This isn’t to say surveys and focus groups no longer have a place, they most certainly do. But, researchers need to fill the gap between what their subjects say and what they actually think and feel.
So, how can marketers truly understand the motivations and drives of consumers? How do they gauge the consumers true beliefs and attitudes before taking the necessary risk of hitting play on a campaign?
Neuromarketing is the application of neuroscientific techniques to the study of consumer behaviour. It is a field of commercial marketing research and consulting that is now mainstream in the developed world. It is also rapidly becoming more accepted and utilised in the developing markets.
Traditional market research can provide potentially biased responses. Researchers may then in turn provide insights that may not be accurate or valid given their research objectives, which is a big risk to a brand. Neuromarketing helps bridge the gap, by cutting through such biases, making it an excellent weapon to add to your market arsenal. Ultimately using both traditional and scientific research methodologies can make your campaigns foolproof.
If you or your company are on the fence about it’s necessity for your business, here are 5 benefits of why Neuromarketing is worthy of your consideration:
1. Accurate Measurements
Consumers do not know how to accurately describe their emotional responses in both survey questions, during interviews nor in focus groups. There are a host of well known psychological biases that interfere with emotional self reporting. Some individuals over exaggerate their feelings, others may downplay them and still others may incorrectly report on what they actually do feel or are simply unable to express what it is that they are truly feeling.
Bottom line: One individuals subjective expression of an emotion is not be the same as the next person’s expression. Neuromarketing helps to iron out these variances.
2. Data in real time and with accuracy
We all go through a daily journey of different emotional experiences. Some of these are so fast and fleeting, we are barely conscious of them. Yet, it’s those feelings that influence our behaviour - to buy or not to buy.
When a subject is asked to express how they feel about something, they begin to examine, revise and rationalise those feelings, so rarely do we get their raw emotional reaction. Neuromarketing methods help uncover those pure emotions in a way that asking direct questions to the consumer, simply cannot.
Bottom line: It’s difficult to articulate the exact emotions you’re feeling. Neuromarketing bypasses the need for self-report and goes straight to the raw biometric and neurofeedback data, in real time and with accuracy (validity and reliability).
3. Measure the effects of priming
Every time we look at something - be it a poster, logo or package - it activates a range of associated ideas, emotions as well as memories in our mind that influences our response to a subsequent experience. This is known as priming. Neuromarketing is able to measure the strength of the ideas, feelings and concepts of an ad or brand logo that may trigger these primed behaviours in the future.
Bottom line: Neuromarketing allows us to understand what aspects of a particular experience or communication may have triggered you to buy that burger - what was it in the McDonalds ad that you saw earlier in the day that primed you to buy that BigMac Meal with regular fries?
4. Discover in-depth insights
Marketers often focus on the higher-level "big idea" of a creative campaign. However, Neuromarketers are also able to provide creatives and marketers alike with in-depth insights on a granular level. Subtle optimisation strategies such as how to design imagery to better capture attention or how to create an ad in such a way that it makes the key product information more memorable and impactful, can have an huge impact on the overall effectiveness of a campaign.
Bottom line: Neuromarketers approach creative development from an implicit perspective, and as such can develop subtle strategies that optimises attention, memorability, and the provocation of emotion while at the same time staying true to the "big idea" of the campaign as a whole.
Neuromarketing now offers research techniques that companies can scale up; especially as new data capturing techniques become available and the technology becomes less expensive and more readily available. Neuromarketing studies are also much faster to conduct in the field than traditional market research and provide faster turnaround times on their delivery of insights. The analytical algorithms are also becoming more robust, more accessible and more intuitive for marketers to use. Implicit measures like response time are also allowing marketers to scale their research and reach consumers remotely and at larger sample sizes.
Bottom line: Neuromarketing is more accessible, provides fast turnaround of insights and is now a very affordable and necessary step in market and consumer behaviour research.
Traditional methods should continue to play an important role in your marketing research. However, combining efforts with Neuromarketing offers powerful data in connecting the often misinterpreted dots.
Neuromarketing is here to stay, it’s not here to replace.
Although we wish they were, marketers are not superheroes. Even the most thought out campaign has the ability to fall flat on its face. Best case scenario, consumers move on and forget about it. Worst case scenario, the controversy lives forever on YouTube.
Consider Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner campaign of 2017 and the Groupon Tibetan trauma that’s still turning heads years later. What these ads prove is traditional marketing research alone doesn’t always get it right. Slipping up in the studio has the potential to haunt you in the real world for years to come.