What Is Neuromarketing?
According to its definition, neuromarketing is a type of commercial marketing that is based on the physiological and neural responses of consumers to product stimuli. To decipher customers’ motivations, preferences, and decisions is its ultimate objective, which influences creative advertising, product development, pricing, and other incentive areas. Neuroscience, psychology, and marketing are all combined in the study. Ale Smidts first used the term “neuromarketing” in his 2002 paper “Looking into Neuromarketing: About the Possibilities of Neuromarketing,” which served as his first lecture as a marketing professor at the Rotterdam School of Management.
However, there have been experiments that have dabbled in this area since the 1990s. By probing people’s metaphorical or non-literal expressions, which are frequently hidden from themselves, the Zaltman metaphor elicitation technique, developed by marketing professor Gerald Zaltman and neuroscientist Gemma Calvert, elicits both conscious and unconscious thought. Participants were divided into groups and given disposable cameras to capture Nepalese village life. The majority of pictures with actual villagers were taken from above the ankle. Uncomfortable reality that might have been overlooked in discussion-based approaches is that according to Nepalese customs, having your feet bare is a sign of poverty. Theoretically, businesses gain an advantage by understanding what a customer wants—whether they realise it or not—by studying pertinent human emotions and behavioural patterns linked to products, advertisements, and decision-making.
Example of neuromarketing
#1 Hidden responses revealed for Cheetos
People rarely do as they promise and rarely say as they do. Of course, you are free to ask anyone any question you like about your advertisement, and they will always respond. simply not always the best choice… Cheetos discovered evidence to support this. They sought focus group feedback on a particular advertisement.
Focus group participants expressed to Cheetos their strong distaste for the commercial featuring a woman who played a practical joke on her friend by stuffing orange Cheetos into her white laundry. However, when Cheetos used neuromarketing to research the advertisement, EEG showed that consumers did, in fact, really like the advertisement. They laughed at it! It seems that participants in the focus groups were simply afraid of coming across as a jerk to others. This common neuromarketing illustration demonstrates how neuro can uncover hidden reactions and eliminate social desirability. We ultimately want to understand people’s true feelings, after all.
#2 Zooming in and out of emotion
Another example of something that appears time and again in the brain data is how the movement of the camera can make or break an advertisement. Moving in or moving out is an event that goes hand in hand beautifully with the feeling that we experience during this transition. When the camera zooms in, our minds also shift into a more focused state. We have a strong sense of positive engagement! When you zoom out, you will see the opposite effect. If you want to keep the interest of potential customers in your business, a simple takeaway point is that you should avoid movements that zoom out or backwards. Having said that, there is an important exception. When the viewer is presented with new information, zooming out can be an effective strategy. Take, for example, a movement in the opposite direction, which enables one character to see another character hiding behind a wall.
#3 The frog effect
Do you recall seeing the commercial for the Sony Bravia television set in which tens of thousands of balls were bouncing through the middle of San Francisco? Research on neuromarketing in advertising has shown that there is a particular point in this commercial that causes viewers to experience a surge of extremely positive feelings. I’m not sure if you recall the commercial, but what I was referring to was the scene in which the frog emerges from the drainpipe (1:42 min). The fact that this shot was taken completely by accident is what makes it so funny.
The commercial for the Sony Bravia was also tested without the frog in it. What came to pass? When the frog was removed from the commercial, the level of engagement with the commercial dropped dramatically; this was true even during shots that had nothing to do with the frog, such as the unique selling propositions and the call to action for the product. Because of this, we came up with the term “frog effect” to describe a particular shot that is responsible for carrying an entire commercial.
When it comes to market positioning, the online company that specialises in booking travel, Trivago, uses either the anchoring or comparison approach. The brand ambassador for Trivago introduces a particular location and then provides a list of possibilities for hotels and other types of accommodations. These are the kinds of options that a customer might not easily find if they use another booking company.
