As a marketer or business owner, how do you decide your marketing approach? How do you sum up the strategies to implement to understand your target customer’s buyer persona? What are the aspects that drive them to take key decisions when buying a product or when choosing between options?
More or less, you will scale around consumer theory and similar market research to understand how your target customers decide to spend their money and what impacts their preferences and choices. However, consumer theory is based on human behavior and tendencies, along with several assumptions, and therefore may not fit in fully suitable in most cases.
This is where a new science of marketing based on customer’s neuropsychology comes to the fore – Neuromarketing.
What is Neuromarketing?
Neuromarketing is an emerging branch in marketing approach. This commercial marketing research aspect makes use of tools from the fields of psychology and neuroscience. The combined methodology of neuropsychology helps in conducting market research, understanding consumer’s sentimental and rational responses to advertisements and digital marketing campaigns.
This marketing communication tactic applies neuroimaging, brainwave activity and eye tracking in order to ascertain how consumers’ understanding and intelligence impacts their responses to ads, products, brands, etc. This helps in predicting what type and kinds of advertisements and marketing methods will help in improving sales, even before the original product is released.
How Neuromarketing is Used?
- The main purpose of using Neuromarketing is to predict decision making behavior and rational thinking behind that of the consumers.
- While other theories are mostly based on assumptions and patterned behavior of users, Neuromarketing helps to dig into customers’ physiological and neural signals to gain idea about how they process decision making, preferences and what motivates them to do so.
- Neuromarketing helps to gain insights into how a particular marketing campaign, product ad or outreach program will perform.
- Neuromarketing isn’t a completely new domain. However, it has reached the world of marketing in the recent times, and is fast influencing how digital marketing strategies are created and applied.
- In E-Commerce field, Neuromarketing helps to identify failings in rational thinking that users normally commit.
- Although there are high chances that satisfied customers do return in future, sometimes they don’t. This is all related to the emotional appeal and attention. This phenomenon of satisfaction and dissatisfactions lasts only for a short period of time. This is where Neuromarketing can help to improve the loyalty factor by building a brand positioning.
- Neuromarketing focuses on the science of which part of the brain is responsive when presented with a certain type of advertisement, and what action they take next. A responsive advertisement should include emotional appeal, humor, passion and excitement.
- Neuromarketing also helps to manipulate behavior of the consumer, by influencing their wants and needs with respect to the marketing profits.
Is Neuromarketing Suitable for Big Companies Only?
If you look at and search for Neuromarketing implementation and examples, you will find that many big companies have been game for this at present. This includes the giants like Google itself, Coca Cola, Disney, Hyundai and many more.
Up until now, Neuromarketing has been implemented by these companies with investments in science personnel, laboratories, and academia coordination. This approach requires expensive testing, which had been more suitable for big companies.
However, it isn’t that this resonates with them only. With new learning coming out of this neuropsychology approach and more marketing research at a wider scale, all size and type companies can look to apply Neuromarketing best tactics without having to do expensive testing and large investment.
What Neuromarketing is Used For? What is its Application?
There are various ways, through the market research up to campaign creation and implementation, that Neuromarketing can be used. This includes:
- Testing the product design
- Testing user experience
- Assessing how to optimize the call-to-action (action) to convince the users to take next step
- Evaluation of how certain images, videos and other aspects in an advertisement stimulates the neural response of the users
- Comparison of different ads, their effect and performance using A/B testing
- Campaign rebranding based on research outcome
Some Real-Life Examples of How Neuromarketing Impact Marketing Approach and Affect Buyers
A study conducted for assessing Neuromarketing impact on certain subjects, demonstrated following results:
- An image of a Mini Cooper was able to trigger the brain part which responds to faces.
- Iconic product iPod activated the same bran part that is triggered by religious symbols.
- Even when the subject knew that the warning signs on the cigarette labels are effective to tell the negative impact of smoking, it still activated the neural part connected with triggering craving.
What are the Benefits of Neuromarketing?
There are several benefits of using and applying Neuromarketing, and this includes much more effective marketing campaigns, creation of better strategies, less failures of product and campaigns. Some other key benefits include:
- Deeper Insight Into Consumers Thinking
Traditional marketing and consumer behavior research approaches have been more focused on generalized surveys and feedbacks. However, Neuromarketing takes this a notch further by taking a closer look at the consumers’ preferences, behaviors and tendencies. It derives data that is otherwise unquantifiable. And it also helps to assess step-by-step insights how the consumer behaves.
- Insight Into Subconscious Thinking
Neuromarketing helps to assess the responses that people usually take with a subconscious mind and do not remember that afterward, generally. This helps to craft a personalized marketing approach.
- Long-Term Cost-Effectiveness
You may think that Neuromarketing may be an expensive approach, but in the long term it can provide valuable benefits. It reduces the failure aspects, enhances the marketing approach and this you can create a concise but successful strategy.
- Gain Honest Responses
Neuromarketing works to analyze the neural responses, which people cannot fake. Thus you gather more reliable data and get into their feeling zone with objective results at your disposal.
- Well Aligned with Traditional Approaches
It doesn’t mean that when you take to Neuromarketing you implement it standalone. In fact, Neuromarketing, when paired with standard marketing research approaches, can very well serve the purpose of an efficient strategy.
What are the Key Neuromarketing Techniques?
