrases. Creating ads that the target market relates to, such as this one:

This ad brilliantly laid out a situation that many in their target market can relate to: hearing impaired adults & youth with influence over the health decisions of their hearing impaired parents.

For a written example: look at the testimonials used on this page. Not only do they show credibility and build trust, they either resonate with the reader who excitedly books a call, or they don’t and the reader moves on to something else.

Take action

  1. Collect key phrases from your happiest customers using a survey.
  2. Then look for phrases that you can use in your next ad campaign that will rhyme.
  3. Use Facebook and Google Ads to test which of your rhymes works best with attracting happy customers.

Read more on selective perception:

  1. https://copyblogger.com/selective-perception/
  2. https://smallbusiness.chron.com/selective-perception-marketing-31774.html

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