Other types of neuromarketing concentrate on the reward centre of the brain, which is the same part of the mind that is stimulated by all things that are pleasurable, including sugar, alcohol, drugs, and sex. Indeed, addiction is a risk associated with the use of these substances. But there is a rationale behind that decision. People respond to people, places, and things that excite the senses, sending messages to the brain that spur desire, anticipation, expectation, and reward. This response can be triggered by people, places, or things that excite the senses. After an event has been experienced, the body will react in the same way whenever it is exposed to sights, sounds, smells, or touches that are associated with the event. This is one component of neuromarketing that M&M’s utilises.
Milk chocolate and peanut M&Ms have been portrayed as life-size products in advertisements over the course of the past few years. Oh, just imagine what it would be like to munch on an M&M that was 66 inches long. Fantastic!
#6 The National Cancer Institute’s emotionally fine-tuned ad
The National Cancer Institute wanted to develop a commercial that would inspire viewers to give up smoking by eliciting an emotional response from them and providing them with motivation to do so. In conjunction with functional magnetic resonance imaging, the company showed the participants of a focus group study three different variations of an advertisement (fMRI). A functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan can measure brain activity by observing changes in blood flow that occur in response to external stimuli. The results of the fMRI were used to evaluate the three different advertising campaigns, and the most successful one was chosen in order to boost the number of calls received by the National Cancer Institute’s hotline. The results of the three advertising campaigns were quite varied, with an overall significant increase in call volumes ranging from a 2.8% increase all the way up to a 32% increase. This example from the field of neuromarketing demonstrates the enormous potential of fMRI, as well as other tests such as
The shared moments and pictures of rental homes that are displayed on Airbnb’s social media accounts are typically curated by both guests and hosts. In some of its marketing campaigns and advertisements, it also displays content that was generated by users. Ever wonder why? mainly due to the fact that customer posts produce 29% more conversations. People are more likely to trust content that was written by regular people rather than advertisements published by brands. Airbnb is well aware of the situation and makes extensive use of the contributions made by its users in order to bolster the credibility of the company.
The application of neuromarketing used by Starbucks is worthy of being mentioned as the fifth example. The international coffee chain is well-known for its use of sensory marketing to boost sales. This strategy has helped the chain achieve global success. If you were to go into any of its locations, the first thing that would strike you is the intoxicating scent of freshly ground coffee beans. Starbucks highlights the features of its products both in-store and in its digital advertisements to evoke the sense of smell and encourage people to purchase the brand’s products on a more frequent basis.
KFC uses a variety of different psychological triggers in order to stimulate a variety of senses. It plays jingles to attract people’s attention and uses phrases like “finger licking good” to excite people’s sense of taste. Additionally, it emphasises the colour red to motivate people to take action. Price anchoring is the neuromarketing strategy that I want to highlight here because of its relevance to this situation. People have a cognitive behaviour known as price anchoring, in which they make purchase decisions by centering their attention on the product’s initial price. Therefore, if the price of the item was originally $100 but was crossed out and re-tagged as $99, your audience would purchase it, presuming that it is a good deal even though the difference in price is negligible. This strategy is used frequently by KFC as part of their deals.
It is also well known that eBay will occasionally turn to neuromarketing in order to monitor the pain points of its customers. The emotionally-powered shop that it opened in London in 2016 is one of the examples of its experiments that has gained the most popularity. The plan was to conduct research on the purchasing patterns of individuals in order to assist them in making more informed choices. A year later, it ran a campaign very similar to that one in collaboration with Sachi Art. This time, it used EEG technology to record what customers’ minds were thinking about while they were shopping. The company conducts these kinds of campaigns on a regular basis in order to determine the factors that typically result in customers making purchases.
One of the few brands to have done so, PayPal is one of the few that has altered its entire value proposition strategy with neuromarketing. If you look at the content of the website, you will see that it promotes itself frequently as the solution that is the quickest for borderless payments and the solution that is the safest solution. In the past, this was not the situation. Before turning to neuroscience to improve the effectiveness of its sales copy, PayPal promoted itself in the marketplace as a secure payment option. After learning that most people would rather have a quick solution than the most secure one, the company revised its brand message and began launching improvised global campaigns. It led to a click-through rate that was increased by 400% as a result.
