The following is a guest blog written by Founder and Managing Director of Cheshire-based marketing management consultancy, Think Beyond.
What do neuroscience and marketing have in common?
A solid foundation for marketing success is to have a marketing strategy. This strategy is founded on a clear understanding of your value proposition (your differentiators) and your market, customers and competitors with the aim of aligning your marketing activity to what customers need.
Neuroscience contributes to marketing and is a fast-developing field looking at the function of the human brain and nervous system. It helps you understand how people think and react.
What is neuromarketing? Neuromarketing, sometimes called ‘consumer neuroscience’, studies the brain’s responses to advertising and branding, considering how to fine-tune those messages based on data and feedback.
According to the Harvard Business Review, “neuromarketing has been bolstered over the past five years by several ground-breaking studies that demonstrate its potential to create value for marketers”.
How businesses can benefit from neuromarketing
Neuromarketing includes scientific, evidence-based study of physiological and neural signals via sensors to help gain a deeper insight into preferences and decisions, which can in turn influence advertising campaigns, products and services.
How do I use neuromarketing? The sensors used are EEG (electroencephalogram) on your head, eye tracking cameras and fingertip sensors for BVP (blood volume pulse – heart rate/tension) and GSR (galvanic skin response – skin conductance/sweat). These are used to monitor a person’s state during a human-computer interaction where they are exposed to stimuli.
Put simply, you can measure and record data on responses to your marketing activity, before you commit to the spend. This dramatically reduces the risk by removing the educated guesswork involved in predicting the response of prospective customers.
Neuroscience is a game-changer in marketing campaigns
The initial scepticism around neuroscience marketing has long since subsided and as an increasing number of neuroscience PHDs leave university and move into the private sector, marketing is set to benefit.
Imagine launching a new product to market that your neuromarketing research suggests has a very high probability of a positive adoption rate, confident that you have understood customer preferences, what decision they are likely to make and how it will make them feel. You can literally see the reaction to your latest development before committing the resources to making it.
According to the Harvard Business Review, Google, Microsoft and Facebook all have some form of neuromarketing division, an in-house ‘neurocapability’.
Is neuroscience market research replacing traditional surveys?
Traditional methods of gauging reaction to advertising and branding may involve focus groups, surveys, interviews and PR trends. The main problem with the traditional methods is the potential for bias, error and withholding the truth.
Take two examples. First, we all know that unconscious bias can affect our decisions and someone who has a preference for urban living might not give an appropriate response to a campaign to visit the great outdoors. Second, we know that some people may have motivations or a powerful compulsion to lie, such as someone responding to a product to help them quit smoking.
Before committing to spend your hard-earned money on marketing activity that may not yield the response you expect, you could take a further step and leverage neuromarketing research for a more reliable result.
You may require specialist advice before proceeding and a marketing consultancy, such as Think Beyond in Cheshire, could provide the advice you need to successfully deploy neuromarketing in your business.