A Beginner's Guide to Neuromarketing by@adamdave

A Beginner's Guide to Neuromarketing

by Adam DaveJuly 10th, 2023
Read on Terminal Reader
Read this story w/o Javascript
tldt arrow

Too Long; Didn't Read

Neuromarketing is a scientific discipline that focuses on studying how the brain reacts to advertising and other brand-related messages. It involves monitoring brainwave activity, eye tracking, skin responses, and other subconscious actions. It has a major impact on the sentiments of the consumers and their emotional connection to the brand.
featured image - A Beginner's Guide to Neuromarketing
Adam Dave HackerNoon profile picture

The pinnacle of the marketing efforts of a company is understanding the buying behavior of its customers. Today consumers are overwhelmed with an abundance of information. Even the most basic goods sail aimlessly in a sea of possibility.

There are endless options available to consumers today when it comes to potato chips. How did Frito-Lay ensure that consumers would be attracted to their products over competitors? The answer is simple: Neuromarketing. Frito-Lay realized soon enough that while the inside matters, the outside of a product counts too. Frito-Lay conducted research where participants were presented with various packaging designs and their reactions were assessed as positive, negative, or neutral.

They were also interviewed in detail regarding the elements of color, text, and imagery. The findings indicated that customers reacted negatively to packaging with a shiny appearance but did not exhibit a negative response to packaging with a matte finish.

As a result, Frito-Lay decided to discontinue the use of shiny packaging and adopt the new matte look. The company is now utilizing neuromarketing techniques extensively to redesign packaging and improve its presentation.

What is Neuromarketing?

In a nutshell, “Neuromarketing is a scientific discipline that focuses on studying how the brain reacts to advertising and other brand-related messages. It involves monitoring brainwave activity, eye tracking, skin responses, and other subconscious actions.” Neural & psychological signals aid in gaining insights into customers’ motivation, preferences, and decision-making process.

Source: ProofHub

A consumer may purchase a product in consideration of its packing, shelving, personal experiences of product usage and quality, brand reputation, or any combination of these variables. Consumers predominantly make decisions on a subconscious level, and neuromarketing serves as a valuable approach to directly gather information from the source of human decision-making. It stands out as the sole tactic that can effectively tap into these subconscious factors.

Brands that employ neuromarketing techniques have reported an average increase in sales by

16.3%. This is because neuromarketing is uniquely capable of accurately predicting customers' purchase intent, making it a highly valuable form of consumer research.

Neuromarketing uses neuroscience and cognitive science to identify the needs, wants, and desires of consumers. It studies the responses to marketing stimuli and asses non-conscious reactions to campaigns. A direct result of this is that marketers can analyze these signals to predict how a prospective marketing campaign will perform.

Neuromarketing is a legitimate area of scientific research, and companies like Time Warner and NBC have been utilizing it for several years to assess customer engagement. Facebook also made efforts to examine users' brain activity as they scrolled through their news feeds.

This demonstrates the application of neuromarketing in analyzing user engagement on social media platforms. Furthermore, neuromarketing has shown its effectiveness in crafting content, including websites, logos, and social media materials, that trigger emotional responses in the brain. It has a major impact on the sentiments of the consumers and their emotional connection with the brand.

Its purpose is to help brands gain deep learning and understanding of their customers by tapping into the factors that influence their purchasing decisions, thus allowing for effective customer segmentation. By delving into the subconscious mind, these insights facilitate better decision-making for future marketing strategies.

In one such instance, PayPal used neuromarketing to test the effectiveness of different landing pages for their website. They found that people were more likely to click on a landing page that featured the words "speed" and "convenience" than a landing page that featured the words "security" and "safety."

Neuromarketing is witnessing the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning, enabling marketers to analyze extensive data from neuroimaging studies and discover hidden patterns. This information assists in optimizing marketing strategies by identifying brain activity patterns associated with engagement and emotion.

Additionally, the digital revolution has brought about advancements in neuromarketing through virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). Marketers can create immersive experiences using these technologies to influence consumer perceptions and behaviors, such as simulating shopping environments or triggering personalized emotional responses for impacting purchase decisions.

Source: LinkedIn

How is it done?

Neuromarketing employs functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) to monitor brain activity, enabling businesses to enhance their understanding of their customers.

