Addressing human psychology has been the key objective since the beginning of advertising. Gradually, it gained momentum in post industrial world. At the beginning of twentieth century, Edward Bernays pioneered the use of neuromarketing in advertising. Reportedly, German Nazis under Goebbels also used neuromarketing in spreading anti-semitic propaganda during the WWII.
Though it is not as intimidating as it sounds. It is the application of neuroscience in marketing or advertising to improve their service offerings to customers. It is a multifaceted process used mostly in analyzing consumer preference. Though humans are considerably rational beings but most of our life changing decisions were certainly not our conscious ones. Big or small, all our decisions are mere manifestations of our thought processes. According to Gerald Zaltman, Director of Harvard’s Mind Institute 95% of our decision making process involves our subconscious.
We all have that pair of jeans or tees in our wardrobe that we don’t like to wear even after buying them consciously. This is because all decisions by our conscious minds are the result of our surrounding stimuli. Thus they tend to make mistakes or get easily overwhelmed while our subconscious minds remain nonchalant to any such kind of stimulus. Therefore Neuromarketing facilitate consumers to apprehend their unconscious preferences. Consequently, it guides business and product manufacturers to develop their products in accordance to consumer needs and preference.
What is Neuromarketing?
Neuromarketing is the application of neuroscience to marketing. Neuromarketing includes the direct use of brain imaging, scanning, or other brain activity measurement technology to measure a subject’s response to specific products, packaging, advertising, or other marketing elements. In some cases, the brain responses measured by these techniques may not be consciously perceived by the subject; hence, this data may be more revealing than self-reporting on surveys, in focus groups, etc. ‘Human attention’ is the new currency for both big and small businesses. Neuromarketing helps advertising agencies create and analyze effective commercials for their clients.
In this article we tried to articulate some of the fundamental attributes of neuromarketing.
Neuroimaging of brain
Neuromarketing has proved that advertisements featuring babies, kids and toddlers perform better than commercials which do not feature kids. Images of kids attract more attention while retaining them for much longer duration. Henceforth advertisers has been generous in featuring kids or babies in commercials.
In addition to that, it is the line of sight or the gaze of the child that guides consumer. Evidently image of a child staring at a logo or product, automatically directs the viewer’s attention towards the logo or the product. Viewers follow the line of sight. Even though advertisers have been using child faces to attract attention. Now it is time to make the child stare at the particular information which the advertisers want their customers to know.
Packaging plays a vital role in drawing consumer attention. Undoubtedly, we all somewhat feel attracted to certain color or styles. But neuroimaging has taken this to a whole new level. Especially big brands like Pepsi or Frito Lays conduct huge consumer sampling to confirm the final appearance of their upcoming products.
Every color of the color spectrum, stimulate our brain in different ways. These activities help brands to frame their distinct brand persona. Research suggests that matte packages of wafers attract consumers more than shiny packages. This resulted in Frito Lays replace all their shiny packages with matte ones.
I have seen many companies with least emphasis on color. Personally, I feel irked by irresponsible usage of color. Needless to say, use of right colors could be a very helpful marketing strategy.
Colors evoke a wide range of emotions in human minds. While selecting a brand color or a product color we primarily decide how we at Adwartising want our customers to feel. If we want our customers to feel jovial and lively, we go for vibrant colors. If we want our customers to trust us we definitely emphasize on usage of white. Contrary to that if we want our customers to feel luxurious or expensive, black, mauve or purple remains the prominent choices.
Some of the notable examples of color utility are coca cola, Starbucks and Mc Donalds.
4) Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI):
Once the prerogative of researchers and academicians, Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) is now an important marketing tool for advertisers. fMRI or brain mapping has successfully disclosed the mammoth reserve of consumer behavior, habits or insights. One significant example of successful neuromarketing study using fMRI was National Cancer Institute’s launch of new helpline number. To summarize three different advertising campaign was shown to general public. The advertisement which stimulated maximum activity in a particular region of brain garnered maximum number of calls in the hotline number.
Likewise, Indian marketers and advertising agencies can also leverage neuromarketing techniques using fMRI.
5) Decision fatigue:
Neuromarketers observed that consumers get repulsive while facing more options. Less is more- a study by Columbia University revealed that consumption inadvertently declines when consumer faces wide array of options.
Moreover, this technique can be used by retailers while displaying their products to customers.
6) Fear of loss or loss aversion
Neuromarketers use this technique to guide consumer behavior. Loss aversion is an inherent attribute of post modern consumers. Contrary to popular belief of alluring consumers, it has been observed in consumers that fear losing is more dominant than allure to win. This is why use of words like “limited offer”, “till stock last” or “valid till..” often boost sales.
This technique is widely used by e-commerce websites by showing the number of available stocks. Sight of decreasing available stocks often compels us for impulsive buying.
Credits: Marketing Sensorial, Freepik.