The fundamentals of Neuromarketing

EEG, Neuromarketing, Commercial, eye tracking, Research

The fundamentals of Neuromarketing

Door Tim Zuidgeest
Persuasion Artist

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Neuromarketing: what does it mean? What can you do with it, and more importantly: how does it work?

 Let’s dive into the beautiful world of neuromarketing.

When you search the internet for a definition of neuromarketing, you will find numerous descriptions. In this blog, we will discuss its meaning shortly, but we will focus on how to conduct neuromarketing research and the insights resulting from it.

Are you madly interested in how you can apply neuromarketing insights directly? In that case, our Neuromarketing Fundamentals Training (ENG) is perfect for you. In 9 online lessons from TED-talk length (+/- 20 min), you will learn everything that we wanted to know before we started our career in neuromarketing.

neuromarketing fundamentals training

We use the following description to explain briefly and clearly what neuromarketing means: “Using neuroscience research methods to help answer diverse marketing questions. For example, you can analyze advertising campaigns using EEG or fMRI.”

If you are already familiar with neuromarketing, the famous Ale Smidts must sound familiar to you. This Neuromarketing scientist introduced the concept ‘Neuromarketing’ in The Netherlands during his oration in 2002, called ‘Kijken in het brein: over de mogelijkheden van neuromarketing’ (Looking into the brain: on the possibilities of Neuromarketing). He claims that consumer behavior can be explained and predicted with EEG and fMRI research. Additionally, he states that these methods make it possible to get insights on how people process commercials, and how effective commercials are.

Performing Neuromarketing Research

Now that we know what neuromarketing means, we can answer the question regarding how we conduct neuromarketing research. This always starts with asking the right question and, of course, finding a research method that suits the question. For example, if you want to predict whether a TV commercial has a positive or negative effect on sales or branding, it is best to use EEG and eye tracking. We will explain why in just a bit.

First things first: we start conducting our research by inviting 20 to 30 participants to our lab in Utrecht. The lab resembles a living room to create a relaxed atmosphere for the participants. Each participant gets an assignment. The assignment depends on the type of research that is taking place. One can see a TV program, a product, a couple of TV commercials, or visit an online store. While the assignment takes place, brain activity and viewing patterns are being measured comfortably with EEG and eye tracking. This allows us to see how the brain reacts to the stimuli, very accurately!

eeg in reclame neuromarketing small

If you want to know which EEG-metrics we use, I strongly recommend to read this blog about how neuromarketing EEG research works. We explain how desire, distraction, attention, and workload can be used in our qualitative and quantitative analyses for retail research, commercial research, and usability research.

Transforming brain data to insights and optimizations

So now that we have our brain-data, what can we do with it? Our multidisciplinary team makes sure that we don’t deliver plain neuromarketing insights. We create entire optimizations to improve the marketing of our customers. In short: commercials become more attractive, packaging draws more attention and shopping baskets will be richly filled.

Commercial Research

How can we optimize a commercial with neuromarketing? In our Olvarit promo case, we share how the brain reacts to the commercial of Olvarit. In this neuromarketing video test, we learned that the brain reacted favorably to the video content. Respondents could process the video more thoroughly in memory, and the video triggered substantially more desire than the average of other videos. In the Olvarit case, you can read all the insights.

Neuro Usability research on Websites

What are customers experiencing when they visit a website? Which possibilities does an online shop have to create a more customer-friendly online environment? In total: how can a website lead to more conversions?

With Neuro Usability research, you get the answers. We give participants the task to purchase something online (for example a pair of shoes) while they wear an EEG headset. During their online shopping experience, we measure unconscious responses. When we have all the data, we create insights and make practical recommendations to increase the conversion rate.


If you are wondering whether neuromarketing can be used on packaging, you came to the right blog. With eye tracking and EEG you get insights into the true response of your customers when they look at the packaging of a product. We can even measure if new packaging works better than previous packaging and if the customer is still able to recognize the brand new one. At Unravel we conducted a research about this topic. The research question was: What is the sustainability and volume perception of cardboard versus plastic packaging? Check our case on how packaging material effects the sustainability perception of the consumer from Vitapep.

voorbeeld vitapep schap


Since our EEG headset is wireless, we can even let people walk through shops and measure their brain activity at the same time. When is the customer experiencing something negative? And when exactly something positive? With the wireless EEG headset, we collect reliable brain activity, so we find out what customers are experiencing unconsciously. You can use this type of research once to get practical insights. However, a lot of our customers choose to repeat this research every year as a performance tracker.


Whenever we measure someone’s brain activity during a commercial, we can track the emotional experience accurately to the second. Thanks to EEG and eye tracking, every best and least performing scene becomes visible. We see how consumers view different parts of a commercial. With these insights, we can improve a commercial, increase the purchasing power, and improve branding.

Want to learn more about neuromarketing?

Would you like to dive deeper into neuromarketing? Do you want to know why neuromarketing is important? Why are people not saying what they do, and why are they not doing what they say?

Check our neuromarketing training: The Neuromarketing Fundamentals.

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