Neuromarketing with examples: A Marketing of the future

With this piece, we understand Neuromarketing with examples. We take a look at the definition, techniques and finally look at the brands that have already made the technique a part of their strategy.

What is Neuromarketing?

It is a field of marketing which aims to study brain responses to various marketing stimuli using technologies such as Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). The pegging question is, why is it becoming popular? Well for one, its accuracy, when compared with the traditional marketing techniques. Traditional marketing research includes declarative techniques like deep interviews, focus group and surveys. These techniques, while effective, are based on studying the demonstrated behaviour or explicitly verbalized by the consumer. There’s always a room for bias, either consciously or unconsciously.

So, to overcome the challenge many companies started to direct their interest to the nonconscious processes. A process where the participant does not know that they’re being surveyed. And this process is an application of what we call Neuromarketing.

Researchers use this technique to understand why consumers make decisions that they do and how their brain reacts to somatosensory stimuli. That is, to a specific action when performed.

Neuromarketing, as an industry, is expected to grow at a CAGR of 15.6%, during the forecast period (2020-2025). The reason behind this growth is the tailored nature of this industry. It allows the marketing companies and research firms to customize their product and services according to the expectations of a consumer.

For example, you looked up a piece of clothing and the next thing you know, you’re already seeing ads of jewellery that would go with that sort of clothing. Which you’re then more likely to buy. You see? Higher conversions.

Anyway, let’s dive into a few Neuromarketing techniques before we understand why neuromarketing is important.

Related: See how AR is transforming the future of customer experience

Neuromarketing Techniques

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

It measures the activity in the brain by detecting changes associated with the blood flow. That is, It captures the detailed emotional responses of the customers when they’re exposed to a specific set of actions or activity. It checks their level of engagement on that activity or action.

fMRI also supports Recall activity, that is, tries to find out what things you’re able to remember in a simulated environment.

A few interesting uses of an fMRI would be as follows:

  • It is used to set the price of the product and services
  • It improvises the branding of the product – brands spend millions to induce a brand recall in their customers for their products. fMRI helps them understand if their efforts are in the right direction.

Similar to fMRI is an EEG or Electroencephalogram test. In this test, electrical activities in your brain are detected using small, metal discs attached to your scalp. Brain cells communicate via electric impulses and are active all the times even when one is asleep. Your activities show up as wavy lines on an EEG recording. It is much more accurate than fMRI because of its high temporal resolution. It also checks the level of engagement with customers and brand recalls albeit in a much more detailed manner.

Eye Tracking gaze

It is an eye-tracking technique that looks at the focus point of your retina. It detects exactly where a person focuses its gaze. It is useful to measure the attention of the customers. It is important because without relying on a verbal response, marketing researchers can determine which elements are noticed and which ones are most focused on. The activity also reveals what grabs attention or what confuses a customer. Not to mention the ability to reveal the customers’ speed of recognition.

However, this technique is probably not useful for understanding or predicting consumer recall and behaviour. We probably have to combine the capabilities of fMRI/EEG to have those sorts of results. An example where this technique is used: When a customer uses an eCommerce or social media app, it can be used to understand what sort of offers or posts most appeal to him. The technique is also used to help specially-abled as demonstrated in the video below

Related: Take a look at the traditional Pricing Psychology techniques
Facial coding

Facial Action Coding System (FACS) measures human facial expressions. It decodes the underlying emotion that registers on the human face in response to stimuli, no matter how brief the exposure. It reveals the customers’ general emotional response: happiness, surprise, fear, and so on. It is used to improvise the ad content. Popularly used in apps like Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok, etc.

Related: Take a look at how TikTok algorithm works

You probably must have seen this technique in real use. As obvious as it may sound, it measures skin conductance, heart rate, and respiration. But what you may have not heard, this technique is also used to measure physical responses to different stimuli such as online, television or print advertising, a product or service. It reveals the level of engagement of the customers and whether their response is positive or negative.

The primary advantage of this technique is that it is accurate in measuring physical responses to stimuli even if people are not conscious of those responses. Imagine walking up to your GYM Biometric and it asking you back “Why are you sad today?” – would be interesting, no? (and scary too)

Why do we need Neuromarketing?

Branding: Successful branding relies on emotional connects. Brand identity is essential in today’s world, and Neuromarketing helps to understand what the customer associates as ideas to its identity

Product design and innovation: It is used extensively in cool product and package designs. With the help of Neuromarketing, we can measure consumer reactions and the effectiveness of design or the novelty on the latter.

Effectiveness of Advertising: In advertising, Neuromarketing helps to achieve the desired result through non-conscious processes which help to evaluate the effectiveness of advertising.

Decision-making process: It helps brands to extract the feeling of their consumers and to determine their decision-making process. It helps to focus on how the consumer responds to focus on marketing stimuli.

Here’s some Neuromarketing with Examples

Pay Pal: It used the concept of Neuromarketing with the help of company NeuroFocus that helped it to refine their forgettable brand message. (Essentially: “Safe, simple, wow!”). It improved its visual and verbal identity by testing different key phrases. With the help of Neuromarketing data, response rates and their click-through rate increased 3-4x.

Pepsi and Cola blind challenge experiment

In the blind test, it was discovered that people were motivated to buy coke because of its brand image rather than the taste. The methodology adopted was the series of tests where the respondents would sample the drink. FMRI technique was used to conduct this test.

  • One blind, where the respondent isn’t aware of what they were drinking
  • One where the respondent knew which brand they were drinking

In the test, it was concluded that the brain was recalling ideas from Coke’s commercials, and the emotions attached with the brand overriding the product taste and quality. Which means People liked the taste of Pepsi, but they were more inclined “to believe” that they preferred Coke.

So, Neuromarketing has become the new science of consumer behavior.

The author

The author of this piece is Ishani Maheshwari, a student at Welingkar, Mumbai. If you liked the piece, share it with your best friend on WhatsApp.

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