What is Neuromarketing? And tactics you can deploy right away: Neuromarketing is when consumers’ neural signals are monitored, pupil dilation is measured, and respiration rates are assessed.
Methods used to study the effects of marketing on people’s brain activity appear to be sinister on the surface; however, when used ethically and efficiently by marketers, Neuromarketing can personalize and enhance the customer experience.
In his book Brainfluence, Roger Dooley, the author of the Neuromarketing blog since 2005, describes 100 tactics to persuade and convince.
Dooley avoids scientific jargon and focuses on the practical advice marketers need to make their ideas work in almost any company’s situation and/or budget.
Consumers subconsciously define what they want, how much they will pay, and possibly even which promotional activities appeal to them daily.
Understanding this is the key to getting more done with less. Here are ways you can use Neuromarketing:
- Brain imaging
- Color usage
- Psychological triggers
- Emotion response analysis
What is Neuromarketing and How Does it Work?
Neuromarketing is the use of neuroscience technology and marketing tactics to predict and influence consumer behavior to increase sales.
According to the US National Library of Medicine, neuromarketing techniques and tools identify advertising components that elicit positive and negative feelings toward products and brands.
These techniques come in various forms and, when used properly, can provide businesses with invaluable insights into developing marketing strategies, designing packaging, and tweaking and refining products for consumers.
There are two basic methods for tracking leads’ brain activity, each with advantages and disadvantages: functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG).
A powerful magnet is used in fMRI to track blood flow in the brain as subjects respond to audio and visual cues.
This allows examiners to access the “pleasure center,” a deep part of the brain that informs marketers about how people react to their work.
The drawbacks of fMRI include its high cost and inconvenience. Operating equipment is prohibitively expensive (up to $1,000 per machine per hour), and subjects must remain completely still in a large machine.
EEG, on the contrary, is significantly less expensive than fMRI and allows for movement by attaching a cap of electrodes to the sample’s scalp.
These electrodes detect electrical waves produced by the brain, allowing researchers to track instinctual emotions like anger, excitement, sorrow, and lust via fluctuations in activity.
Unlike fMRI, however, EEG does not allow access to deep parts of the brain that contain the “pleasure centre.”
Neuromarketing has been around for about a decade and is only growing in popularity. Despite its detractors, major corporations have used this technology to create products, packaging, and advertising campaigns.
How Brands Use Neuromarketing
Neuromarketing has been used by brands such as Campbell’s Soup, Gerber, and Frito-Lay to restyle their packaging designs.
In these cases, consumers were exposed to a product’s packaging piece by piece, and their reactions were recorded as positive, neutral, or negative.
This information was then combined with an in-depth interview to analyze specific points, resulting in changes to elements such as color, text size, and imagery.
Frito-Lay discovered, for example, that matte bags with potato images did not elicit a negative response, whereas shiny bags with chip images did. New bags were designed within months, and the shiny ones were retired.
Hyundai used Neuromarketing in another case when they gave thirty participants EEG caps and asked them to examine a car prototype for an hour.
Lastly, PayPal noticed that commercials centered on speed and reliability evoked a markedly increased response than those focusing on safety and security. Based on the results, they developed a completely new ad campaign.
5 Ways You Can Use Neuromarketing Today
Eye-tracking tech measures visual focal points and thrills measured by pupil dilation, uncovering a consumer’s emotive response to marketing and advertising campaigns.
Eye-tracking systems can include technology such as heat maps and gaze plots. Their data can improve campaigns and brand assets such as website design, creative advertising, and product packaging.
GSK invests heavily in this technology, a popular consumer healthcare company. Neuroscientists in the Shopper Science Lab in London use eye-tracking technology to monitor shoppers as they engage with products in a simulated shopping experience.
It assesses branding qualities such as product description readability and packaging focal points by analyzing extended fixation (viewing an item for a longer period than usual) and repeated fixation (reading or viewing an item more than once).