Brain imaging is used to watch which neural circuits light up or go dark during the buying process. Although it may appear simple, the process of measuring how a person's brain reacts to a product involves capturing brain images while the individual is experiencing the product.

Through the utilization of neuromarketing techniques, businesses can gain intriguing and intricate insights into how a customer's subconscious mind influences their purchasing decisions, often without the customers being aware of it.

A comprehensive understanding of neuromarketing techniques provides us with the following pieces of information:

  1. fMRI: It functions by detecting blood flow in the brain associated with increased neural activity and indicates the level of engagement, emotional responses, and recalling power of a brand. This information can be used for setting prices and improving branding. It is the most expensive method.

  2. EEG: It records electrical signals on the scalp from neurons inside the brain. Like fMRI, it is also an indication of the level of engagement and recall power, but it is less expensive than fMRI. Its major usage is advertising and brand improvement.

For example, Hyundai used neuromarketing to test different ad campaigns for their cars. They found that people were more likely to remember the ad and have a positive impression of the car when the ad featured music that triggered emotions in the brain.

  1. Gaze (Eye Tracking): It detects exactly where subjects direct their line of sight. It is a direct indication of what is attractive, or in the worst case, confusing for them. It also signifies the recognition speed of brands. This information is useful in website design, ads, and packaging.

  2. Pupilometry (Eye tracking): It is used to measure if the pupils of the eye are dilated. It is again a measure of the level of engagement and can be used for enhancements in website design and packaging. Fun fact: Pupils are also dilated when a person experiences love or attraction, so if your brand consumer’s pupils are also dilated, you’re on the right path!

  3. Biometrics: It is a direct indication of skin conductance, heart rate, and respiration and signifies the consumer’s engagement and whether their responses are positive or negative. This information comes in handy in improving ad content.

  4. Facial Coding: It identifies facial expressions. It can comprehend general emotional responses: happiness, surprise, fear, and so on, and also used in improving ad content.

The Allure of Neuromarketing

Neuromarketing has many benefits for marketers:

  • Detailed understanding: Neuromarketing offers a more detailed understanding of human behavior compared to traditional market research methods. It delves into consumer behavior, preferences, and tendencies using unquantifiable data to assess customer emotions and reactions, providing granular insights.

  • Reliable feedback: Neuromarketing bypasses the issue of customers providing biased or inaccurate feedback. Since it measures subconscious responses, it generates more reliable and objective data compared to traditional customer surveys or interviews.

  • Uncovering subconscious insights: Neuromarketing has the ability to uncover insights from the subconscious mind and reveal short responses that people may not remember or be consciously aware of. It taps into hidden motivations and desires.

  • Cost-effective: Implementing neuromarketing techniques can be a cost-effective approach to marketing research. It helps optimize research spending by providing valuable insights that can enhance the effectiveness of marketing strategies.

  • Holistic approach: Neuromarketing is often used in conjunction with traditional research methods, creating a holistic approach to marketing research. The integration of both approaches enables businesses to achieve a complete understanding of consumer behavior and make data-driven decisions.

Controversial Nature of Neuromarketing

Critics argue that neuromarketing has the potential to manipulate consumers. By predicting consumer decision-making behavior brands can possibly try to manipulate consumer behavior by exploiting their fears or influencing specific neural responses. It cannot be ignored that techniques like fMRI and EEG are extremely invasive in nature.

Some view it as unethical manipulation since it tailors the real needs and desires of individuals to align with marketing interests. However, marketers argue against the idea of precise manipulation and emphasize that the goal is to understand the factors that contribute to customer relationships with products, brands, and companies.

It is also claimed that neuromarketing often relies on scientific explanations to elucidate concepts that marketers may already understand intuitively. They argue that it merely validates existing knowledge about consumer behavior. Thus, it is not providing any new information that the marketers wouldn't be able to acquire from traditional methods or simply through intuition.

What the future holds for Neuromarketing?

Although Neuromarketing is still at a nascent stage there’s a lot to expect from the future. With advancing technology and increased knowledge about the human brain, neuromarketing is undergoing rapid development, offering promising opportunities for marketers to enhance their strategies. This evolving field has the potential to revolutionize how businesses comprehend and influence consumer behavior.

By harnessing technological advancements, artificial intelligence, immersive experiences, and maintaining ethical considerations, marketers can unlock fresh insights and possibilities to create highly effective and impactful marketing strategies. Brands and companies who choose to invest in this field can generate higher ROI in the future.