What is Neuromarketing?


Neuromarketing has been around for two decades; still, it is relatively new. It combines a number of neurological techniques with marketing research to come up with strategies that can tap into the subconscious part of the decision-making process. The message is delivered in such a way that it forms an emotional connection. If executed successfully, neuromarketing can convert bouncing visitors into paying clients.

In any business, it is only a matter of 0.05 seconds that a visitor decides whether they like what they are seeing or not. This small-time frame may seem simple, but actually, it is not. The snap decisions we make throughout the day are quite complex. And if truth be told, these decisions are mostly subconscious.

Brands and sellers have always longed to understand what influences the audience’s decision making. It is a waste of their resources, time, and money if their product can’t gain attention quickly. Therefore, they use tactics like neuromarketing to sway the customers. Let’s discuss everything you need to know about the discipline.

How Does It Work?

To understand the true potential of neuromarketing, you first need to understand the structure and functioning of the human brain.

Paul Maclean, a neuroscientist in the 1960s, proposed a three-layered structure of the human brain. The model, known as the triune brain, is classified into three distinct regions: the hind-brain, middle-brain, and forebrain.

The hind-brain is the center of automatic, fast, and reflexive responses. The middle-brain is responsible for dealing with emotional and social situations. Together, the mid and hind-brains constitute the primal brain. It is the gateway that filters all the information entering the brain.

Lastly, the neocortex or the forebrain is the hub of all logical and sophisticated thought processes. It is the last part to receive the information. That, too, after the primal brain considers it important enough.

With neuromarketing, marketers manipulate brain processes by delivering a core message that cannot be ignored. They focus on creating brain-favorable content like ads, promotions, and websites. Once the content has captured attention, viewers are more likely to buy their products. They carefully study the response exhibited towards their marketing stimuli to understand what will drive consumers towards making a purchase.

They use some tools to understand the impact of their marketing efforts. The goal is to come up with a campaign that is appealing to the desires, emotions, and hopes of their target audience. As the famous author Harvard professor Gerald Zaltman said, 95% of our purchasing decisions are subconscious; neuromarketing techniques are used to tap into that sub-consciousness. If a person is subconsciously reacting to a marketing campaign, it will greatly influence his decision to buy.

Neuromarketing Tools

Previously, the market research strategies focused on studying either the behavior patterns or verbal reports. Surveys, focus groups, and in-depth interviews were some of the main techniques. However, the results of this research were not quite accurate. The participants tend to give biased or skewed answers because we are all heavily influenced by the societal norms, and some people are just not good at expressing their feelings.

To overcome this problem, researchers are now directing their efforts towards understanding the unconscious brain processes. They are employing investigative techniques that shed some light on consumer behavior, decision making, and purchase actions. Many big brands have employed neuromarketing laboratories that utilize human body monitoring technologies to extract quantitative data. This helps them draft a guide for successful future strategies.

Here are some neuroscience techniques that work as tools for a successful neuromarketing campaign.

1. Eye Movement Tracking

Eye Movement Tracking is a very effective neuroscience technique. It uses special eye trackers to detect the position of the pupil. Equipped with a completely innocuous infrared light, this measure and register eye movement reveal great information about a person’s response to certain stimuli.

In neuromarketing, eye movement tracking reveals what products or marketing stimuli are grabbing attention. It gives an insight into a customer’s subconscious responses and helps marketers create better marketing strategies to drive their sales.

2. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI)

Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging relies on utilizing a powerful magnet to study the blood flow towards the brain as participants are presented with audio and visual stimuli. As the subject is presented with stimuli one by one, their verbal response and neural activity are both recorded.

Neuromarketers study the fMRI data to determine what marketing stimuli generate the most response from the brain. This helps them point out the subject’s emotions towards their brand.

3. Electroencephalogram (EEG)

The electroencephalogram is a portable and economical technique of neuroscience, which is widely used in neuromarketing for its valuable insight on brain activity. It utilizes a headgear that is equipped with sensors to analyze and record the brain’s activity. It does so by detecting the electrical changes in the brain waves.

For this analysis, participants put on the headgear and observe different marketing stimuli. Their response is carefully recorded via EEG. The data collected is then studied to gauge strong emotional responses. It helps marketers understand what aspects of the advertisement or product are more appealing to the audience.

Neuromarketing Strategies That Actually Work

Using data collected from the techniques described above and some others, marketers have come up with a number of effective strategies that work. Let’s study some in detail.

  • Simple Fonts

If you want someone to do something, describe it to them in a simple way. The simpler the directions are, the easier they are to follow. The harder something is, the more friction it creates, and the chances of action are reduced.

The same rules apply in neuromarketing. For example, when readers are required to fill a form, the instructions are quite simplified and presented in a simple and readable font. If you find it difficult to read or follow, you are more likely to quit altogether.

  • Complex Fonts

While simple fonts help consumers take action,complex fonts boost recall. Using a different font for the selective information on the web copy not only urges the readers to continue reading it but also helps them remember it better.

Instead of bouncing as they originally intended, they gave in to the call of the complex font and end up interacting with the copy.

Marketers understand this. So usually they list the most important information in a different font to make it stand out.

  • Eye-catching Visuals

Visuals are the cues that capture viewers’ attention. As stated above, people need only 0.05 seconds to decide whether they like what they are seeing or not. And an interesting fact is, most of the judgments are based on colors. Sellers realize this very well. Therefore, they resort to using bright and colorful imagery along with simple texts for their campaigns.

Look around; you will notice numerous advertisements for different products. You will also notice that you paid closer attention to the ones that boast attractive visuals. So, you are more likely to purchase from those sellers.

  • Authority

This strategy is especially useful in online shopping. Since buyers cannot physically test the products, they resort to looking up reviews and feedback. Sellers are aware of this tendency, so they make sure to follow their product with as many positive reviews as possible.

Also, a word of an expert or authority does not hurt as well. We are all victims of this strategy. All our lives, we have trusted the word of celebrities and other influencers who are endorsing different brands or products.

The technique develops an instant trust. Even an untrusting viewer converts into a buyer.

  • Speedy Service

Today, it is all about speed. Everyone wants to be gratified instantly. This impatience has certainly favored marketers who play the speed card to generate revenue.

When choosing between two similar products, an individual is more likely to purchase from the dealer who promises a faster delivery. Speed is one of the hottest strategies of neuromarketing.

How to Start Neuromarketing Yourself

If you are intrigued by the world of neuromarketing, you are not alone. Some of the big brands have also joined the bandwagon recently. However, neuromarketing is complex. Here are some tips to help you start:

  • If you want to avail of the benefits of neuromarketing, get yourself involved within the community. There are numerous groups and resources that will help you realize how it can work for your brand.
  • Read as much as you can. Books are better at providing information than any blog post. Learn about brain functioning and psychology in relation to neuromarketing.
  • There are some great neuromarketing courses that train beginners in neuromarketing. You can sign up for any of those to gain a better insight into the workings of this discipline.

The Bottom Line

Neuromarketing certainly has an advantage. It taps into the subconscious part of the brain to generate an emotional response that triggers the consumer to take action. It utilizes tactics that our brain subconsciously responds to. Learning and using these tactics will also help improve your sales – that too at an affordable cost.