Marketing With the Help of the Brain
The application of neuroscience, or the study of the nervous system and the brain, is springboarding from the realm of research and medicine to many other areas, from economics (neuroeconomics) to marketing (consumer neuroscience). While it might just all sound too far-fetched to you, this newest form of market research is more likely to be good common business sense that you should really learn about.
Consumer neuroscience explores how the brain reacts to typical marketing information, such as brand, point-of-sale information, advertising, packaging and the like. The usual method of gathering marketing data by asking consumers questions will likely remain of value. However, how it is increasingly being done in laboratories these days looks nothing like the more traditional way.
What is being studied about people are their brainwaves and eye movements. Subjects wear wired caps on their heads which reveal EEG data or information about electrical impulses along the scalp. This data about the subjects’ brainwaves provides information about how much attention is being paid when watching a commercial or looking at a product. In addition, the eye movement data communicates just what the subject is specifically looking at.
An example of what can be done can be seen in how several changes were made to an ad for a social cause which generated a briefer, more powerful ad during a pre-testing stage in a lab (Harish Bhat 12/5/14). Imagine being able to optimize your marketing materials and strategy before even launching it! Bhat clarifies three important measures that can be gathered: the amount of attention being paid; whether a subject’s memory is being activated, and whether the subject is attracted or repelled by what they are viewing.
Obviously, this is incredibly important information to have when you’re marketing a product or service. The earlier in the design of the marketing piece this information can be gathered, the earlier changes can be made to maximize its effectiveness.
I’m excited about these new developments and look forward to having access to the technology when it becomes available to more users. That probably won’t take as long as we might think. It would be a great adjunct to getting information about our customer needs and wants the good old-fashioned way – by asking them directly.