A recent article on Fast Company discussed the trends in neuromarketing, a new area of market research that utilizes electro-chemical technology such as EEG’s to read and measure the brain’s response to marketing stimuli. The article addresses the rush to adopt this new methodology as a means to “strike gold” in marketing campaigns.
The article written by Douglas van Praet, author of Unconscious Branding, How Neuroscience Can Empower (and Inspire) Marketing, recommends a holistic approach to neuromarketing.
“The emergent field of neuromarketing is being reduced and defined as the “the study of neurological responses to marketing messages. This new view of who we are deep inside can become a watershed moment in cultural evolution. But only if we begin by asking bigger questions than: Which storyboard, jingle, or tagline engages our dorsolateral prefrontal cortex?…I’m not suggesting we ignore the possibilities of testing marketing material, but they should be approached with guarded optimism. There is indeed a treasure-trove of insights that can remarkably improve communication. And there’s no putting this genie back into the bottle. But the value is in the insights into people more so than the tests of ads.”
While neuromarketing is the new kid on the block in terms of market research, the ability to capture “insights into people” without brain scans has been around for a while. By applying a combination of conjoint research along with in-depth data mining, profiles of customers and their motivations can be clearly defined. Recently, the American Heart Association did just that and increased their donations by 38.6%. The organization first tested key concepts to determine those that were most motivating. Additional data was then appended to each respondent and analyzed to define “mind-types” – common personality profiles that respond in similar ways. By integrating the conjoint data, the AHA was able to define how to approach each mind-type to effectively move them from awareness and consideration to intent to donate.
So, while neuromarketing is a promising new field of market research, marketers don’t need to join the “gold rush” in order to gain valuable insight on customers.