The perception that all human emotions, thoughts, and actions — even the consciousness itself — are actually the results of brain neural activity. The significance of this concept for marketers is that neurobiology can reduce the confusion and speculation historically hampering attempts to understand consumer behaviour. The neuromarketing research – also referred to as consumer neuroscience – studies the brain to predict and possibly even influence consumer behavior and decision-making.
Marketers were bound to come up with remarkably effective ways to reduce their consumer research budget and by utilizing creative neuromarketing techniques and incorporating these techniques into marketing campaigns they are able to do so. Basically, the goal of this strategy is to figure out how your target audience’s brain works and determine the triggers that would result in more leads and conversions as well as boost sales.
What is Neuromarketing?
Neuromarketing is the result of integrating marketing strategies with neuroscience. This methodology involves emerging technologies, such as brain imaging and brain scanning. Neuromarketers assess the reactions of their subjects to specific marketing elements such as packaging, advertising, by analyzing their brain activity.
This strategy has attracted a lot of attention recently and is perceived as a key tool for marketing success in the years to follow. Neuromarketing is getting popular among market researchers because it gets rid of the guess-work involved in the creation and development of successful marketing campaigns. In a nutshell, neuromarketing helps in stimulating the parts of the brain that would prompt people to subconsciously gravitate towards any services or products.
Below are some neuromarketing techniques which are currently used by Market researchers.
What catches Consumer’s Eyes? (Eye Tracking Process)
As the name suggests, eye tracking consists of measuring the eye movement patterns of research participants. It’s a tool that helps to see brand, store or commercial through the eyes of customers. Because modern eye tracking equipment is very light and portable, it’s possible to create real time scenarios and register the natural eye gaze of consumers.
To understand the Eye Tracking Process, let’s assume a scenario where, consumers take a walk in a retail store equipped with eye tracking gear to analyze how they view the store. Do they look at the promotion articles near the entrance? Is the signage actually being read? What kind of viewing patterns do consumers show when browsing a product category? In short, eye tracking offers a great way to find out things that are hard to discover using traditional marketing research.
Besides in-store possibilities, eye tracking can measure the eye-gaze of consumers online as well. For example, it can be used to measure if product placement during TV programs actually makes people look more at a product.
What’s in Consumers’ mind (EEG And FMRI)
Sometimes it is important to know a bit more about what people think rather than what people see. There are certain devices that can read brain activity, such as fMRI and EEG equipment which were generally used by medical professionals in past. But these brain scanners are nowadays also used by neuromarketers to look at people’s brains in order to create alluring ads, websites and packaging that activates the customer’s buying behavior.
It helps researchers to understand about consumers’ likes or dislikes, what makes them approaching or avoiding a product, or what makes them excited or bored in a certain advertisement. Seems a lot like the kind of stuff which researchers would ask in traditional marketing research, it just removes the process of deliberately thinking about the answers.
Nonetheless, this is very useful information for the researchers. It can help them create products that really speak to the consumer, and it can help consumers get products that make them happy.
Measuring these variables with EEG scans to analyze brainwaves provides great temporal resolution, meaning that the effects of a certain stimulus on brain activity can be read at incredible speed. For example, this is very useful to analyze which exact sequences in a commercial are viewed as positive and which ones are not. However, it lacks good spatial resolution, meaning the source of the brain signal recorded by the EEG is hard to locate exactly in the brain. On the contrary, fMRI scans offer great spatial, but poor temporal resolution. This means we can see clearly what’s happening inside the brain, but we don’t really know what caused it.
Express it all (Facial Coding)
Science has shown us that we can learn about mindset from people’s faces. The idea that we can learn from facial expressions is an old one, many psychologist explored this segment and stated that it is possible to understand person’s current mindset through facial muscles’ movement. But how researchers are using this knowledge for advantage in marketing?
In the same line as equipment to measure the brain and our eye gaze, there are also sensors that can be attached to the face and measure tiny movements of muscles. When we display certain emotions, like smiling, we use specific muscles to achieve this. The same principle applies to other emotions such as anger or surprise. Of course, a slight expression of a faint smile does not always mean that someone is happy. But the point is, facial coding equipment can measure subtle, oftentimes subconscious, reactions to stimuli that hold information about how we feel about something. Even better, it can predict what behavior will follow in form of expressions.
Effect of senses (Sensory Marketing)
In contrast to research-oriented methods like the ones we discussed above, there are more practical forms of neuromarketing that give consumers a little push in right direction. We can dip into existing findings and principles to make marketing more effective. A great example of this in the retail sphere is sensory marketing.
There are several forms of sensory marketing, such as touch, sound, or smell, and they aim to influence a brand audience by sensory stimulation. So is it really possible that simply smelling something can make people buy more products? Sometimes. With emotional products like the ones sold in a fashion store, a bit of pleasant smells will give customers a whole new experience and will make products seem more exclusive and high end. However, fairly neutral environments like hardware or office retail shops are better off limiting noticeable smells.
And how about sound? As it turns out, consumers will pay more attention to light objects when they hear more high pitched sounds, and more to dark objects when hearing low pitched sounds. Studies have discovered that these subtle changes in the in-store environment can have quite dramatic impacts on sales.
Neuromarketing is a powerful tool specifically when it comes to establishing trust, connecting with customers, and even boosting sales. Successfully branding or packaging, a company could not only convert visitors into leads, it could also earn lifelong consumers loyal to the brand name. Although we have seen that certain technologies are not prevalent in the practice of companies and agencies committed to neuromarketing due to high costs, reliability or acceptance by participants, these technologies are important for providing important knowledge that would otherwise not be obtained. From this viewpoint, neuromarketing represents an significant advance in the research and understanding of consumer behavior through the systematic application of expertise and reveals itself as a new fundamental method to supplement market research in the present and future.