With this approach backed with neuroscience and psychology methods, Neuromarketing employs different tools, techniques and methods that are specific to this field.
There are many Neuromarketing techniques, as detailed below:
- functional Magneting Resonance Imaging (fMRI)
It measures the blood flow in the brain, assessing the subcortical regions, and detects the oxygen flow level to assess increased neural activity.
- Electroencephalography (EEG)
It tracks and records the electrical signals from neurons within the brain on the scalp. It is a quicker process, and cheaper than fMRI; however is a less precise than the fMRI.
- Steady State Topography (SST)
Using steady state topography, which has a high temporal resolution, this approach assesses the brain’s activity related to responses for TV and other video advertisements.
- Eye-Tracking – Gaze
This method assesses where the subject’s eyes are gazing or focusing pertaining to an advertisement, and which fixation point is interested to them.
- Eye-Tracking – Pupilometry
It detects whether the subject’s eyes dilate when presented with an ad.
Also known as ‘Arousal’ by some, it includes assessment of biometric data and physiological representations including skin conductance, respiration rate, heart rate, and more.
- Facial Coding
This method involves studying the facial expressions of the person, and analysis of their emotional response to the object. This is combined with sentiment analysis to gather more data.
- Sensory Marketing
This is more of a tool that influences the customer’s behavior impacting their senses. Like if you present a product with a pleasant smell, then they will find it more attractive.
How Neuromarketing Can Affect the Consumer Behavior in the Future?
While it ignites ethical concerns, Neuromarketing has surely gained pace in the marketing domain, and marketers are quite ecstatic and interested in knowing how this tactic can influence the consumer behavior in the future.
- Customer Segmentation
While till now, market search, and demographics analysis has been the key contributor to segment the potential customers, in near future customer segmentation can happen with how their brain responds, and how different set of people reacts and gets influenced differently.
- Transcranial magnetic Stimulation (TMS)
This tool or machine can be used to suppress or depress the activities in the prefrontal cortex, which may reduce their sense or feelings of fear and disgust and change their responses and behavior. This could help to convey messages to them from which they used to get frightened till that time, and engage them in certain products.
- Hormone Manipulation
Brain consists of neuromodulators, like cortisol, testosterone and oxytocin, along with neurotransmitters – hormones that are vital for the communication between brain cells. It is possible that altering these hormones can trigger a change in consumer behavior.
- Sleep Pushing
When our body gets into the deep sleep phase, this is the time when our thinking and response can change. Exposing certain products or influencing consumer behavioral change is possible with this strategy.
Some Great Examples of How Neuromarketing is Presently Used by Companies
- Effect of Using Babies In Ads
It has been proven through studies that using babies’ images compared to adults has a more effect in influencing decisions. However, when the babies are gazing at the products in the image or video, then the viewers focus on the advertising content more effectively.
- Effectual Packaging
Studies revealed that users are negatively inclined to packaging that is shiny. However, matte finished packaging scored well on that level. This Neuromarketing approach helped companies to rework on their packaging aspect and create a more positive outlook.
- Ad Efficiency
Using fMRI technique, National cancer Institute once conducted a study comparing three different ad campaigns, involving participants and studying their responses. This way they were able to identify which particular ad campaign was able to effect higher neural activity and resulted in more hotline calls.
- Color Can Influence Change in Behavior and Decision Making
Colors are known to evoke different emotions from people. This is why it can have a big impact on how users react to your marketing campaigns. Using color like blue, which is known for its calmness, influences and attracts working professionals more.
- Too Many Options is a ‘No’
This is known as decision paralysis, where displaying multiple options may lead to consumers not deciding which one to go for, and then retracting.
- Anchoring Effect
If people are presented some options, they are more likely to compare the products based on the first one they interacted with. Neuromarketing method helps to create an anchoring effect to seal the deal their desired way.
- Satisfaction Evaluation
Using the EEG technique, marketers can tap into the emotional arousal or engagement effect and factor in how the consumer behavior or experience turns out to be. EEG method works to find out the satisfaction and dissatisfaction level and then take the right steps for marketing strategy.
- Fear of Losing
It is human tendency that they don’t want to miss out on something. This approach can be said to be more common now. As we have seen, advertising campaigns like ‘buy before the stock lasts’, ‘only 24 hours to buy’, and as such have an influential impact on people. Marketers use a Neuromarketing technique called ‘framing’ to create this emphasizing effect.
- Hidden Responses
This is something that EEG method can help leverage effectively. A particular ad for ‘Cheetos’ was humorous in a way that it included a prank. Many people responded with dislike for the ad. However, when Neuromarketing experts ran an EEG analysis they found that those people really liked it, and this is what can be revealed as hidden preferences and thoughts.
- Speed and Efficiency Attracts Consumers
A Neuromarketing analysis by PayPal resulted in revealing that people are more inclined towards convenience as compared to security factor. This way they were able to speed up their payment system and bring more customers.
- Price is Always a Key Factor
Complex prices figures work when the logical brain gets engaged, however rounded figures work with emotional decision-making. Neuromarketing study found that keeping the price complex, like $9.99 instead of $10 makes the brain work harder and believe that the product is worth as logical thinking gets involved.
Neuromarketing is still in its early stages when it comes to digital marketing. But it just has the right setting and effects that can transform how marketers are going to strategies their marketing and campaigns.