Likewise, beauty and cosmetics, Smashbox, uses a low-maintenance digital eye-tracking application to detect which products users pay attention to and examine the effectiveness of CTA placements.
The app, which uses ModiFace’s MAKEUP augmented reality app, can assist online stores and businesses create more impactful and higher-converting web pages.
2. Brain imaging
Brain imaging technology represents the most important – and expensive – advances in Neuromarketing.
It is a technique of scanning a consumer’s neural activity when exposed to a product or marketing material.
Operational Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and Electroencephalography (EEG) are the primary tools used in this research, with operational near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) representing a more mobile and affordable option.
This technology enables businesses to obtain an accurate, scientific response to products, concepts, and services – the kind that consumers cannot always communicate effectively.
The Harvard Business Review cites examples of brain image technology predictions. An Emory University study published in 2012 discovered that “activity in a specific brain area, analyzed by fMRI while people were hearing songs play, was strongly linked to a music’s prospective popularity as calculated by sales data three years later.”
Two neuroscientists at Northwestern University used EEG readings from test audiences watching movie trailers to predict future box office success.
Compared to traditional methods such as focus groups, their method predicted sales with a 20% higher accuracy.
3. Color usage
According to Colorcom research, consumers subconsciously judge products “within 90 seconds of the initial experience, and between 62% and 90% of that appraisal is based solely on color.”
Terry Wu explains in his TEDx talk that it uses Neuromarketing. As part of its research into user engagement with Google ad links, Google tested over 50 different shades of blue text to see if they affected clicks.
Its subsequent switch to a purplish-blue text color generated an additional $200 million in revenue.
Not bad for a simple neuromarketing strategy. It’s a lesson for agencies creating client websites to consider color schemes and the shades used in CTA buttons.
4. Psychological triggers
Psychological triggers eliciting emotional reactions are low-cost neuromarketing techniques influencing consumer decisions.
Social proof is one of the most efficient methods, which holds that people will conform to be liked, associated with, or accepted by an influencer or society.
Neuromarketing has “demonstrated the relevance of so-called social influence in social networks: users tend to imitate the behaviors of others,” according to a Frontiers in Psychology study. One psychological trigger related to social proof is fear of missing out (FOMO).
High demand for an agency’s or brand’s products or services is a simple but effective way for it to elicit some of these emotions.
Clay, a San Francisco-based digital design agency, has a dedicated page highlighting its impressive client list. The statement is straightforward: who wouldn’t want to work with an agency that counts Facebook, Google, Slack, and Amazon among its clients?
Below its client list is a carousel of glowing testimonials – the social proof, FOMO-inducing icing on the cake.
5. Emotion response analysis
Using webcam technology, facial coding analyses consumers’ facial expressions to determine their emotional response to content and branding.
Marketers can use data to detect key emotions such as anger, contempt, disgust, fear, joy, sadness, and surprise to fine-tune campaigns and achieve the desired results.
One company that employs emotion response technology as part of its marketing strategy is Mars. The company uses agile Creative Expertise (ACE) to analyze viewer reactions to video content, ranging from short online ads and social media stories to longer-form TV commercials.
In an attention-strapped world, the findings aided the company in better understanding the content that resonates with consumers.
Emotion response analysis and facial recognition software have also become popular in the world of UX, assisting developers in determining people’s emotions as they navigate a website or app.
Testing websites and creating user journey maps for your clients can yield valuable results.
Breaking through the clutter has become an increasingly difficult task in this day and age, and marketers are constantly looking for a competitive advantage.
Understanding the most fundamental roots of human emotion is critical to understanding a consumer’s purchasing behavior.
The beauty of Neuromarketing is that it can be used in outbound and inbound marketing strategies.
Neuromarketing is offering a prospect a warm beverage and seating them in a soft chair during a sales conversation to advertising with pictures of babies. All of these are tactics to which our brain subconsciously responds.
The best way to get better results with less money is to be aware of the marketing tactics that may impact your efforts!
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