What Is Neuromarketing?

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Neuromarketing is a catchy buzzword that you may have heard a few times. Perhaps you’ve come across an article about how scientists analyze consumer data to determine what makes an advertisement successful or how companies try to tap at what subconsciously drives consumers to buy a product or a service.

Indeed, Neuromarketing, coined in the early 2000s, is an evidence-based approach to generating marketing efforts. It allows experienced marketers to look inside a user’s or client’s brain and measure their wants and options more objectively. This article will take a deep dive to describe what Neuromarketing really is and how Neuromarketing can be used scientifically to create impactful marketing campaigns.

The Inner Workings of Neuromarketing

Neuromarketing is a broad field of science and business, bridging neuroscience, psychology, and marketing5. It assesses how a user’s or client’s mind operates and, critically, how to leverage those operations to create marketing and ad campaigns that tap at how a prospect thinks and acts. Neuromarketing bypasses sub-consciously hidden desires that are not apparent in the traditional survey-based opinion questionnaires. Neuromarketing is an evidence-based, cutting edge technique where science meets marketing. 

Prospects brains and minds work in very complex ways – neuromarketing taps at the conditions that cause a prospect to think and act in a certain way. The science of what type of marketing campaigns cause a prospect to convert is at the heart of Neuromarketing. However, to use Neuromarketing effectively, marketers need to have a deep-rooted and broad foundation in science. 

Neuromarketing Research Methods

Methods used in neuromarketing research are broad. The nucleus of neuromarketing methods is focused on: “How does the mind respond to certain conditions?”. Modern methods used in research settings to collect neuromarketing data include:

  • Imaging (functional magnetic resonance – fMRI)
  • Electrophysiological (Electroencephalography – EEG)
  • Behavior measurement (eye-tracking and facial coding)  

Both EEG and fMRI indirectly measure brain activity3,6. These methods look at what a prospect’s brain is doing while viewing specific marketing and ad campaigns and products. Eye-tracking measures where a client’s gaze is and assesses what, precisely, captures their attention8. Facial coding can measure a prospects’ emotional responses from the facial expressions1,4.

The essential advantage of the methods outlined above is that prospects don’t have to tell scientists what they think, and it’s difficult for them to lie about their behavior. This advantage taps directly taps at what consumers think, feel, and like. This way, experienced marketers can create campaigns and branding geared directly to what a user or client really wants.

Evidence-Based Marketing

Experienced marketers will review neuromarketing research and evidence and translating these data into evidence-based actions. Neuromarketers have a deeper, broader, and overall improved understanding of a prospect’s desires, needs, and behavior. Evidence-based marketing adjusts campaigns and delivers advertisements that are personalized and effective.

“An experienced Neuromarketing team must develop a personalized strategy”

When a company wants to launch a new product or service, an experienced Neuromarketing team must develop a personalized strategy. For example, which packaging, colors, or fonts should be used? A survey of a sample cohort of prospects could answer this question. Better yet, the company could measure what prospects truly think and feel, without asking them (e.g., eye-tracking could be used to identify the parts of the product or ad that the prospect’s attention gravitates to). The goal is to tap at psychological, behavioral, and neurological systems to see what marketing stimuli elicit a response.

More often, companies will hire a neuromarketing expert who can apply evidence-based insights from existing research. For example, an experienced neuromarketer would advise a restaurant client to promote items on the left side of the menu as research has shown that people are more likely to choose items on the left7. A Neuromarketer would advise a sports-drink client to make an advertising model that shared similar attributes to the prospect to create more effective campaigns2

Choose An Expert Neuromarketing Team

Neuromarketing is a more accurate and reliable way to target potential clients and buyers. It bypasses the traditional “spray and pray approach” by using data-driven models and evidence-based strategies to create bespoke marketing campaigns that increase conversions. Critically, these strategies are geared towards satisfying prospects’ and clients’ needs and desires, creating a symbiotic relationship that benefits everyone.

“Data and research do not operate in silos”

The one caveat is that an experienced Neuromarketing Science team must oversee Neuromarketing. This team needs to be experienced in psychology, neuroscience, physiology, and cutting-edge marketing and advertising techniques. Data and research do not operate in silos. All data has to be carefully evaluated in the broader context and marketing effort.

If you are interested in learning more about Neuromarketing or want to learn how data-driven approaches can help your business, drop us a line. We’re a group of scientists and marketers who obsess about data and create custom, artistic marketing campaigns that drive qualified leads to your offering.

  1. Dalgleish, T. (2004). The emotional brain. Nature Reviews Neuroscience, 5(7), 583-589.
  2. Dimofte, C. V., Goodstein, R. C., & Brumbaugh, A. M. (2015). A social identity perspective on aspirational advertising: Implicit threats to collective self-esteem and strategies to overcome them. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 25(3), 416-430.
  3. Henry, J. C. (2006). Electroencephalography: basic principles, clinical applications, and related fields. Neurology, 67(11), 2092-2092.
  4. Jabr, F., & Jabr, F. (2010, May 24). The evolution of emotion: Charles Darwin’s little-known psychology experiment. Scientific American Blog Network. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/the-evolution-of-emotion-charles-darwins-little-known-psychology-experiment/
  5. Lee, N., Broderick, A. J., & Chamberlain, L. (2007). What is ‘neuromarketing’? A discussion and agenda for future research. International journal of psychophysiology, 63(2), 199-204.
  6. Rinck, P. (2014, August). Magnetic resonance: a critical peer-reviewed introduction. In Magnetic resonance in medicine. The basic textbook of the European magnetic resonance forum (pp. 21-01).
  7. Romero, M., & Biswas, D. (2016). Healthy-left, unhealthy-right: Can displaying healthy items to the left (versus right) of unhealthy items nudge healthier choices?. Journal of Consumer Research, 43(1), 103-112.
  8. Schiessl, M., Duda, S., Thölke, A., & Fischer, R. (2003). Eye tracking and its application in usability and media research. MMI-interaktiv Journal, 6(2003), 41-50.

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