What is Neuromarketing and Consumer Neuroscience?


What is Neuromarketing and Consumer Neuroscience?

As marketer, brand builder, retailer, or advertiser, you can’t not know what it is: Neuromarketing.

With its popularity, it’s surprising that there is not much consensus on what neuromarketing is exactly. Ask ten professionals in the field to what they think the definition of neuromarketing is. Chances are you’ll get ten different answers.

In neuromarketing, the (subconscious) processes in the customer’s brain is key – that’s clear. That this is needed, is also something we’ve known for quite a while. The human choice process is mostly unconscious.

There are many different definitions of neuromarketing. Some say it is a type of market research. Others say it is an application of scientific insights in marketing.

A distinction can be made between ‘neuromarketing research’ and ‘neuromarketing’.

Neuromarketing definition #1 – Neuromarketing as research method

One strongly delimited definition of neuromarketing is: Using neuroscientific research methods to answer marketing problems. For example, using EEG or fMRI to analyze advertising campaigns.

This definition is in conflict with established marketing vocabulary. The umbrella term ‘marketing’ has always been about the activities one undertakes to increase sales. Research on these activities often is a required foundation but cannot be labeled as ‘marketing’. When conducting survey research, you wouldn’t call it ‘survey marketing’.

Just like survey research won’t be called ‘survey marketing’, neuro research does not cover the entirety of neuromarketing. That’s why we name it ‘neuromarketing research’.

Neuromarketing definition #2 – Neuromarketing as marketing activity

The second definition sees neuromarketing as a ‘type of marketing you’re doing’. In other words: The usage of marketing activities based on neuroscientific insights and research methods. This indicates an essential condition for success with neuromarketing: What you’re doing with your insights.

Neuromarketing research is very valuable – but if you won’t use the gained insights to increase the effectivity of the communication with your customer, you should question the value of your research.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

  • EEG research of a web shop shows that participants experienced difficulty at the check-out. What can you change in your text or design to take away these difficulties?
  • Neuromarketing research of a commercial has shown that, halfway through the commercial, participants’ attention sinks. How can this be turned around without having to start all over again?
  • In-store EEG and Eye Tracking research indicated that participants experience negative emotions when entering the check-out zone. How can this zone be improved?
  • You want the packaging of your product to be luxurious, but IAT research has shown that the participant did not experience the packaging as such. What can you change in the shape, color, graphics, typography, and texture to alter this customer perception?

It should be clear by now: You don’t only want to predict the success of your marketing, but improve it as well. Neuromarketing research is capable in pointing out the strengths and weaknesses of a website, store, commercial or product. To make these insights work, however, it’s crucial to have knowledge on human behavior and choice process.

Neuromarketing therefore reaches its full potential when its research findings are interpreted from other scientific angles, like behavioral economic, consumer psychology, social psychology, cognitive psychology, and cognitive neuroscience. Only when using a different scientific standpoint, you can improve your marketing to increase revenue, brand loyalty, and word of mouth.

What does Unravel Research do?

Unravel Research conducts neuromarketing research. Just like any other neuromarketing research agency. However, we don’t just deliver neuromarketing insights. Our multidisciplinary team will take these insights to convert them into ultra-concrete optimizations for your marketing. Commercials become more persuasive. Cash registers will overflow. Product packaging will capture the shoppers’ eyes. And every shopping carts, online or offline will be filled with your products.

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