Uniqlo, a Japanese clothing retailer, is of the opinion that people’s feelings play a role in their clothing selections, and it used neuromarketing to prove its point. A fashion campaign booth known as “UMood” was offered by the company a few years ago. The purpose of the booth was to match visitors’ moods with appropriate shirts. People were given the opportunity to try on EEG headsets and were shown a variety of shirts that could be worn in a variety of situations. Based on the results of the EEG test, the company produced 600 unique styles of shirt and sold them to customers.
The well-known example of neuromarketing that is Facebook is. If you look around the platform, you’ll discover that many of its features contain various psychological triggers. Notifications and likes are two examples that are particularly good examples. The notification bell that is located at the very top of the page encourages you to return to the site, while the likes give you a sense of accomplishment. The straightforward organisation of Facebook’s timeline is another factor influencing the participation rate. According to the findings of one study, an advertisement for a hotel performed particularly well when it was posted on Facebook. The entire system is built to subtly elicit a variety of emotional responses from users.
So, is neuromarketing legal?
A significant number of researchers emphasise the contentious character of neuromarketing. Some people have the misconception that various kinds of advertisements might be dishonest or deceptive. They also add that these methods have an effect on people’s brains and encourage customers to take the action that is desired. On the other hand, proponents of neuromarketing assert that their methods better understand the requirements and preferences of customers and therefore provide superior service. Companies that engage in neuromarketing take the same ethical approach toward their customers as traditional advertising agencies do. They do not intend to promote products that are illegal or deceptive, nor do they intend to create advertisements that control the purchasing decisions of customers. Neuromarketers assert that this method enables consumers to gain insight into the patterns that underlie their decision-making processes. Additionally, it gives individuals the ability to determine whether or not businesses manipulate or influence their purchasing decisions.
Let’s take a look at some of the potential benefits of putting this tactic into action for your company now that you are aware of whether or not it is permissible to do so.
Why is neuromarketing important?
Even though neuromarketing is fraught with debate, it remains an indispensable tool for businesses. It encompasses a variety of methods that make it possible for brands to comprehend the requirements and preferences of customers and to fulfil those requirements. They are also able to investigate how customers react to a variety of advertisements, marketing campaigns, and product packaging. As a consequence of this, owners of businesses are in a position to select the most advantageous alternative from among those that are available, thereby elevating the efficiency of their campaigns and strategies.
The benefits that can be gained from employing this tactic are not limited to those that have been discussed; in fact, there are even more. It assists in:
- determine the subconscious reactions of customers to the various advertisements, designs, and methods;
- create novel, original strategies;
- resonate with the requirements and expectations of the audience;
- advertising strategies and campaigns need to be improved.
- examine the feelings and emotions that specific advertisements, logos, and phrases can evoke in consumers;
- enhance the customer experience
- satisfy clients;
- up the sales;
- gain competitive advantage.
Marketers now have the ability, with the assistance of neuroscience, to determine which aspects of a product elicit a positive reaction from customers and lead to an increase in sales. Therefore, now that you are aware of the significance, it is time for you to investigate the operation of neuromarketing.
How does neuromarketing work?
Electroencephalograms and functional magnetic resonance imaging are two of the tools that are used in neuromarketing. These techniques are used to scan people’s brains and analyse the physiological and neural responses to various types of advertisements, packaging, and design, among other things. The responses of brains are essential for businesses because they provide the owners of those businesses with an accurate picture of the requirements and preferences of their customers. Customers are shown advertisements, packaging, or product designs while their reactions and brain activity are monitored by marketers. Companies will be able to determine what actions are necessary for them to take after they have received responses and measured the changes. Brain scanning enables companies to track every activity occurring in a person’s brain, including eye movement, the dilation and constriction of pupils, facial expression, heart rate, and emotions. This provides companies with valuable customer insights. Companies are able to decide how to improve their advertisements and content, product packaging, and more based on the results that have been provided.